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Six smiling, happy characters from the book including a Sikh child, a Black child and a child with crutches.

by Helen Docherty

illustrated by David Roberts

 

It’s no big secret that every new David Roberts book which skips through our doors is greeted with a cheer. He’s been teamed up with some of the biggest author names and this is his first collaboration with Swansea-based, Helen Docherty. Every page bears a single sentence which enjoys the uniqueness of every child and then shows children the universality of their feelings. Names, languages, appearances multiply but “your feelings are the same”. By highlighting our commonality, the book then, ever so deftly, shifts gear and asks the reader to imagine a child who is isolated, who needs shelter, sanctuary, comfort. What could they offer that child? A hug, a listening ear, a book, a soft toy, a favourite smell? This is all paired with David Roberts’ fantastically inclusive illustrations of children of every faith, with different abilities, with a wide range of ethnicities and wearing all kinds of outfits: Rustling tutus! Lederhosen shorts! High rise, low rise, every which way rise! From the child with multicoloured beaded braids to the one sporting nail varnish to match their blue hearing aid to the patka-wearing child in shocking pink dungarees, Roberts uses a riot of colours to embrace every conceivable identity. With surely every child able to see themselves here, this book’s work in empathy is wrapped up. The child reader sees themselves, sees themselves in others and, quite simply, wants to reach out. Perfection.

 

‘Ostensibly intended to promote empathy and kindness towards refugees and asylum seekers, it is also a joyous celebration of how we are so much more alike than different. Whatever you love, someone else loves it too and the joy of meeting that person- wherever they come from- shines through this beautiful book. It goes without saying that the illustrations are a total delight and the simple, rhyming text supports them perfectly” (Mark Jennett, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, LL reviewer). (Disability portrayals include wheelchair user, a child with Down Syndrome, children wearing hearing aids, a child with a blade/prosthetic limb and one using crutches). Age 4-7, Hardback 29pp

 

Themes: Refugees and Migration

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