Review Blog

Mar 29 2019

Say something by Peter H. Reynolds

cover image

Scholastic, 2019. ISBN: 9781760664992.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Discussion, Communication, Sharing. Encouraging kids to speak out, to say what they feel and make themselves heard is the basis for this picture book aimed at lower primary kids and made for a class where issues are discussed openly. The opening endpaper sings out its themes: justice, peace, onward, stay strong etc impelling readers to add their own words and phrases showing their beliefs. Kids will be encouraged to find their own voice and as they turn the next pages will see examples of what they can do to make the world a better place. If you see someone who is lonely, speak to them, if you see an empty canvas, add your paint, if you see an empty garden plot, sow something and watch it grow, if you invent something, share it, if you are angry tell someone why.
Each double page begins with 'if you', putting the reader in the place of the person on the page, asking them to discover for themselves what they can do about the situation. In this way, the reader is given the task of doing something about a situation which they may have felt was outside their control. It is now in their hands, and the book continues encouraging, prodding, reminding just how much they can do to make things better.
The figures on each page are reflected against a brightly patterned background, readers seeing the child in sharp contrast to its surroundings. This heightened image again impels readers to think about what they want to say, and on the last page, Reynolds leaves the page full of empty conversation outlines for them to add their own words. He urges readers to use their voices to 'inspire, heal and transform' and in the classroom where a sympathetic teacher will use this book to advantage, this will be encouraged.
Fran Knight

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