A glimpse of the illustrations and a read of Dub Leffler's intention (see blurb) were enough to catch the attention of My Book Corner. I really enjoyed sharing this one with my children tonight.
My Book Corner loves the opening page which sets the scene so perfectly; the boy on an island, on his own ... surrounded by a vibrant turquoise blue sea.
The boy meets a young girl who suddenly appears on the island. She is told not to look under the bed. The illustrations and accompanying text as she goes closer and eventually opens the forbidden box are suitably constructed to build a gentle tension which is perfect for this age group.
The reconciliation at the close of the book is beautiful, the accompanying sunset depicted in beautiful orange and yellows visually communicate the happy ending. At a very basic level this is a book about sharing, but there are many more delicate layers to Once there was a boy and that is why My Book Corner has fallen in love with it.
I liked the unpredictability of this story's format; some pages contain just pictures, some just a few words and some are filled with a beautifully written paragraph. Through out these pages the story flows gently, like the sea it depicts on many of those pages, a restrictive rhyme and rhythm is just not needed here.
Described by Anita Heiss as "possibly the most beautiful book I have had the pleasure of holding and reading this year" this is a book for sharing, for keeping and for enjoying with your child.
Read our interview with Dub Leffler here - LOVE his favourite word!