'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 29 August 2010

Review: The Important Things

It's no secret I'm a Peter Carnavas fan and his latest book doesn't disappoint - this time about a Dad who has gone away.

In tune with the author/illustrator's emotive and simple storylines that philosophise on the poignant moments on life - without schmaltz or over-sentimentality - The Important Things tugs quite agonisingly at the heartstrings whilst simultanously bringing a warm, feel-good squeeze to the chestal area.

Christopher's mother does everything. She has to because the young lad's father has died. In an attempt to overcome her grief, mum gathers up all the 'unimportant' stuff that belonged to Dad and takes it to a second hand store where these material possessions can make someone else happy.

But, mysteriously, these items begin to appear back in the house. The mum is baffled. She even checks at the second hand store, but the owner says nothing. Christopher says nothing. It is isn't until late one night that she accidentally learns how these items are reappearing in the house - borne by the love of a young son who can't bear to let his dad go.

They may only be small, inconsequential things, but a cracked coffee mug, a tattered hat, some old sheet music - these are the things that keep loved ones alive on our hearts - touching them, smelling them, feeling them, using them.

Carnvas has created a subtle, incredibly moving book that is priceless for those who have lost a loved one - and for those who haven't. Compassionate, open, real and honest, this book is yet another timeless book to add to your child's collection.

Gorgeous illustrations belie their deliberate simplicity with powerful punches of emotion. Utterly beautiful. What more can I say? except have the tissues on hand.

Title: The Important Things
Author/Illustrator: Peter Carnavas
Publisher: New Frontier, $24.95 RRP
Publication Date: 11 October 2011
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781921042287
For ages: 4-8
Type: Picture Book