The dust jacket of this children’s picture book has a welcoming Old World feel to it that promises a tale of old. It is a lovely tale told in rhyme of a child who was always compliant and subdued who woke up one morning feeling prickly and confused. He tries to get along with his life but by saying, “No” instead of, “Yes” all the time.
The story talks of growing and loneliness and finding one’s feet. It’s about a small child who grows up in a kingdom being the only child and trying to fit in. The illustrations by Kate Hindley continue in the same style as the dust jacket with varying coloured backgrounds throughout showing a town that would fit into any child’s imagery of the time of knights and dragons. The people are very stylised and, as such, would not give a small child reason to become afraid, even of the dragon.
The language is simple and would easily be read by a 7-year-old. Text and illustrations support each other well, providing many topics of discussion when looking at the illustrations on their own. The story would be one that younger children would soon learn to chime in with as it is read to them.
A story about making choices, making friends and growing up as an only child. A book that would fit well in any small child’s collection and one that would be well loved for many years.
Reviewed by Leanne Caune
Rating out of 10: 8
Distributed by: Allen & Unwin
Released: April, 2018
RRP: $24.99 hardcover