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

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Review: Finn's Feather

Gentle and powerful, Finn's Feather is a story of grief that has become a tale of understanding, solace and love in the hands of Australian debut author Rachel Noble.

A deeply personal book for Rachel, who lost her son, Hamish, in 2012, Finn's Feather is for 'every child who needs a story of hope'.

Finn misses his brother, Hamish, who has gone to heaven. When he finds a feather — it was white, it was amazing, it was perfect — Finn is certain it is from Hamish.

While Finn is excited about the feather, he can't understand why his mother and teacher don't share his enthusiasm.

But his friend Lucas does and believes Hamish left the feather so Finn could have some fun. And that's what the pair do, building the biggest castle and sticking the feather on top, chasing and tickling each other with the feather, and remembering Finn's 'cool brother'.

Then, when the feather is whisked out of Finn's hands and into a tree, all his friends come together to help him recover it, in a poignant display of support and solidarity.

US illustrator Zoey Abbott uses double-page spreads to draw the reader into Finn's world, with soft, pastel watercolour washes and pencil enhancing the subtle beauty of his changing emotions.

There is so much warmth, wonder even, in each spread, and both words and pictures share a tender, poetic relationship that culminates in a hand-written letter, from Finn to Hamish, towards the end of the book.

Yes, Finn's Feather is a book for children and families struggling with grief. But it is also a book to help children understand empathy — and it is for those moments when the big questions come up in a child's life, as an uplifting guide for talking about death and loss. In other words, it is a book for everyone.

Title: Finn's Feather
Author: Rachel Noble
Illustrator: Zoey Abbott
Publisher: Enchanted Lion (US), $16.99
Publication Date: June 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 97181592702398
For ages: 4 — 8
Type: Picture Book