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

Monday 22 March 2021

Review: Oswald Messweather

Some kids crave adventure and novelty, but for others, just maintaining equilibrium in the face of the ups and downs we face daily is an overwhelming challenge. 

These individuals need to dig deep into their reserves of energy just to cope with the buzz and chaos of an ordinary school day, or even an average home.

Life’s not always easy for Oswald. A tangled, messy environment triggers tangled, messy thoughts. And messes are everywhere! 

Messes confront him from the moment he gets up until he can finally close out the world at the end of the day.

Oswald’s life raft comes in the form of his crayons – counting them, arranging them provides predictability and stability. His rituals soothe his revved up mind, and provide a sense of order and control in the maelstrom – and he uses them constantly, both in preparation for the challenges of the day, and when faced with a big untidy mess.

But the cost of this is mental exhaustion.

Powell takes the reader on a journey of discovery with Oswald. One day, when faced with the exuberance and confusion of a group activity, Oswald learns that his orderly and methodical disposition has some benefits. In fact, being valued for his unique contribution leads to some lovely outcomes for him.

Every child who is different must find a way to interface with the world whilst remaining true to themselves, and this story depicts the way that suited Oswald best.

Oswald’s world is beautifully depicted by Siobhan McVey’s vibrant illustrations, which capture the thoughts and distress that Oswald faces when intersecting with the external world.

Oswald Messweather
is a picture book that will help children who are different feel less isolated, and comforted knowing that there are others with similar challenges.

For those fortunate enough to reside in SE QLD, Dimity will be introducing Oswald to the world on Saturday 10 April 2021 at The Mad Hatters Bookshop in Manly, Brisbane. Visit the Facebook Events page for details and to reserve your spot.

Title: Oswald Messweather
Author: Dimity Powell
Illustrator: Siobhan McVey
Publisher: Wombat Books, $24.99
Publication Date: 28 March 2021
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781761110184
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture Book