We have a lovely bookstore around the corner from us, and upstairs there’s a ’secret’ room with a great collection of English children’s books. (If you live in Amsterdam, the bookshop is called Van Rossum, and the owner Beth Johnson is British and has a passion for children’s books. It can’t get better than that!) Every now and then I spend an hour or so in that upstairs room, finding new and unknown treasures. One of the books I brought back after my last visit is The Land of Neverbelieve, by Norman Messenger, which my bigger kids and I are enjoying so much!
The Land of Neverbelieve documents the unexpected visit of the author to an island in which nothing is, well, normal. For instance, silverware grows from the Cutlery Tree, pasta from the Pasta Tree. There’s a Lazy Balloon Frog that floats in the Magical Lake (in which the waterbirds wear wellies because they hate getting their feet wet). Screaming Night Moths and Eyeball Snails live in Spooky Dark Mountains, and the Book Mountain, which resembles a giant pile of books, tells stories at night time…
There are many more wondrous, delightful phenomena described about the island, all amazingly beautiful illustrated. Thankfully, Mr. Messenger was able to document it all before the island disappeared in an unguarded moment — it (the island) had produced legs and wandered off!
This is a book that is a great addition to your book collection, and will be enjoyed by the entire family. We’ve been reading it for hours, and keep discovering new things. A total recommendation!
PS Another book that we LOVE from Norman Messenger is Imagine. An absolute gem as well.