Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Books and a jigsaw

I recently completed a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle for the first time in years. I'd been thinking about doing one for quite some time and was browsing the various jigsaws in a hobby shop when I came across this one.

It’s called The Bizarre Bookshop, a title which immediately drew me to it. And as you can see from the picture, it is a collection of shelves that holds books of all shapes, colours and sizes as well as plants, animals and various collectables.

But what make this bookshop really bizarre are the titles of the books. You see, each of the books 'has been inspired by a famous novel but has been given a curious twist'. And what fun it is!

From Lord of the Fries to Lady Chatterley's Plover and Anthony and Carbon Paper to 20,000 Leeks under the Sea and The Gloves of Navarone to The French Lieutenant's Legume I had so much fun putting it together that it has spurred me on to even bigger and more challenging jigsaws.

But it wasn't until I opened the box and took out the pieces of this jigsaw (which is manufactured overseas and sold in Europe, the UK and the USA) that I realised this incredible drawing was the work of our very own multi-talented children's book illustrator Colin Thompson. What an added bonus and what an imagination he has!

So, whilst I'm awaiting my next challenge I'll be attempting to think up some more alternative titles to well-known novels including those for children and young adults.

Why don't you try it too?

Penny Garnsworthy


  1. What a great idea! I will have to go look for it. Colin Thompson, who is one of my all-time favourite illustrators, has an amazingly quirky mind and there's so much to see when looking at his work.
    Changing book titles would make a wonderful 'quiet moment' activity for any of us.

  2. A student brought this jigsaw into the library to show me just last week! It's amazing!! I was pleased to see that a number of students and staff immediately recognised Colin Thompson's work.
    The titles on the books in the puzzle are amazing! It reminds me of some library activities I've done with students:
    In some library displays we have created fake books with pun titles based on the theme of the display.
    One really fun activity is when students browse the shelves for interesting titles and then use them to describe themselves - I have a template of a stack of blank books where they write their name and titles. The titles can also be used to create funny sentences or stories. It makes a great display, good talking point and gets students reading books they've never noticed before.