Your story still untold by Andy Martin. Illus. by Valery Vell

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This first children's book by Andy Martin is inspired by his son Archie who was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. The main character in the book, a dog, has a visible scar above his upper lip. As the blub says this is a uplifting book that aims to inspire children 'that they can turn to the love and comfort of their loved ones to support them through life as their story unfolds'.   

Directed at the child listener the text begins, 'Life is precious, my little one, and your story's still to unfold. I hope these lines can help you through, the moments when it's told'. It talks about how things will sometimes be easy and happy and sometimes they won't, using weather as a visual analogy (sun-storm-rainbow). It also talks about how sometimes we feel disappointed in ourselves or what we can't do but that we need to take time out to appreciate the unique skills we bring and 'strive to be the best person you can be'. Then it goes on to gives some 'dos' for life: ' 'help others live positively', 'be kind and humble always', etc. The puppy is nearly surrounded always by family and friends (an array of animals), leading their support and their smiles, except for a few pages where he is scared and lonely. 'But don't be afraid of these moments, you don't just need eyes to believe. Trust in yourself and take your own steps, be the person you're destined to be'. This is a beautiful letter from a parent to a child, that will be relevant and heartfelt to all and make a wonderfully gentle bedtime story that will help everyone to reset for the next day. It is also a great one to read to children starting school or setting out on a new challenge.

Themes: Rhyming Stories, Challenges, Overcoming Adversity, Family.

Nicole Nelson