Embark on a rollercoaster of childhood imagination with the delightful character that is Albert Talbot, Master of Disguise. This book is an entertaining take on the innate ability children have to create a wonderful world of play, using just the bare minimum of props and their imaginations. Ben Manley and Aurélie Guillerey have created a charming picture book that is sure to delight young readers everywhere.
In Albert’s world, Albert is rarely Albert. In fact he is known to repeat the phrase ‘I am not Albert’ rather frequently. Instead he creates a plethora of eccentric characters depending on his actions for the day, or demands on him from his Mum and teachers!
An ‘Albert! Wake Up!’ is followed by a long description of himself as Clate Stouderhoofen, wanted cowboy who cannot possibly leave his hideout (bed) for fear of arrest.
Then he becomes Rusti Buffels, Fearless Mountaineer as he sets off for school.
During a show and tell session with his class, Albert becomes Professor Octavius Pickleswick, Mechanical Engineer. His junk model robot is also reimagined as his greatest invention ever – complete with gold heart, lung pump and fast arm!
He turns into Zandrian Delaclair, Antarctic Submariner, at the swimming pool.
Anselom Facklejacket, Diamond Thief at dinner time.
And Xarlon Quarkstar, Galactic Megalord at bed-time.
The loveable star of this book uses his imagination to help him cope with situations that he doesn’t want to be in, circumstances that make him feel uncomfortable.
Guillerey’s delightful artwork perfectly illustrates Albert’s discomfort – the worry on his face in front of the class, the anxiety in his eyes at the edge of the pool and the determined smile and eyebrows when he wants to keep playing at bedtime! He hides behind his catalogue of impressively fearsome characters when dealing with anything tricky.
Inspired by Albert, I’m just sitting here now, wondering what my alter-ego will be when I enter the classroom next. Will I be Adela Paintbrushella, portrait painter extraordinaire? Maybe Professor Adellooks Readalotofbooks, famous collector of weird and wonderful literature? Or perhaps Adelica Lookatmeca during whole school assembly, the brave circus entertainer ready to wow the world with her latest act? Watch this space kids!