Friday 16 September 2016

Spineless Classics One Page Books Swallows And Amazons Review

When is a book not a book? When it's a Spineless Classic. Posters which have the entire text of a book on one sheet, beautifully arranged, incredibly crisply printed, and still large enough to read - even with my tired aging eyes! We have been sent the ever-popular classic Swallows And Amazons by Arthur Ransome for review.

Swallows And Amazons was released in 1930, and tells the tale of a group of children from 2 families and what they get up to over a Summer holiday in the Lake District. They spend most of their time adventuring outdoors on two small dinghies (Swallow and Amazon), and battle it out to take control of a small island on which they have been playing and camping.

The two families are the Blacketts (Nancy and Peggy) and the Walkers (John, Susan, Titty and Roger). The Walkers are only staying for Summer, whereas the Blacketts are local children, and their grumpy uncle James lives on a houseboat nearby. The children nickname him Captain Flint and play together as pirates, with him as their unwitting enemy.  Later in the book his houseboat is burgled and he joins the children to try to recover his belongings, and in the process discovers just how much fun their company is.

Your Spineless Classic book is delivered in a hard cardboard tube and plastic sleeve. Our tube looked like the postman had thrown it around a lot, but the poster inside was immaculate.

Swallows And Amazons is a 528 page book, which means a lot of text, so the poster is 100cm x 70cm. The printing however is 4 point sized, really crisp and clear and still easily read by me - even without my glasses.

There is a design produced in a shadow effect and built into the text. I wasn't sure how easy it would be  to know 'where to read next', but actually the flow is incredibly natural and makes clear sense.

Obviously a poster so large benefits from a frame, and as Spineless Classics are all standard sized prints, I was able to pick up a 'frameless frame' for under £20 from Amazon. It really wasn't my day though because I dropped it down the stairs while I was hanging it, and the perspex is in many pieces. You can barely tell unless you stand close by pay any attention to the missing pieces!


It's really hard to get across on camera, but in reality you don't see the reflections that show here on the glass. The paper has a matt non-reflective finish which works incredibly well.

We chose to place our poster on the stairs because you can see it from all over the house, and it's a good height so that children and adults will be able to read as they go past. Clearly it works...

I love that this is a whole book, and that my children stop and read a little each time they pass. The shadowed image can be seen easily from all around my house, and it only reminds all of us of time spent camping and playing outside. Happy times and good, old-fashioned fun.

Spineless Classics have a range of over 130 spineless poster books, ranging from Robert Burns and War & Peace to Harry Potter and Bridget Jones. Posters vary in 9 different sizes from Mini (400x500mm) to AO (1189 x 841mm), and there are even postcard packs (£14.99) featuring stories written by children at the Just So Festival, as well as Rudyard Kipling and Hans Christian Anderson.

Our Swallows And Amazons B1 (1000x700mm) monochrome poster costs £39.99. We think it's gorgeous, and will be read far more than any book on the shelf. A Spineless Classic is a beautiful treasure which makes an excellent gift for a person of any age.

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