Familial bonds are tested in this search for the perfect family photograph (if there is such a thing).
Sonal’s family never spend any quality time together. They’re rarely in the same place at the same time and even when they are everyone is too busy looking at their screens to notice anyone else. Sonal is convinced that a school photography project is just the thing to unite the family and a camping trip without their beloved screens will provide lots of opportunities for the perfect family portrait. A digital detox, some fresh country air and the great outdoors should bring the family together…shouldn’t it. Will this be the holiday Sonal is hoping for or will it be a camp-tastrophe…
This lighthearted and perceptive look at family life is another stellar addition to Barrington Stoke’s fabulous catalogue of accessible reads. Starring a fabulous and very relatable British-Indian family, Serena Patel delivers a heart-warming, modern and chaotic family comedy that is vividly brought to life thanks to the fabulous artistic hand of Louise Forshaw.
For most of us, it is hard to imagine a few hours without looking at a screen let alone a whole weekend so it comes as no surprise that when forced with a digital detox there is lots of complaining and one disaster after another only heightens family tensions. Dina Dawson, Sonal’s perfect classmate who also happens to be on a family camping trip, does nothing to help the situation with her perfect family and their perfect camping setup enjoying the perfect weekend trip away. Appearances though can be deceptive and Sonal is in for a surprise when Dina confesses her real thoughts about her mum’s incessant need to capture the perfect photograph for her social media page.
It is easy for us to come to the conclusion that many people are living much better lives than we are and social media only adds to the assumption that others are much happier, much richer and have more fulfilling lives. Social media pages are full of those insta-perfect images - you know the ones - and this idea of perfection is brilliantly challenged as Patel presents the reality for what it is and delivers the message that living your life, living in the moment and capturing those memories are far better than staged photos that offer up a false reality. With such timely themes this text would be a brilliant starting point for conversations around the internet, social media and misinformation.
As with all Barrington Stoke titles the book is published using dyslexic friendly font and colours so everyone can access this read. With huge thanks to the publisher for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 8+.