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

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Review: Shadowcat

Since her baby brother arrived, Edith feels she’s become invisible; an inanimate object like their garden gnome. She’s sad, withdrawn, and it seems can’t do anything right. She lives under a cloud. She sees emptiness and feels only her nothingness.

Then one day the Shadowcat comes. It teaches her to dream again; to dance and be happy once more.

This is a thought-provoking, in-your-face book. Its strong underlying messages demand attention be paid to how older children can often feel diminished when a new sibling joins the family. Furthermore, how parents can become swallowed up in the demands, care and attention of a new baby, that they can lose sight of their other children’s needs.

The illustrations by Anne Ryan in acrylic paint ideally portray the dark emotions of the child, especially the facial expressions. I can sense her sadness and isolation from life. She seems to be saying, regardless of the surroundings full of life and colour, all I can see is shadows. Her arm around the Shadowcat and her stillness, tells of her loneliness and her sense of obscurity.

I loved the way this story was told; simply and with a determination through the illustrations, to fill in more than the words could express.

Title: Shadowcat
Author: Julia Louise
Illustrator: Anne Ryan
Publisher: Five Mile Press, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: August 2015
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760067090
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book