What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say; Davina Bell, illustrated by Hilary Jean Tapper
It’s not easy being a child. There are new situations to deal with and big emotions to understand. And whilst some young children breeze through childhood without a care in the world, for many, life is not so straight forward. Moving home, the loss of a loved one, taking a pet to the vet, friends being mean, a visit to the hospital, the dark, meeting new people, making mistakes and asking for help can all present challenges and can leave us feeling lost for words.
In her latest picture book, Davina Bell, author of the superb All the Ways to be Smart, presents a range of familiar and relatable experiences and encounters and explores some of the feelings and emotions that sometimes manifest themselves. Pages are full of empathy and understanding with gentle illustrations accompanied by soothing and calming phrases helpfully offering genuine and heartfelt responses to those moments in life when you don’t know what to say.
Forgiveness is sought after the hair on a doll is cut; change is navigated during a house move; bravery is called for at school; shyness rears its head on the sports field; grief and loss are tenderly touched upon at a grave. Covering everything from sadness and loneliness, change and new beginnings, fear and bravery, friendships and relationships, justice and fairness, identity and image, the range of emotions and feelings explored is brilliant and could easily be applied to any number of personal experiences for the reader.
This is one of those books that is not only an absolute joy to read and look at but is genuinely helpful and gives children the tools to navigate the more challenging moments of life. It also supports adults with having the more difficult conversations that are sometimes needed. This beautiful book is perfect for children and parents to share together.
With huge thanks to Hachette for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 3+.
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