The adventures of Sam and Julia, two mice who live in a fantasy world in which children and adults alike can lose themselves. The book’s substantial format works best of all in the general views, where the mice are seen at roughly ‘life’ size and we can spend hours gazing partly into the old world of the rag-and-bone man but also, more particularly, into a miniature contemporary world complete with burkas and more mundane features of modern life such as Pampers and Ikea boxes.
The quality of this book lies first and foremost in the pictorial matter, in the photographs of the work of Karina Schaapman. She has put her all into creating this miniature world. A pile of clothes pegs in the woodworking workshop brings it home to us how small it all is.
This book is a sequel to an earlier volume. Let us hope there are more to come! The subject of this new episode is nominally Sam and Julia in the theatre, but the book is actually about much more than that. At its heart there is a double-page spread of the closed stage curtain which then, opened up triptych-style, reveals itself to be a double panoramic fold-out of the performance and its audience.
There was one niggle, about the typography, in particular the typography of the cover. One panel member thought this was so coarse and ugly that for that reason alone he was unable to see the book as a representative of the best book design – but the others saw the typography as amply compensated by the book’s other qualities: the amazing character of the whole project, a book well bound and printed, and all right, the typography might be a bit rough, but it certainly did the job – even if it could have been done better on the cover.