Unger’s straightforward prose and Velez Aguilera’s black and white illustrations present an incomprehensible subject – war – in a simple way. And although the topic is serious and scary, Davico finds solace in the embrace of his family, and we the readers do too.
The rhythmic, repetitive language acts as a soothing balm, as do the soft pastel illustrations. I wish I had taken my blood pressure before and after reading this little book, as I’m pretty sure it went down. I barely needed the mindfulness tips Carnavas includes after the story concludes, although teachers and parents will find them helpful.
Each story is bite-sized, perfect for dipping in and out of over the course of a day or two, and would be fantastic for parents and children to read together, or for a teacher to read to his or her class. (Zoom story time is going to be a thing this year, youse guys.) Featuring a mix of elements from the natural world as well as tales of good old-fashioned human nature, Wynne-Jones’ style is witty, smart, and most importantly of all, relatable.