Dark and somewhat mesmeric, Shadow from Lucy Christopher & Anastasia Suvorov is an intriguing and evocative story for children, which takes a very positive look at darkness, whether it be the fear of night, of change or anxiety, all emotions felt and discovered on life’s journey by young and old.
Narrated by a little girl, she tells of meeting Shadow under her bed in their new, old house. While her mother tells her there is nothing there and nothing to be worried about, somehow Shadow is still there, lurking in the darkness in the cobwebs and dust.
One night, she goes under the bed to join Shadow and another day Shadow comes out to play; he is King and she is Queen. One day, Shadow entices her outside and into the woods filled with the chill of winter snow; she becomes lost as Shadow disappears into the woods, blending in with all the other shadows.
After a very long time, she hears a voice calling; calling her name and realised it was Ma looking for her.
Sensitively written the storyline invokes much material for discussion with children who are finding change difficult to manage. Shadow also contains a firm reminder to parents that no matter how busy they may be, it is very necessary to take time out to discuss children’s fears, then explain them to help children develop the skills to both understand and manage change.
The illustrations capture the words perfectly, evoking a wonderful sense of the emotion involved, particularly when the little girl is lost in the woods, when Shadow has gone and left her. The joy when Ma comes looking for her, her massive relief when Ma takes the time to explain change and what it means, is palpable.
Shadow is a somewhat interesting character but perfectly created as a metaphor of which children, as well as adults, are easily able to relate. Tactful and beautifully created.
|Author||Lucy Christopher.| Illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova|