altWhite engrosses us in the charming and imaginative world of Wrinkle and Cotton. How they got here, and why they are here is not explained; it’s one of those innocent states of unknowing unique to childhood.

Adults tend to call these ideas ‘dystopian’, and like any good dystopia, something is amiss: Colour. If found, any trace of it is consigned to the Rubbish Bin. “Good,” says Wrinkle each time a shade is eradicated.

This regime becomes increasingly awkward for Cotton, however, as he discovers something not as easily thrown away, which has the potential to sully the white sparkle of their pleasant existence.

The set is very well done, and the attention the production pays to detail is commendable: expect hidden bells and whistles. The initial scene, especially, where Cotton and Wrinkle wake up, evokes the mechanical chaos and efficiency of the Wallace and Gromit breakfast routine.  

Finally, it’s important we steer well clear of the inevitable discomfort some over-clever parents or reviewers may get from a world in which White is (initially, at least) supreme at the expense of Colour. This is not a political comment: children under five do not see anything inherently strange about the fact that Tinky Winky has a handbag, Burt and Ernie share a bed or that White contains large amounts of white.

Charming, original and an excellent stimulus for young imaginations.

Traverse@Scottish Book Trust, 5-29 Aug (not 9, 14-15, 16, 23), times vary

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