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

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Review: Slowly! Slowly!

Bongani wants to go to school, but his father says he is too young and must stay home to help protect the crops.

This makes Bongani sad... until Grandfather tells him there's fun to be had catching monkeys. 

But monkeys are not so easy to catch, and Bongani must learn to be patient if he wants to succeed. 

Slowly, slowly Bongani does catch a monkey, but it doesn’t make him feel as happy as he thought it would, and the prize comes with a big decision to make. 

There are so many beautifully camouflaged themes in this story, and I think everyone will take away something slightly different, which is an amazing gift for a picture book to give.

For me, I loved that Bongani learned to respect the monkeys and their way of life. It shines a light on cultural diversity, it’s powerful and the idea of accepting and respecting the ways of others is so important for kids to hear.

Patience, too, is another strong theme in the story — learning to go slowly and think about your actions if you want to reach a particular goal. 

But the theme that spoke to me the most was learning to live in the moment and finding happiness in the things you already have. At first, Bongani doesn’t want to stay at home, but in the end he discovers wonder and excitement just being with his father and grandfather. 

We so often forget to enjoy the things we have, and Slowly! Slowly! is the gentle reminder we all need to stop and be thankful for everything around us. 

T. M. Clark is a very talented writer, not only for weaving in so many beautiful messages into the narrative, but for skilfully hiding them so the lessons are invisible. And with beautiful alliteration and repetition throughout, Slowly! Slowly! is perfect for reading to groups and keeping children engaged. It would be a fabulous book for classrooms to explore together and for parents to share and discuss with their kids.

With divine illustrations by Helene Magisson, the pictures are as visually captivating as the text is rich and engaging. Colourful, fun and filled with details to explore, the illustrations bring the story to life, while also telling their own secret tales for kids to discover as they explore the book. 

A powerful (and fun) story with stunning illustrations, Slowly! Slowly! is a gorgeous picture book for kids aged three and up!

Title: Slowly! Slowly!
Author: T. M. Clark
Illustrator: Helene Magisson
Publisher: Wombat Books, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 November 2017
Format: 9781925563221
ISBN: Hard cover
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book