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A modern fable about the tyranny of perfection
Eric and Terry Fan are renowned author illustrators with such gems as The Night Gardener and the Kate Greenaway shortlisted Ocean Meets Sky. For this collaboration they have been joined by brother Devin for the first time. Stunningly beautiful images are what we have come to expect, and this is no exception. The enticing, mysterious cover spotlights a little creature in a bell jar. Beneath the jacket the cover looks like a blackboard covered with code, double helixes and creature sketches. The endpapers are design files to start and shelves of completed products at the end. We know then that this is about creating things. We meet our little creature again and we are shown the contrast between the naturalistic wold and an ordinary shop – Perfect Pets- on an ordinary street, but far below there is an underground world and a laboratory where they make the perfect pets and where they put the Failed Projects like Barnabus. Alerted of impending recycling doom, by his friend Patrick the cockroach, who has been entrancing him with stories of the natural world above, Barnabus and fellow Failed Projects work together on a daring and thrilling escape and find refuge hiding in plain sight in a nearby park. Being a team and supporting each other is crucial to their success. A multi-layered story that will appeal to a wide range of ages and prompt much discussion and debate about ethics and freedom. In a world where young people are constantly bombarded with social media that promotes artificial standards of perfection, this empowering fable has an important message to share.
Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars. But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects . . . and Barnabus doesn't want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes. He just wants to be himself.
So he decides it's time for he and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom - and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are.
This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends.
|Publication date:||6th October 2020|
|Author:||Eric Fan, Terry Fan, Devin Fan|
|Publisher:||Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd|
|Suitable for:||3+ readers, 5+ readers, 7+ readers|
|Genres:||Family / Home Stories, Fiction PSHE Titles, Pets, Politics & Law, Animals|
ERIC FAN is an artist and writer who lives in Toronto, Canada. Born in Hawaii and raised in Toronto, he attended the Ontario College of Art and Design, where he studied illustration, sculpture and f ilm. He has a passion for vintage bikes, clockwork contraptions and impossible dreams. His children's books include The Night Gardener, The Antlered Ship and Ocean Meets Sky. See more of his work at society6.com/opifan64 and on Facebook (Eric Fan Illustration). TERRY FAN received his formal art training at Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Canada. His work is a blend of ...More About Eric Fan, Terry Fan, Devin Fan