Description: "The Boy Who Speaks in Numbers" is a darkly satiric account of childhood in times of war. Set in Sri Lanka, the events it narrates could equally happen elsewhere - in all places where human deaths are reduced to numbers, and where guns do not differentiate between adults and children. Mike Masilamani's ironic narrative centers around an unnamed boy who is at home with numbers rather than words. Along with a constantly chattering - and prophetic - cow he bears witness to a bizarre and violent time. Matthew Frame's textured illustrations are a powerful testimony to the absurd horror of prolonged civil strife.
Review: "A touch of magical realism involving the transformation of many human wartimefigures into animals such as the constantly complaining cow or the lying lizard as well as a strong interdependence between text and image, and a rejection of narrative linearity and characterisation lends an almost Alice in Wonderland kind of feel to the book, which is purposefully and self-reportedlydisorienting." - Children's Books Ireland "Told lightly and even humorously, it is still a withering account of the wholesale business of war." - BLink "The book resists being pigeonholed into a genre the story is deceptively simple enough for a child to understand and enjoy but at the same time, both text and illustrations contain a depth attainable only to an adult. The book s illustrations deserve mention for their juxtaposition of bold colours, quiet attention to detail and amplification of the narrative." - The Sunday Times"
Author Biography: A second generation wordsmith, Mike Masilamani is closely associated with advertising, having run a family business for 30 years. Educated at St. Thomas's Prep School, Colombo, and Loyola College, Chennai, he won a scholarship to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, U.K., and was a Sunday School teacher. He is also a short story writer and playwright, with his work being performed in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Chennai, India. He divides his time between Colombo, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Since completing his Masters in communication design at Central St. Martins, Matthew Frame's practice has focused on how illustration can address the issues surrounding social cohesion in the globalized world. Produced from his studio in London, his intricate drawings play with texture and pattern to explore his passion for film, politics, trash culture, and science fiction. He lives in London.