Afternoon thrill seekers! Today I’ve got some special picture books to share with you … particularly if you are feeling the weight of the world pressing down upon your worthy and attractively shaped shoulders. But before that, here’s a reminder for the Fiction in 50 crowd! Fi50 for March will kick off on Monday and our prompt for this month is:
If you want to join in all you have to do is come up with a piece of fiction or poetry or whatever in 50 words or less then link up to the linky that will be in Monday’s post, or leave your link in the comments. For more detailed instructions, click on the button at the top of this post. We had some new faces again last month and it was a lot of fun seeing the creative interpretations of “Love in the Time of….” So light the fire of those creative cannons and get those powder monkeys working double time!
But on to the picture books….you know what I love? Coming across a book that is clearly written for adults, but is sneakily packaged in picture book format to trick the unwary into thinking that it’s just kid’s stuff. Today I have two such sneaky tomes of which I’d like to make you aware. These are definitely for the inner child who has been a bit neglected and downtrodden and needs a bit of solace and support. Let’s all take a moment to consider our neglected inner child. Poor little guy. Or girl. *sniff*
First off, here’s the poignant, powerful and just plain awesome Michael Rosen’s Sad Book by Michael Rosen (obviously) and illustrated by Quentin Blake. If you have ever suffered from depression or know someone who has, you NEED TO GET THIS BOOK. It is possibly the most accessible and authentic and user-friendly explanation of the ebb and flow of experience for a person with depression that I’ve ever come across.
In simple and compelling prose, Rosen describes how his behaviour changes when he feels “sad” and how his experiences of grief and loss have contributed to this state of affairs and how sometimes his sadness has nothing to do with anything that he can pinpoint….it just “comes along and finds you”.
The illustrations and colour palette perfectly compliment the tone of the book as it moves from powerlessness to hope. Get it. Do. You won’t regret it and it may resonate (if you’re beholden to the black dog) or enlighten (if you’re blissfully untouched by such a mental illness).
Next up is a book I happened across at the library and was caught by the intriguing title…Happily Ever After is So Once Upon a Time by Yixian Quek and illustrated by Grace Duan Ying. The beautiful cover art also drew me in and I wanted to know what this book was about. On reading the first page, in which the narrating little girl asks, “Will Prince Charming and Snow White still love each other after ten years? Does anything ever last?” I decided that I had to find out more. So the book was duly borrowed to be perused at leisure.
The first half of the book consists of the little girl asking fairly bleak sorts of questions in the same vein as those on the first page. She questions the hype and hyperbole of the “happily ever after” delusion and in rather depressing fashion, notes that “happiness, like bubbles, burst all too quickly.”
“So why is this a book to nurture one’s already-doing-it-quite-tough inner child, Bruce?” I hear you cajole. Well, it’s the second half of the book in which things pick up. After a bit of mournful introspection, the little girl seems to take a turn into a bit of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and decides that happiness is hers to access, provided she has the right mindset.
All up, it’s an odd little concoction, but certainly worth it for the beautiful illustrations alone.
Right then. Enough faffing about with this nurturing business…I suggest you set that inner child to work creating a masterful piece of sensitve, inspiring fiction. In no more than 50 words.
See you on Monday!