Cornelia and the Jungle Machine

Publisher: Gecko Press

Cornelia has moved into a big, gothic and creaky new house with her parents, and she’s not happy about it. When they send her outside to explore, she finds a forest of tall trees, and one of them has a rope ladder leading right to the top, where she discovers a boy living in an elaborate treehouse.

More exciting still, he’s invented something called a Jungle Machine that can transport both of them to far-flung climes to ride down long rivers, explore the jungle and have great adventures together. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing moving house, after all.

Nora Brech’s artwork in this utterly amazing book is stunning, and because it’s a taller than usual hardback, the extra height allows her to dazzle the reader with unusual perspectives. In particular, the vertical trees and the illustrations inside the house, which is packed full of stuffed animals, odd clocks and strange treasures, give the reader a brilliantly weird feel.

Like a picture book mash-up of Neil Gaiman’s spooky classic Coraline and Everything You Need for a Treehouse, this masterpiece has few words and is all about the power of imagination. Fantastic.

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