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This novel by Christopher Waking is right up there amongst my empathic favourites.
With touching detail, Shaun Tan's picture book tells the story of a migrant family, seeking refuge and asylum in a strange new city. By depicting this new city as an alienating, science-fiction world, Tan performs a neat trick on our empathy glands.
A nameless girl passes helplessly through many dark moments, yet ultimately finds something hopeful at the end of her journey. This is a really unusual children's book: it focuses on dark experiences of loneliness, loss, dislocation, fear, alienation, using metaphorical images to convey them.
When I first read this children’s book, I was desperate to give it to everyone I knew- first my flatmate, then my parents. In fact, I wanted to have kids so I could share it with them about ten years later (it‘s still waiting patiently on my shelf for that moment).
‘I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’
Despite the precious title and aura of icky Victoriana, Burnett’s heroine Sara Crewe is actually a feisty little creature with a bit of a temper, fire in her veins and a huge imagination.
This is another of that very special kind of picture book which blurs the boundaries between what is for children and what can be appreciated by adults. The poet Michael Rosen wrote the book after the death of his son and Quentin Blake illustrates it sensitively.
The true story of a girl growing up in residential care. Her resilience shines through. It will hopefully inspire other children growing up in residential care to aspire to be more than a statistic.
The beauty of this book is that it conveys the deep message and practice of mindfulness without ever naming it or making it into some big intellectual thing.
Ever wonder why that kid in your class is such a trouble maker? Maybe not. Maybe we all should wonder why he/she chooses to act the he/she does.