Posts Tagged ‘loneliness’

The Lighthouse Princess by Susan Wardell, Illus. Rose Northey. Pub. Puffin 2022.

April 2, 2022 Comments off

This is a Rapunzel type modern fairytale with a modern princess living a lonely life on a lighthouse watching the ships that pass by, fishing from the balcony, creating artwork from the environment around her and swimming with the seals in the rock pools.

She wasn’t sad and she wasn’t stuck” but she was lonely. A self sufficient girl in a trying environment.

One day a boy in a small fishing boat is sunk off the lighthouse and the princess rescues him in a dramatic rescue and astonishingly he asks her “do you need rescuing from this tower?”

To find her answer you will need to read this book for yourself but it is a doozy.

The illustrations by Rose Northey won the Gavin Bishop award and this is high praise indeed and fully deserved. The sea and environment around the lighthouse is powerful and menacing although there is no shortage of traffic. The animals especially the seals are very appealing with their contented looks.

A nicely packaged picture book.

The Tale of the Tiny Man by Barbro Lindgren Illus. Eva Erikson, Translated by Julia Marshall. Pub Gecko Press 2022.

March 7, 2022 Comments off

This is a simply told story from Sweden about a tiny man who is very lonely because he has no friends. Although he is polite and courteous around people, raising his hat in greeting towards them, people don’t seem to like him.

He lacks self esteem and blames it on his ugly hat. He cries in bed at night but believes he is a kind man, and he is. He pins a note to a tree that says FRIEND WANTED and waits on his doorstep for an answer as 10 days go by and the first signs of winter appear.

Then a dog with a curved tail and wet nose comes to him and happiness abounds. He feeds the dog and they become friends, you can tell cos the dog leaks on his gate to mark out his territory. They have fun together and those that used to mistreat the old man change because of the dog.

The winter ends with spring and a young girl with a polka dot dress and a ribbon in her hair appears and the dog loves her. Is friendship exclusive? Will the dog take off with the girl?

Read it and see you will not regret it.

Easy to read text particularly good for juniors and primary students when read aloud.

The illustrations are a treat. The little man and the dog and girl are superbly drawn but do not drift into sentimentality. Brings about great opportunities to discuss self esteem and friendship.

The Lonely Christmas Tree by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

November 9, 2019 Comments off

lonely christmasThe Lonely Christmas Tree by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros. Pub. Bloomsbery, 2019.

Christmas can be a lonely time for people who long to be part of what is known as Christmas spirit, being with people, sharing food and drink and exchanging gifts.

This is about a lonely pine tree that was once part of a big forest now cut down. The lonely tree watches all the celebrations from his lonely snow covered slope and yearns to belong.

Then on the eve of Christmas his life changes but you will have to read the story to find out why. Check out the mystery of what happened to the little bird.

Beautifully told in poetic verse that mimics “T’was the night before Christmas“.

Lovely story for juniors. The illustrations are superb as little tree sits on his lonely slope and the joy of Christmas comes alive with that jolly rotund red costumed gentleman and his reindeer.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

The Girl and the Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes Illus. Sarah Massini

September 30, 2019 Comments off

girl dinosaurThe Girl and the Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes Illus. Sarah Massini. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

From ordinary events can come great dreams and imagination. Marianne digs for bones in the sand on the beach. She looks lonely to the fisher folk who frequent the coast and they wish she had friends.

Marianne however is content and at night she dreams great fantasy of the dinosaur bones she finds coming alive. She rides with the dinosaur to a land in the sky and sees unicorns fairies and a party place for children and their dreams.

When morning comes Marianne is found digging for bones on the beach but this time with other children.

Rhyming text is enhanced greatly by simple water colour illustrations that reflect the loneliness of Marianne at the start and tell their own fantasy story when she dreams.

A good writing team this one. For juniors and primary level.

Little Frida by Anthony Browne

April 6, 2019 Comments off

Little fridaLittle Frida by Anthony Browne. Pub. Walker Books, 2019.

A new Anthony Browne picture book is something to savour, and this one about the young Frida Kahlo is a beauty.

Frida was only 6 years old when she contracted polio. It was painful and made her different from other children. She felt lonely and an outsider and when she dreamed she dreamed of flying.

She retreated into her imagination and flew away meeting a girl who was just like her, except she could dance. Frida told her all her secrets, she listened and they became the closest of friends. She knew she could visit her whenever she wanted and she did.

Brilliant story about the power and healing qualities of the imagination. It is a powerful story.

The illustrations are as always outstanding. Full of mystery and meaning while capturing Frida’s sadness and pain and the Mexican landscape from whence she came. There is the airplane made of fruit, a little dog that appears on most pages and the wings that Frida wore disappearing mysteriously.

Check it out, you will not get better quality writing and illustration than this.

Invisible Jerry by Adam Wallace, Illus. Giuseppe Poli.

November 14, 2018 Comments off

invisibleInvisible Jerry by Adam Wallace, Illus. Giuseppe Poli. Pub. EK Books imprint Exisle Publishing, 2018.

This is the sort of picture book that makes you go awwhh. It’s from a new publishing company that promotes itself as  publishing “Books with heart, on Issues that Matter”. I can’t do better than that in my review.

Jerry is a lonely boy, nobody laughs at his jokes and he never gets picked when choosing sports teams. He feels invisible. Then Molly comes with her flamming red hair and riding a unicorn play horse. She asks what he thinks, laughs at his jokes and makes him feel king of the castle.

Can Jerry do the same thing for someone else in the same predicament? Read it and find out.

Brilliant water colour illustrations that enhance the text and the loneliness that Jerry feels. You can tell what is happening without reading the text. The true test of a good picture book. Excellent for dealing with feelings with juniors..

Categories: Picture book Tags: , ,

The Visitor by Anjte Damm.

May 19, 2018 Comments off

The Visitor by Anjte Damm. Pub. Gecko Press, 2018.

visitorWhat a brilliantly conceived and perceptive picture book about fear and loneliness this is.

Illustrated using photographs with cardboard cutout figures inserted, it tells the story of a lonely old lady who never goes outside because she is scared. The photographs are gloomy and she is gloomy.

Then a paper plane comes through her window which exacerbates her fears until a small boy knocks on her door and makes himself at home. he is bright and breezy and wears his cap on backwards

She tells him her name is Elise and he is Emil. He asks her to read to him from her library from which she has read every book. He brings colour into her life. He tells her that her house is cool.

The last double paged illustration in the book is majorly different from the identical illustration at the start. Read it and see how, you will not be disappointed.

The written text is simple, well place in the illustrations and wise beyond belief.

A Different Dog by Paul Jennings.

April 8, 2017 Comments off

different dogA Different Dog by Paul Jennings. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2017.

Fans of Paul Jennings will not be disappointed in this long short story. Just over 80 pages of writing that will keep you on edge and keep you guessing to the end.

The boy who narrates the story is known only as the boy. He never speaks but once owned a dog called Deefer whose fate is crucial to the story. The boy lives with his mother and they are very poor but both want to break that poverty thing.

Although the boy never talks you know what he is thinking. He has no friends and is harangued at school  but an adventure in which a vehicle leaves the road and kills the owner leaving another dog, is to change the boy’s life. Read it and see how.

The illustrations by Geoff Kelly in black and white pen are a critical part of this story

Superbly constructed by a master storyteller for reluctant readers of intermediate and secondary school age.

Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer Illus. Oliver Jeffers.

October 11, 2015 Comments off

imaginary fredImaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer Illus. Oliver Jeffers. Pub. HarperCollins Childrens, 2015.

Pushing boundaries has always been a characteristic of Eoin Colfer’s writing now he has an accomplice in superb illustrator Oliver Jeffers who pushed his own boundaries with the picture book The Day the Crayons quit.

Imagine if two lonely children, both with imaginary friends meet and become friends and their imaginary friends like each other too and also become friends. But first the two children Sam and Sammi have to find that they no longer need imaginary friends and the imaginary friends Fred and Frieda need to know that they are not going to disappear as they have before but can be imaginary friends together.

Put this all together with illustrations that show the lonely children in black ink drawings and the imaginary couple in shades of blue and yellow and you have a recipe for an outstanding picture book  for early readers and for children who are lonely need hope and have an imagination.

A great book made out of genius.

Pee Wee The Lonely Kiwi finds a friend by Blair Cooper, Illus. Cheryl Smith.

March 6, 2015 Comments off

pee wee kiwiPee Wee The Lonely Kiwi finds a friend by Blair Cooper, Illus. Cheryl Smith. Pub. Flying Books Ltd, 2015.

I have just read this to a class of New Entrants and passed round the cuddly toy kiwi that comes with it. They liked the story and I had to read it to them again. The toy kiwi was fought over but I got it back.

Loneliness is an emotion that we all have felt and it can unlock a number of other emotions that are best kept in the cupboard. Kiwi wants a friend so he goes looking. He strikes out with a penguin, a kea, a tui. and a thrush but comes up trumps with a baby moa who tells him what a lovely bird he really is. Nice ending. The Moa may test a few.

Illustrations by Cheryl Smith are life like and display the New Zealand environment. Cheryl captures the essence of loneliness in Pee Wee and of the other birds. The text is repetitive when it needs to be and the rhyme is not forced.

With the juniors I read it to this morning it is a winner. Check it out for yourself. Facts about the kiwi are at the back of the book.