A riotously colourful piece of imagination for children

North and South

A Book is a Book

A Book is a Book is a beautifully produced, small-format jacketed hardback with whimsical yet humorous illustrations  and words, that perfectly  define everything that is good about a book.

Written by Jenny Bornholdt and illustrated by Sarah Wilkins.

Available as an ebook.

  • Description

    This book asks ‘what is a book?’ It celebrates books and reading. Although ‘told’ from a child’s view, it captures the value and magic of books felt by all voracious readers, and is a perfect gift for book-lovers of all ages.

    A book is to read.
    A book belongs in a library, on a bookshelf, in a bookshop, in your house.
    A story belongs wherever a story belongs.
    If it’s Sunday and raining, a book is the perfect thing. Even a small book, because boredom can be very big.
    You can read a book while you walk, but you have to be careful not to bump into things.

    Jenny Bornholdt is an acclaimed poet. In 2005–06 she was the NZ Poet Laureate and she received the 2003 Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

    Sarah Wilkins has worked as an illustrator in Australia, USA, New Zealand and France. She won the LIANZA Russell Clark Award for Illustration in 2003.

  • Book Details

    Country of Origin New Zealand
    Reader Age 2-5 year, 5-7 year, 6-8 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. Children’s Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review (US), November 2014

      The perfect book definition in miniature for young readers, with spare, evocative prose that appeals to a youthful sense of humor … It perfectly portrays the ability of books to open worlds to readers, no matter how young.

    2. Booklist Online (US), October 2014

      A perfect gift for bibliophiles of all ages … it should stick in readers heads and hearts for a good long while.

    3. Janet Croft Book Reviews (Australia), September 2014

      It is a book to read aloud, with others, and to reflect and talk about the content, and memories evoked by the written content and which the small, but clear pictures. For families where reading is valued and enjoyed.

    4. School Library Journal (US), September 2014

      The story will charm bibliophiles … This tiny tome will make an excellent gift for the book lovers and librarians in your life and might make a good marketing tool for the other books in your library.

    5. Bobs Book Blog, October 2013

      Ideal for the home and the school library … Lovely presentation for everyone.

    6. Kirkus (US), May 2014

      Perfect for a child on a lap or as a stocking stuffer for older bibliophiles.

    7. The Illustrated Forest (UK), June 2014

      the illustrations are delicate little things full of colour and detail. They hold a poetic charm that gives this book a quiet, magical quality … For both adult and child alike, ‘A Book is a Book’ serves as a little reminder as to why books mean so much to so many.

    8. Magpies, March 2014

      There are just a few lines of text per page but they are so perfect … expounded in the whimsical painted illustrations.

    9. Monkey Makes Three (NZ), December 2013

      This is truly a book for book lovers of all ages to enjoy and it is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

    10. The Scotsman (UK), April 2014

      Profound but humorous thoughts … illustrated
      in a quirky and colourful style. Altogether this book is a joy.

    11. The Source (Aus), February 2014

      This deceptively simple book is a springboard… Jenny Bornholdt, a major New Zealand poet, knows the magic quality of words and reading, so each of her sayings is an invitation to the imagination… Walt Whitman would have loved it.

    12. Read It, Daddy! Blog, February 2014

      If you want a tiny little treasure pocket-sized book you can carry around with you, to whip out the next time someone asks you [What’s so great about children’s picture books?] then A Book is a Book is utterly perfect.

    13. The Bookbag (UK), February 2014

      Beyond the words, the illustrations are great … if you doubt that you can read images, try these. … the creators [show] how expertly books can animate our lives. They animate these pages too, with simple writing, warm touches and more.

    14. North and South, January 2014

      A riotously colourful piece of imagination for children.

    15. Whanganui Chronicle, December 2013

      A small and perfectly formed hardback…with writer and acclaimed poet Jenny Bornhodt’s humorous meandering charm … Award-winning illustrator Sarah Wilkins’ beautiful, delicate and whimsical illustrations printed on lovely cream paper enhance the overall experience.

    16. Anne Kennedy, NZ Listener ‘What New Zealand Reads’, December 2013

      Mainly for children, but this adult found it delightful.

    17. Kia Ora Magazine, December 2013

      A Book is a Book will be enjoyed by adults and children, especially book-lovers who will appreciate the very wise, kooky and thorough explanation, exploration and celebration of what, precisely, a book is … The pair clearly share a delightful sensibility and a deep abiding love for books.

    18. John McIntyre, Radio National Nine to Noon, December 2013

      A very special book … The look and feel of a precious work of art … The design standards are breathtakingly good.

    19. VUP News, Best Books, December 2013

      Beautiful to hold and look at, and full of lovely sentences about books and reading – what more could an editor want? Plus my six-year-old loved it and has claimed it for her own.

    20. Tilly (Unity Books Wellington), Newstalk ZB, December 2013

      A honey … a whimsically philosophical tribute… The production’s gorgeous… It’s a keepsake for the future.

    21. North and South Best Books for Christmas, December 2013

      That rare thing: a hardback book with a dust jacket… In a couple of hundred words and just 40 pages, poet Jenny Bornholdt packs in a wealth of wisdom about books and why we can’t do without them.

    22. The NZ Listener 50 Best Children’s Books of 2013, November 2013

      A quirky collection of musings about books and their capacity to entertain, intrigue, captivate, educate or simply stave off boredom… ‘Some books are small because some writers are very tired’ obviously does not apply in this instance.

    23. Your Weekend, November 2013

      Jenny Bornholdt has recaptured her childhood delight in reading with her first children’s book… And what was the answer to the question: ‘What is a book ?’ A Book is a Book, of course.

    24. Page and Blackmore, What We Are Reading, December 2013

      When you have seen A Book is a Book you will be unable to resist buying it for someone (and then for someone else, and then for yourself)… This delightful book is full of whimsical observations on books and their place in our inner and outer lives.

    25. Kitty as a Picture Blog, December 2013

      You can practically feel the love that has gone into the creation – from the writer to the artist to the publishing choices. A Book is a Book shines in all areas.

    26. IndieBound Summer Reading Catalogue, November 2013

      Written by top NZ poet Jenny Bornholdt, this beautifully illustrated hardback is a celebration of books and reading. It’s the perfect gift for book-lovers of all ages.

    27. The New Zealand Herald `Best Books to give and receive’, November 2013

      Jenny Bornholdt indulges in a delightful rumination on the power and attraction of books and reading in her first book for children. She uses straightforward, childlike statements spiced up with flights of fancy to good effect – and it’s the right sort of mix to draw kids into the wonderful world of books, and maybe get them thinking about reading a little more.

    28. Tall, Short, Tiny and A Pickle Blog, November 2013

      Each page is sweetly illustrated by Sarah Wilkins, capturing the magic that is a book. Combined with the whimsical, amusing text, this would make the perfect gift for a child or adult who often finds themselves lost in the pages of a story.

    29. Simon Sweetman, Off the Tracks, November 2013

      This book exists to do very wonderful things: promote reading, libraries, the sharing of stories – the sharing of a love of reading and books. It’s a beautifully told tale… A wonderful gift to give to yourself (let alone anyone else) – [it] does its best to convey the magic of getting lost inside a good book.

    30. Page and Blackmore Newsletter, November 2013

      This is simply a delight to look at, to hold and to read…both a profound and simple book. An absolute must for all those who love books.

    31. Bookrapt (reviewed by Jean Bennett), November 2013

      A perfectly-formed tribute to a real book … Readers young, and not-so-young, will smile while reading this compact treasure.

    32. Bobs Book Blog, October 2013

      As we go through this 37 page beauty the poetic text describes the various attractions of a book none better than ‘a story belongs wherever a story belongs’ … Lovely presentation for everyone.

    33. Booksellers We Love Books Blog, October 2013

      Each page of this book is unexpected, as I read and re-read it I fall in love with new pages … This book deserves to be treasured by generations to come … A perfect gift for booklovers of all ages.

Available worldwide from your local bookstore or online.

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