Monday 5 November 2012

"Sometimes" by Rebecca Elliott (Lion Publishing)

Clemmie and Toby are back! We were very lucky to be sent another fantastic Rebecca Elliott book by Lion Publishing, featuring two of the most important characters in children's books of the last decade.

"Sometimes" is a beautiful follow up to "Just Because" which was our book of the week last week - and this time we find out how Clemmie and her brother Toby deal with Clemmie's hospital visits.

Children have a natural anxiety about hospitals, even when they're infrequent visitors. I can recall all too well the feeling of our world dropping out from under us when Charlotte has suspected Meningitis when she was still just a tiny little toddler. Thankfully she recovered but the entire week was a blur and an experience we were very pleased to be able to put behind us.

Some parents don't have that luxury. In "Sometimes" we see how Toby and Clemmie cope, and it's with the sort of bravery and indomitable spirit children seem to be able to muster in the face of adversity and unpleasantness.

Every page makes you want to hug your child tightly, and it was great to see Charlotte's understanding and also to hear her questions when we read through this book. There's a double page spread in this that sums up exactly why Rebecca Elliott is the sort of talent that shines out like a beacon, and it's also the panel that caused the most discussion and provoked the most questions from Charlotte. Quite right too - "why does this happen to the children, daddy?" There's just no way of answering that, just our best efforts to help Charlotte understand.

Again it's such a beautiful book, just like "Just Because", that you'll find your children wanting to return to it again and again for all the right reasons. It's thought provoking, masterfully handled and a book that every child and their parents should read.

Charlotte's best bit: She absolutely loves Clemmie's hair and she thought the children in the hospital were "very brave and very happy".

Daddy's favourite bit: Books like this don't come along very often but when they do, they're like a breath of fresh air. To have two come along from the same author / illustrator, that are of equal importance to children's picture books, is just phenomenal.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Lion Publishing)