Kid’s Book Review: Animal Farm

Kid’s Book Review: Animal Farm

About the Book and Author

“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” This famous quote is from Animal Farm by George Orwell. In this special new edition Christmas Mould’s intricate black and white drawings punctuate the story making it a very interesting and more accessible book for teenage readers.

Our twelve year old reviewer admits he is probably a bit on the young side to fully comprehend the author’s prophetic warning about the dangers of power and greed, but he still enjoyed reading the book and if you scroll down you will read how he much he appreciated Chris’ beautiful artwork.

 

Animal Farm cover
Chris Mould illustrator

George Orwell (1903-1950) is the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, who was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is characterised by lucid prose, biting social criticism, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism. Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-four (1949) and Homage to Catalonia ( 1938) are his most famous published stories.

Chris Mould is an award-winning illustrator who went to art school at 16. A sublime draftsman with a penchant for the gothic, he has illustrated the gamut from picture books and young fiction, to theatre posters and satirical cartoons for national newspapers. As well as writing his own fiction, he has teamed up with author Matt Haig for the bestselling A Boy Called Christmas, A Girl Called Christmas and Father Christmas and Me. He has also illustrated another classic story, The Iron Man by fellow Yorkshireman  Ted Hughes, reviewed for Books Up North by Ted and also published by Faber.

Book Review

I thought the illustrations were amazing because they were so detailed and really brought the story to life

When I first picked up this book, I was not sure that I was going to like it. It is a very famous book and there is much discussion about whether it is suitable for a twelve-year-old to read.

I enjoyed the story, and I thought the illustrations were amazing because they were so detailed, and really brought the story to life. There are double page illustrations that pop up at key moments and this helps you get a better picture of what is happening in your head. My favourite illustration in the book was by far the double page spread in chapter one where all the characters were gathered in the barn. This was a great illustration as there are so many characters it is hard to keep track of all the names.

All the characters had such a range of personalities from hard-working Boxer to lazy, slacking Clover. I did not like Napoleon and the pictures were drawn with such detail that you could see how much of an evil character he was.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, but I do not think I have fully understood the message. It is certainly not just a book about animals taking over a farm, but it was a very interesting read with lots of tension, action, and mixed emotions. Some of the vocabulary used in this book was quite trick and old fashioned which might make this book more suitable for older or more mature readers.

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Reviewer Profile

Josh young reviewer
  • Name: Josh
  • Age: 12 years
  • Likes: animals, Minecraft and art
  • Dislikes: having to walk slowly and bad handwriting!
  • Favourite Book: Expedition by Steve Backshall
  • Favourite Film: We Bought A Zoo
  • Favourite Song: I'm Still Standing by Elton John