CHILDREN’S book of the week
NO LONGER ALONE by Joseph Coelho , Egmont, £6.99 ★★★★ ★
ADDRESSING upsetting topics, such as grief and bereavement, with small children can be difficult for all involved – and this tasteful picture book aims to gently reassure readers about the big emotions they might be feeling.
Joseph Coelho’s story focuses on a young girl who is feeling lonely and not like her usual self: People think she is quiet or shy, when inside she is bursting to talk or sing.
The reason is not explicit, but illustrator Robyn Wilson-Owen’s unobtrusive drawings of a mother, who appears in photos in the family’s home, give an opportunity to explain why she is no longer there. Only by talking to her father does the girl realise she and her siblings don’t have to bottle things up
Coelho, a performance poet, has touched on the death of a grandparent in If All The World Were... and employs the same sensitivity here, while the simple, pastel-coloured illustrations are beautiful and soothing.