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

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Review: The Curiosities

How does it feel to be different?

Award-winning children’s author Zana Fraillon has created a story that answers that question. Her personal experienced with Tourette’s syndrome and its other neurodiversities and dis-abilities, reveals an opposing view to the way others see differences.

People whose brains are wired dissimilar to others' are sensitive. They see the world with a clarity and wonder not available to those classed as normal, for they are disabled not by their impairment or their difference, but by the way they are treated by society.

Miro discovered his Curiosities slowly, as they had existed unidentified for a time. First they felt like air against his skin; whispers in the wind, shadows that sat on his shoulders. He viewed his world in a unique way.

Sounds and images created a surge within him so that he often shouted loudly and acted impulsively.

When the Curiosities became an obvious part of him, people eyed him strangely; watched for the unconventional in him. So much so, that they could see only his curiosities. Miro the person, had become invisible.

Miro felt the enchantment passed on to him by these Curiosities. He recognised it in others. His world was at times filled with brilliance that brought with it endless possibilities.

Luckily, a shift is occurring in the way a person’s value is measured. Differences are being embraced and accepted as part of our human diversity. Imagine a life with everyone the same; a life lacking the light inside those that are different. A light that illuminates because of the contrasting wiring of those specific brains.

There are cultures that view these Curiosities with reverence, acknowledging how special they are and seeing them as gifts the owners have been blessed with.

As always, Fraillon excels in her projection of special subjects. Her prose is deeply emotive, derived from an internal source; an intimacy with her subject.

Beautifully illustrated to complement the poetic language, the end has a page of descriptive information from both author and illustrator, that will generate a greater understanding of the subject, its symptoms and outcomes.

Title: The Curiosities
Author:  Zana Fraillon
Illustrator: Phil Lesnie
Publisher: Hachette, $ 26.99
Publication Date: 29 September 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780734417848
For ages: 6+
Type: Picture Book