Slog's Dad by David Almond, illustrated by Dave McKean (review copy) - Do you believe there’s life after death? Slog does. He reckons that the scruffy bloke sitting outside the pork shop is his dad come back to visit him for one last time – just like he’d said he would, just before he died. Slog’s mate Davie isn’t convinced. But how does this man know everything Slog’s dad would know? Because Slog says it really is his dad, that’s how. From Amazon UK
I had this book left over from when I planed to do Death and Bereavement Month last year, which became a week event instead. This book really doesn't have me as the intended audience, because I simply didn't get it.
Story wise, I suppose it was kind of cute. Slog is convinced this homeless guy he sees is his dead Dad, though his best mate, Davie, thinks he's been taken in by this man and it's a packof lies. I finished it not knowing whether it actually was his Dad, or just a kind homeless man who wanted to help a grief-stricken kid. I'm not sure, but it was sweet.
However, this is a graphic novel, but not in the conventional sense. It's pages of illustration without any text, then pages of text without illustration. However, the illustrations don't seem to match the text, and although I made some guess that some of the illustrations were to do with Slog wanting his Dad back and pretending with toys, others, I had no idea what was going on. And it's really not my kind of art either. I didn't like them. Not my cup of tea at all.
So I would say the story would be better without the illustrations, but it's so short, without the illustrations, I can't see it being publishable. I just didn't really get this book as a whole package. Not written with me in mind. But some may like this unusal take on graphic novels and story-telling.
Thank you to Walker for the review copy.
Published: 6th September 2010
Buy on Amazon US
David Almond's Website