Review Blog

Nov 01 2014

Jessica's Box by Peter Carnavas

cover image

New Frontier Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9781921928574
(Ages 4-6) Highly recommended. School Life, Integration, Family, Friendship. Peter Carnavas has worked with the Cerebal Palsy Alliance to recreate his award winning picture book Jessica's Box.
Jessica is a creative little girl who is encouraged by her family to enjoy her first days of school. She looks forward to making new friends. Every morning she sets off in her wheelchair with a cardboard box on her lap, hidden inside are her special treasures. When her teddy bear doesn't impress her classmates, she tries delicious iced cupcakes, then her dog Doris, but she is disheartened. When Jessica brings her empty box to school and sits with it on her head, she discovers that others are interested in playing with her. All she needs is to be herself.
Peter Carnavas's sensitive watercolour and black pencil outlined illustrations portray Jessica's different emotions. Several pages use shades of dark blue or sepia tones to focus on her sad feelings. The surrounding white spaces portray her sense of loneliness, whilst bright, bold colours highlight her happiness. Her wheelchair is simply part of her life and she moves through the pages unaffected by her physical limitations.
The key messages of this highly recommended story are valuing your self worth, the importance of an encouraging family and friendship.
Rhyllis Bignell

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