Review Blog

Nov 18 2020

The great realisation by Tomos Roberts

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Illus. by Nomoco.HarperCollins, 2020. ISBN: 9781460759806.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. An optimistic look at the follow on from the COVID-19 year that we have all had, is revealed as the author strives to help children learn from the effects of the virus which has swept the world. Some would love the world to go back to simpler times, and revisit times past where things always seem to be so much greener, and this author's attempts at encouraging children to see an alternative path are commendable.
A spoken word poet, film maker and performer, New Zealand born Roberts wrote his poem in response to the pandemic sweeping the world, worried that children would be affected with the negative avalanche surrounding us all.
His poem, viewed 60 million times on youTube, was an instant success and snapped up by HarperCollins who enlisted Japanese artist, Nomoco to apply her glorious watercolour images to the words. So the book has been published, ready for children to read and think about life after the pandemic. The book will encourage discussions around the post pandemic world, and what children think can be done better.
Prior to COVID-19, the world's people had become too neglectful of each other in their wasteful, instant lives, clicking on their phones for goods, and despite the cities growing bigger and some societies having access to all they could want, many people were just alone. When the virus hit, people were told to stay at home. And here, people reverted to the old ways: smiling, clapping for thank you, talking to each other, going for runs, leaving the car keys untouched.
A positive image is given of people keeping in touch, watering the garden, growing vegetables, dancing, singing and baking. The question at the end of the book 'so why did it take a virus to bring the people back together?'  will be one talked of in many classrooms, as children dream of a better tomorrow.
Theme: Pandemic, COVID 19, 2020, Fear, Hindsight.
Fran Knight

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