Simon and Schuster Children’s Books pbk
Sometimes along comes a book that moves me to tears; this is such a one. It really tugs at the heartstrings as it tells how young Syd accompanies his beloved Grandad on a final journey. With Grandad at the helm,
the two of them set forth on a tall ship across the ocean and its rolling waves to a far distant island. Abandoning his stick, Grandad leads Syd into the thick jungle where they come upon an old shack.
Having made everything ‘shipshape’, the two of them sally forth to explore and come upon a perfect resting spot.
It’s there that Grandad breaks the news to Syd that he is going to remain on the island, assuring him that he won’t feel lonely.
So, after a loving farewell, Syd returns home alone. It’s a lonesome journey and a long one and when Syd returns to Grandad’s house, there’s nobody there. But then he hears a tapping at the window and there, sent by special mail is …
Poignantly beautiful both visually and verbally: Benji Davies has done it again.
Ahmadreza Ahmadi and Nahid Kazemi
The well-regarded Iranian poet Ahmadi is the author of this seemingly simple, thought-provoking tale.
One by one, things that a boy loves disappear from his life: are they gone forever, he wonders. Can blossom, rain and wheat come back?
They can and will, but each in its own good time.
The author’s spare prose allows children to create their own interpretations and fill the gaps left in the telling. Ahmadi gives the impression of being close to young children and the kinds of ideas that preoccupy them from time to time. Themes of change, loss, death, rebirth and renewal, and the cycles of nature
are all possible ideas to explore having shared the reassuring book with young listeners.
As with all the Tiny Owl titles, the production is excellent and the illustrations superb. The collage style illustrator Nahid Kazemi used here has a child-like quality about it and is likely to inspire children’s own creative endeavours.
A box of interesting fabrics, some decent backing paper, fine-line pens and glue is all that’s required.
A wonderful book for primary teachers looking to further children’s spiritual and imaginative development.
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