Henry’s story is beautifully told and equally beautifully illustrated. Henry is a little boy who has had a rabbit called Raspberry since birth. He and Raspberry are inseparable and do everything together.One day the unthinkable happens.Raspberry is nowhere to be found.
The boy is devastated. He and his mum search the house and turn it upside down to no avail. In desperation Henry turns to his grandfather who tells him that the only thing that will help is to use your imagination and “Imagine that Raspberry is with you – at this moment.”
Henry leaves his grandfather rather despondently, but having no other options, begins to play a game. He imagines being a pirate with Raspberry by his side. Together they sail on a ship full of treasure into dangerous waters. Then he becomes an astronaut, and later a dragon catcher in the jungle. This occupies most of his day, and he falls into bed at night. A happy ending completes this gentle tale.
The hardback book has a text that is direct, and easy to read. “And still they hadn’t found Raspberry.” The illustrations are sparse and very interesting. Most pages are covered in a sandy/tan colour wash which gradually becomes darker as night approaches.
The pictures are simple black line drawings which convey emotions cleverly. Small objects such as magnifying glasses and hammers are also drawn to capture interest. On each page there is a photograph, or realistic drawing, of another object, a ribbon, a shirt sleeve and some books to add interest and depth to the page. The illustrations, together with the background, give quite a dreamy quality to the story.
Some of the later illustrations show a misty, faint background of a jungle, or ocean and cliffs together with a peg sharply drawn in the foreground. This is quite purposeful art work and shows the two worlds Henry is living in.
Henry’s loss evokes a great deal of thought. How do you best cope with loss? And, where would you go to escape for a while in your mind? Most children would relate to this story and some may find comfort there.
|Author||Skye Byrne Ill: Nic George|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster UK|