Monday, July 30, 2018

The Book of Gold by Bob Staake

"There is a legend,' she explained, 'that somewhere in the world there is one very special book that's just waiting to be discovered. It will look like any other book, but it holds all the answers to every question ever asked, and when it is opened, it turns to solid gold."

This idea puts young Isaac Gutenberg, a boy who has declared he does not like reading, on the road to discovery. He hunts high and low looking for this promised golden treasure and along the way he finds a love of reading, develops his curiosity and finds answers to his questions. Perhaps the "book of gold" will never be found but Isaac finds an even better treasure. I hope you have guessed what this is.

Here are some of the questions Isaac asks:

  • Why don't the pyramids have windows?
  • How can something as heavy as a ship float?
  • Who invented pizza?
  • Were dinosaurs covered in fur?
  • Why don't elevators also travel sideways?

and my favourite question

  • How did the number eight get its name?

Here is the author web site. You can see a few pages inside this book on the publisher web site. There are some lovely touches in this book. The sepia pages that give that olden days feel, the name Gutenberg of course and the scenes inside and outside the splendid New York city Public Library. Make sure you look for another special book by Bob Staake - a wordless treasure called Bluebird. Here is a CNN interview where Bob talks about the ideas behind Bluebird.

For adult readers here is something you need to know about The Book of Gold:

The book has two covers. If you detach the wraparound cover with the image that everyone associates with the book, you'll find the paper-on-board cover -- which I designed to look like an artifact squirreled away in the recesses of any dusty attic. It's my hope that children will find the book years from now (minus the wrap) and realize that THEY have indeed found the elusive Book Of Gold.

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