Friday 29 June 2018

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 29th June 2018: "Boy Underwater" by Adam Baron and Benji Davies (HarperCollins Children's Books)

I think we were totally unprepared for the sheer impact this week's Chapter Book of the Week had on us both...
"Boy Underwater" by Adam Baron with illustrations by Benji Davis is the sort of book that you almost feel like you shouldn't recommend to people, even though you love it to bits. Why? Purely because it's so amazingly moving and affecting that it's bound to cause a lump in a few throats - even before you start to absorb the story's core messages of having belief in yourself and also trusting others to be there for you when you need them the most.

First though let's meet Cymbeline Igloo. Yep that's his name, I kid you not.

Cymbeline Igloo is by no means a water babe. In fact he's never been swimming at all. But Cymbeline has a huge wallop of self belief that he'll take to the water like a duck.

How hard can it actually be after all? He’s Googled front crawl and he’s found his dad’s old pair of trunks. He’s totally ready.

What he’s not ready for is the story's huge turning point, when there's an accident at the local pool. It leads to a sudden and total breakdown by his mum and changes Cymbeline's view for good.

But kids are curious, and Cymbeline wants - nay NEEDS to know what the dark secret is mum is keeping from him, why he was never taken near the water as a child. There's more to this mystery than meets the eye - and it could be completely life changing for Cymbeline and his mum, without a doubt. 

It's such a beautifully woven tale, aided by moody illustrations from Benji (and an absolutely corking cover that will draw you in instantly). 

A tale with a huge heart, touching and moving and exquisitely describing the taut relationship between mother and son, the value of friendship and of course that huge leap we sometimes make of trusting in our own instincts to see us right in the end. 


"Boy Underwater" by Adam Baron and Benji Davies is out now, published by HarperCollins Children's Books.