The comet by Joe Todd-Stanton

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What a delightful book! Ultimately uplifting The comet traces the life of Nyla from the time when she sees stars and a comet in the sky above her country home, through a time of change when she must move to the city as her father has a new job, to when the apartment she lives in eventually becomes a home that the family loves.

Nyla is very unhappy in her new apartment in the city. Her father is very busy with his new job and does not have the time to spend with her that he had in the country. She can only see seven stars in the sky ‘and there are no sounds of waves to fall asleep to.’ One night she sees a comet falling to earth and a magical tree sprouts out of the light. Here the illustrations take over and the reader sees the most wonderful plants and flowers weaving through the sky. Then all is revealed – Nyla has painted the walls and floors and boxes in the room. At first Dad does not see that it is a comet but something magical starts to grow and the whole family turns the apartment into a home.

The illustrations beg to be examined again and again, as there are so many details to look at. I loved the double page spread turned sideways to show all the different families living in the building and the final endpapers show how happy Nyla has become in her new home. The love between Nyla and her father is heart-warming and is a standout in the book.

Joe Todd-Stanton tackles the difficulties of moving house and managing change for Nyla in a very relatable way, the narrative flowing smoothly when read aloud. The comet is picture book that could become a firm favourite at home and in a library.

Themes: Moving house, Change, Comets.

Pat Pledger