Tuesday, 8 October 2019

"The Balcony" by Melissa Castrillon (Simon and Schuster Children's Books)

This is definitely one of the most stylish books we've seen in a long while, gorgeous in its slip cover, and equally gorgeous underneath, all picked out in green baize with gold foil.

Melissa Castrillon's "The Balcony" is a simple, largely wordless tale of a girl who absolutely loves her countryside home. She loves plants, and animals - but her world is set to be turned upside down as mum accepts an important job in the big city.

The family has to move house from their adorable little cottage into a high-rise flat in the city.

But the girl is determined to bring a little nature into this cold and sterile place.

A little nature in the form of a seed.

What will the seed grow into?

This story is beautifully conveyed with sparse text, giving the luxurious illustrations time to intertwine and bring the real heart of the tale to the fore.

We could all do our bit for the environment, planting something that can give our world the chance to breathe. But Melissa also describes more than this - the sense of community lost in many of our cities can be regained through a shared experience that is pleasurable and nurturing - such as enjoying the huge jungle of gorgeous flowers and plants that springs from that girl's humble seeds.

A blissful life in the countryside is interrupted by an important letter one morning...
Absolutely lovely this!

A little girl's life is turned upside down with a move to the big city. But that won't stop her doing something amazing...

Sum this book up in a sentence: An utterly beautiful largely wordless story book telling the tale of a little girl's determination to bring life back to the urban landscape.

"The Balcony" by Melissa Castrillon is out now, published by Simon and Schuster (kindly supplied for review).