Thursday, 17 September 2015

I'll Catch You If You Fall by Mark Sperring & Layn Marlow

"We all need someone to keep us safe" is the publisher's tag line for this book. It's a fitting way to introduce this title about a little boy, his adventures at sea and a friendly star who guides him home. This is one of those gentle books that reads like a lullaby and is whimsically illustrated. All the makings for a perfect 'last thing to read before bed' on those very hectic days. 


The story unfolds like a poem:

The boy is out at sea but who will keep him safe? 
'I will' said his mother.
But who will keep them both safe? 
'Me' said the captain. 

And so the story continues in this pattern, each scene overlapping seamlessly into the next thanks to the soothing text and illustrations. The ending slowly unfolds with the boy promising to look after the star.  And in this last moment it becomes an even more poignant story about the world at large and how important it is to look out for one another.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Grandad's Island by Benji Davies

Well hello readers!  Mrs Brown is still here and I'm finding it hard to believe that it's been such a long time since my last post. There's one stand out book that travelled with us this summer from London to South Carolina to North Carolina and back. It's the latest title from long time favourite author/illustrator Benji Davies and it's called Grandad's Island.

As E and I start to have slightly differing tastes in books it was a joy to discover that we were both happy to read this one over and over again. I was hooked by the pictures. E was hooked by the boat.  Neither one of us expected that Syd and Grandad's adventure would end with Grandad staying behind and Syd sailing home alone. And somehow, through the palpable sensitivity of the words and the lovingly portrayed characters neither one of us felt overwhelmingly sad.

Some retailers have marketed Grandad's Island as a book about a difficult subject [death] but that seems a bit limiting to me. There's a lot about life in this book; from relationships with loved ones, to coping with change, to independence and cherishing memories. And the inevitable goodbye happens so gently and the adventures Syd and Grandad have beforehand are so wonderful that, well, it all just seems like it's going to be ok... and I think it will be.