Thames & Hudson

Contemporary Books, 3 years +, Thames & Hudson

Stripe Island

Words & Illustration by Tupera Tupera

Published by Thames & Hudson

As the name suggests, everything on Stripe Island is stripy. The book starts with a stripy sun rise and describes a stripetastic day. The story is a detailed description of a day in the life of a striped boy called Stanley and his experience visiting his town's spectacular Festival of Stripes.  While the story itself is fairly unremarkable, the details described are quirky and fun and the colourful illustrations are an absolute treat. 

As you would expect from a local fete or circus, the book details many and varied stripy acts and sideshows. Everything from a striped strongman and a snoozing striped elephant to the teeniest tiniest stripy bug. My favourite being the "stupendously long, spiralling stripy beard" and the stripy children measuring its length with a stripy tape measure. It is all very absurd and quite funny.

I think that kids as young as babies will enjoy the stimulating and chaotic details contained within the pages of this colourful book. It is quite the treasure trove of funny illustrations including singing bears, babies, acrobats, cake and many different animals.  Adults will enjoy the kooky details such as Stanley's father who "adds up stripy sums and solves stripy problems". 

It is a little bit hard to tell exactly what the artist has used to illustrate these colourful pictures (I wish I could read Japanese!) but I think they have used mixed medium with a combination of crayons, pencils and/or pastels? The hand drawn pictures appear like cutouts and are absolutely charming. The bold black and white endpapers are fabulous and beautifully set off the chaos of the detailed coloured illustrations inside the book. 

Tupera Tupera are a husband-and-wife design team based in Japan. They have created many great titles in Japanese but unfortunately only a handful have been published in English. Chronicle Books released an hilarious title called Polar Bear's Underwear earlier this year. Other Tupera Tupera works include a great variety of playful and interactive faces and animated fruit and vegetables. I hope to see more of their colourful books released in English soon!

This is a fun bedtime story - "sweet stripy dreams, everyone!"

Reviewed by Georgia White