Slowly! Slowly! a book review

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Title: Slowly! Slowly!
by: T. M. Clark
illustrated by: Helene Magisson
Publisher: Wombat Books

Slowly, slowly, you catch a monkey …

Bongani wants to go to school but he is too young. To prove to his family that he is big and strong just like his cousins, he tries to catch a monkey.
Slowly, slowly, he must go.
Luckily his family is there to school him in the lessons of patience and compassion.

I love the very first sentence of Slowly! Slowly! written by author, T. M. Clark:

Bongani stood tall.

It is brimming with anticipation. And as you read on, you can feel the blanket of peace and love that surrounds the main character. The words of the story also whisper that same blanket to you, gently, gently, like the singing of a lullaby.

Slowly! Slowly! is a clever story. Imbued into the tale is the unfolding guidance of how to catch a monkey with the kind encouragement of the father, the calm teaching of the grandfather, and the insightful way of looking at a problem from a different point of view, which is a way of teaching resilience.

Inside the story, we follow a young child named Bongani, while he tries to catch a monkey. His failed attempts are followed by guidance from his grandfather, revealed layer by layer, teaching Bongani patience; a virtue that is sometimes lost in the busy-ness of our lives today.

I particularly enjoyed the way Bongani’s family would work out whether he was ready for school …

‘Dad, am I big enough?
Am I higher than the hyena?
Can I go to school?’

Mathematically, the act of measuring your height against an animal to see if you are tall enough to go to school is full of imagination and excitement. This comparison would make an interesting discussion in families and schools.

Illustrator, Helene Magisson, has once again shown her extraordinary artistic talent in the pages of Slowly! Slowly! and has created a visual space where a variety of thoughts and ideas coexist in addition to the text, telling a story where the words don’t, or where the words imply particular ideas or feelings. Helene’s choice of gentle tones wraps around the mind of the reader, encouraging a connection and deep understanding of the character of Bongani.

Parents and teachers will love Slowly! Slowly! as author, T.M. Clark, deploys with sparkling effect, the use of alliteration, repetition, word rhythm and story building. The tale naturally lends itself to variance of voice as you read, from gentle words to the shouting of “GO AWAY!”

Slowly! Slowly! is an engaging and heart-warming story that is a must for children to read. Patience, compassion and resilience speak a gentle heart-song through the story, gifting children with mind tools to use through their lifetime.

(Slowly! Slowly! is adapted as a South African story, this variation of ‘Softly, softly, catchee monkey’ was originally an Ashanti (Ghana) proverb quoted by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Boy Scouts)

Purchase a copy: Slowly! Slowly!

Title: Slowly! Slowly!
Author: T. M. Clark
Illustrator: Helene Magisson
Publisher: Wombat Books
Format: 9781925563221
ISBN: Hard cover
For ages: 3+

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords
www.julieannwallaceauthor.com

Julieann is a member of:

The Silent Owl, book review

 

the silent owl

Title: The Silent Owl
by: Sam McPhillips
illustrated by: Clemency Pearce
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

In the deep, dark forest lives a silent owl.
The forest animals are worried about Owl, but he has a few surprises up his sleeve!

I have a new favourite book to add to my list of “picture book favourites” – The Silent Owl, written by Sam McPhillips. The story is simple, with a flowing rhyming text, and filled with caring forest animals. Somehow it makes the world feel like a better place.

The main character is an owl who is silent, by choice or not is up to the reader to decide. The owl remains silent, even as a string of animals visit and ask him a question to encourage him to speak … but he never does. You have to admire the owl for not bowing down to peer pressure and staying calm throughout the series of events. He is not only a silent owl, but a strong owl, or perhaps even a stubborn owl…

Illustrator, Clemency Pearce, has created delightful collage illustrations with backdrops of paint in amazing hues. Her art style would be ideal to emulate as part of an art activity to accompany the story.

I highly recommend The Silent Owl. It’s a story where the owl has an untold story, and one that would lead to interesting discussions with readers, and perhaps creating understanding of other personalities. The Silent Owl is an important story, as it is about acceptance, about differences, and celebrating individuality.

Purchase a copy: http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Children/The-Silent-Owl/1156/productview.aspx

Title: The Silent Owl
by: Sam McPhillips
illustrated by: Clemency Pearce
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925520019
Category: children’s
Pages: 32

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of: