No Longer Alone
Joseph Coelho and Robyn Wilson-Owen
My heart really went out to the so-called shy, quiet little girl narrator of this beautiful story.
Actually however, those who’ve called her either of these are wrong; it’s just that due to events that have gone before she just doesn’t feel like talking or being noisy.
Nor does she feel like running around in the park with her siblings;
instead she wants to be alone, even though her loving, understanding Dad encourages her to try and find the “old you, the get-up-and-go you. The loud –and-active you, the happy you, the you, you used to be,”
Dad’s comments open the floodgates for an outpouring of feelings as his little daughter opens up about the things that worry her, upset her and make her feel alone.
As the two sit together something shifts inside our narrator and things begin to feel a bit different.
Then slowly, slowly she finds that she can be that chatty self with others as well as when she’s alone; and she can play with her sisters again, sharing feelings and imaginings, alone no more.
Joseph’s beautiful heartfelt, poetic telling is full of poignancy and Robyn Wilson-Owen captures the inherent turmoil and tenderness in the tale with her beautifully textured illustrations of a family whose loss is palpable.