Author: Andreas & Emma Svalander
It could very well be the oddest book I’ve ever reviewed on this site. Why? Because it’s a children’s book. Except that it will probably be read by more adults than children.
Behind the project are Swedish husband and wife HiFi retailers and authors. They run Svalander Audio AB, a retail business that serves the audiophile community in Västerås, a town approximately 70 miles west of Stockholm.
And the book is all about HiFi. It runs for 34 pages. It’s a hardback. It is also packed with high-quality children’s book-standard illustrations.
This is because Emma Svalander is a renowned illustrator, film maker and photographer. And the idea was her own (this book is written in English, incidentally, the following website shots are for reference only).
It also caught the attention of UK hi-fi stalwarts, Russ Andrews, which has decided to make the book available to buy in the UK from its own website.
John Armer, managing director of Russ Andrews commented, “Andreas sent us a copy of his book to read and we were rolling around when we read it. In an industry that can sometimes take itself a little too seriously, it is a refreshing change to see something like this book emerge from the imagination of someone right at the heart of the business we are part of.”
Subtitled, ‘A little book about hi-fi’, you can see why an adult would be drawn towards the book and why smiles will pop out of each and every page because it begins from the point of view of a little girl, standing in her jarmies, cuddly toy to hand, hair in bunches, her big eyes looking up towards her father and exclaiming in a child-like innocence, “My dad has a nice big hi-fi in our sitting room. Dad and I both love to listen to music.”
“Why are we listening to the same song over and over again?” I ask.
“I want to see if the sound gets better or worse when I change the settings of the RIAA-phono stage,” says Dad.
You know, I’ve looked and searched but I can’t seem to find a similar technological reference in my large collection of Enid Blytons, here.
Not once does Noddy ever comment, “Lollo knows that no one under the age of 20 is allowed to touch the record player or my MC cartridge,” says Dad to his friends.
Which did make me smile.
Then we get to know that all is not well with Dad’s HiFi. There’s some noise emanating from it and the blame is swiftly laid at the door of the dreaded Buzz Trolls. You can see a picture of one of these nasty beasts about to sink his fangs into a hi-fi cable. (I wonder if cable munching is covered in Kimber’s warranty?)
The book continues on the quest to trap and remove the little critters. Now, I’m not saying the children won’t be interested in this book. Of course they will! I just wonder how many adult HiFi fans might find this little book in their stocking, come Christmas. That’s all.
It’s a lovely little book and well worth reading over a coffee. And don’t forget. As advised, remember to keep anyone aged under 20 away from your MC cart and you’ll be fine.
The Buzz Trolls is available now direct from www.russandrews.com/the-buzz-trolls/
To view more of Emma Svalander’s illustrations, visit www.kreativaemma.se
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