Title: The Tunnel
Author: Anthony Browne
Illustrator: Anthony Browne
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: Once upon a time there lived a brother and a sister who were not at all alike. They fought and argued constantly. One morning they discover a tunnel, which changes them forever.

*Free copy provided (as part of the ‘Anthony Browne Collection’) by publisher for review…

Review: This is an interesting children’s story which has more depth than it first appears. A brother and a sister don’t get along and are completely different from each other. While the sister likes to read books alone and stay inside, the brother likes playing football with his friends and spending time outside. One day the siblings are forced to spend time together and then they find a tunnel. The paperback book is around A4 in size and is filled with thick glossy pages of illustrations and some text.

The Tunnel book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

The story of ‘The Tunnel’ is quite a short one but it’s what happens when the children go through the tunnel that’s so interesting. I don’t want to spoil the story but I will say that the girl, who is afraid of going through the tunnel, is forced to search for her brother when he doesn’t return. The story of the siblings is based around a fairy tale but the book is far more interesting as there’s plenty of reference, though the pictures, to other fairy tales too.

The illustrations are simple at first but get more interesting the further into the story you go. Some of the illustrations are amazing with so many hidden creatures and things to spot, and images that look a little scary. The last few pages have a surreal feel to them and it’s interesting to spot all the other fairy tale images which at first glance you might not notice.

The Tunnel book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

The ending of the story is short and simple and to me felt a little abrupt. I was hoping it would be a little more detailed but it’s still a good ending to the story and one which focuses on the siblings getting along. Overall I think kids would enjoy this book for all the pictures. I’m still spotting things hidden among the trees and I’m sure kids and adults would enjoy looking at some of the illustrations. I also think it’s a good book for telling the importance of getting along.

-Review first appeared online October 2017 – now republished here.

What do you think of this book?  Do you like books by Anthony Browne with surreal images?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂