Reviewed by Carmela Ramos
Magnificently illustrated and beautifully written, Suri’s Wall immerses the reader into an imaginative and empowering story with messages of hope, wonder and friendship. The intricate details of Matt Ottley’s illustrations not only provide the reader with many amusing scenes to observe, it also adds visual depth to Lucy Estela’s heartfelt story. Here is what Joseph, aged 6, had to say after reading Suri’s Wall.
Suri likes to walk next to the wall around her home. The wall makes her happy but she is very lonely. Suri is already the tallest but she grows taller and taller and then she can see over the wall. Then a little girl asks Suri what she can see, and Suri tells her she can see lots of beautiful things. Then more children come closer to Suri to listen and then Suri is not lonely anymore.
Suri is like a storyteller and I think she is nice because she shares her imagination and cares about all the other children. I think the other children would be sad and scared if they didn’t have Suri’s stories.
I really liked the pictures of the elephant and the big ship. I also like the page with the town because I like the waterwheel and the animal cart. I liked watching the people with carts walking past very tall trees. My favourite part of the story is when Suri is storytelling to the children and she is not lonely anymore.
This is a truly beautiful picture book to be enjoyed by dreamers, storytellers and readers of all ages. Thank you to Penguin Books Australia for sending us a copy of Suri’s Wall in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: 26 August 2015
Author’s Website: lucyestela.com
Illustrator’s Website: mattottley.com
Publisher’s Website: https://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780670077755/suri-s-wall
About the Author
Lucy Estela's love of writing became apparent as early as age seven when she began writing and illustrating a multitude of storybooks and newspaper columns that were printed up at home and forced upon her family. Since then she has taken a fascinating path towards publishing her first book.
Her university degree focused on languages but rather than becoming a language teacher, Lucy was introduced to the world of computer games and has pursued a successful career in London and now in Australia as a developer of websites and games for the kids and youth entertainment market including such brands as Disney, Warner Bros Pictures, Chorion and Xbox.
Suri's Wall, illustrated by the talented Matt Ottley, is Lucy's debut book with Penguin. Lucy lives in Sydney with her husband and three children.
About the Illustrator
Matt Ottley is a multi-modal artist working across the fields of visual arts, music and literature. He is an award-winning picture book writer and illustrator, with 25 picture books published. He spent his childhood in Papua New Guinea, and has travelled widely throughout Australia and the world. As a teenager and during his early twenties he worked as a stockman on remote cattle stations in the Australian outback, before studying fine arts and music. He lived for three years in Britain working as an equestrian painter, painting some of Britain's finest racehorses and polo ponies.
He is now one of Australia's most popular children's author/illustrators, and has been published in several different languages around the world. His book and musical work for young adults, Requiem for a Beast was awarded the Children's Book Council of Australia's Picture Book of the Year in 2008, and the Queensland Premier's Award for Young Adult Literature in the same year. His picture book, What Faust Saw was an international best seller. Matt has also worked as a professional flamenco and classical guitarist. He is currently working on two large-scale orchestral projects that will also have visual and literature components.
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