This is a stunning collaboration between these two fine creators. Paul’s ease and expertise in handling sensitive issues is well established and coupled with Jules’ fantastic mini-sculptures brings this beautiful and poignant story to life with an elegance that will entrance your readers.
Tarni withdraws from the conflict between her parents into her own ‘bubble’ of art and music and when her mother leaves, this becomes all the more commonplace. Then, one morning, Tarni is alerted to the garbage truck rumbling down the road and sees, just in time, the danger a stray dog has got himself into. She rushes to rescue him – and does but the dog runs off. Her moment of hope and happiness subsides as quickly as it arose. But wonderfully the dog reappears and now finds himself a true saviour in Tarni, and she, in turn, finds herself a faithful friend. The partnership is the path by which Tarni is able to discover self-confidence and relief from her anxiety and sadness.
There is a beautiful use of light and dark in the artwork which underpins Tarni’s journey of self-discovery and even young children will readily pick up on this.
A colleague and I were discussing, just a few days ago, the escalating rise in young children with severe anxiety issues, and while, some of this can be apportioned to Covid, it does not all fall to that reason in our opinion. Social issues such as family breakdowns, domestic violence, grief and loss are all major contributors and the need for counsellors far outstrips the profession’s capacity to provide support.
We know that bibliotherapy is a sound way to approach helping to empathise with, and support such needs, and it is sympathetic titles such as this one which can add so much to a reader’s armour.
Highly recommended for your young readers from around 7 years upwards. It would work so well as a shared reading with ensuing careful discussions.