When I Was a Child
Andy Stanton & David Litchfield
Hodder Children’s Books
You’re swept away with this enormously heart-warming book right from Andy Stanton’s opening lines, ‘ “Back in the days before you were born, “ said Grandma, / “when the world was a rose’s dream … “ / There was butterfly-and-daffodil ice cream.‘
Back in the day, so she tells her grandchild, the world was ‘a crystal jewel’ full of beauty and magical events: ‘… in the summers of long ago, / when the world married the sun, / there was music in everyone.’
Now though that magic has gone, thinks the world-weary gran. But perhaps it hasn’t.
It’s down (or rather up) to young Emily to re-awaken the ability in her grandmother to see the world as that place of magic, with its beauty and hope once more: ‘ I can show you how to see.” Take my hand and come with me … she gently urges her gran as they embark on further flights of fancy, this time under the child’s guidance.
If you’re not brimming over with the joy it exudes having read this book once, then start over and soak up the transformative power of young Emily’s imagination as she finds magic, wonder and awe even in the most seemingly ordinary things such as flowers and raindrops.
‘The world is a spinning star … no matter how old you are’ is what’s said on the book’s final spread.
A child’s wisdom is as fresh and young, and as old as the world itself; that is something we all need to remember especially in these troubled times of ours.
Totally immersive, tender and uplifting, this stunning creative collaboration between two favourite book creators is also a celebration of a special intergenerational bond.
Verbal and visual poetry both: Awesome!