Sally Anne Garland
This is a gentle, sweet tale that shows the empowering quality of the kindness of others.
Nook is a small, shy rabbit; she speaks little and prefers to stay in quiet spots with somewhere against which to press her back so she feels safe.
Her most favourite place of all is the deep hollow in an old elm tree, the ideal place from which to watch the other animals play. Try as they might to entice her out to join them, Nook prefers to keep her body feeling safe in her nook, but in spirit she’d be a participant in their games.
‘Nook’s place’ is what the hollow becomes known as, a place where other creatures know not to sit. Or rather, not quite all of them, for one day filling the hollow she finds …
The surly creature claims the space as his own, leaving Nook with welling tears and panic stricken.
Not for long however for her fear gives ways to surprise when the other animals stand behind her and speak out in her support. As they edge forward, the little rabbit feels protected and encouraged so that at last she feels confident enough to let them lead her away and play …
Do you think she continued so to do? You bet.
As it is with little animals so it is with young humans; some are outgoing and happy to be one of the crowd from the start, others – the introverts – need empathetic understanding and encouragement so they don’t stay forever on the sidelines.
Sally Anne Garland uses bold brush and coloured pencil strokes to imbue her animal characters with kindliness and humanity while also including in her outdoor scenes, lovely details from the natural world – a ladybird, seed heads, small flowers, for instance.
Definitely a book to share with foundation stage children, and individuals at home.