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

Thursday 7 April 2022

Review: Tomorrow Is A Brand-New Day

Having a bad day? Feeling blue? Made a mistake? Well, may I introduce you to, Tomorrow is a Brand-New Day, the follow up to All the Ways to be Smart by the super-talented, author-illustrator duo, Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys. 

Read it, immerse yourself in the illustrations and I think you’ll feel better.

Also from this stellar creative pair are the books, The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade and Under the Love Umbrella.

Tomorrow is a Brand-New Day gives a snapshot into the lows and highs that two friends face over a couple of days, from ripping pages in a book caused by pangs of jealousy, to finding ways to say sorry like picking some flowers. It’s what happens afterwards that matters.

Right from the get-go, this book radiates such uplifting vibes, from its beautiful touchy-feely cover, to its vivid, neon colour palette. The book even has rainbow end papers that remind me of ‘Roll-Ups’ spilling out of a lunch box.

Davina Bell has written a warm and loving ode to making mistakes and then making things better. Bell has crafted a lyrical, energetic text in which rhythm and rhyme make it such a pleasure to read aloud, especially to my four-year-old son. Bell helps to normalise strong universal emotions, like shame, anger, disappointment, fear, embarrassment, disgust and jealousy, reassuring readers that everyone feels them and they will pass. To experience all our emotions, makes us human.

And everyone alive can say

they’ve felt the way you do today.

Alison Colpoys’s loose scribbly style invites readers into her illustrations in which both pattern and colour are used expressively. The vintage-feel illustrations depict a range of people and family types. There’s a great balance of vignettes, single page spreads and double page spreads. The characters’ expressions and body language capture the strong emotions well. And further, there are so many details to find in the artworks like, tiny kid’s drawings adorning walls, and toys which give insights into the characters’ interests.

Tomorrow is a Brand-New Day is ideal for families to share together, especially to start a conversation about emotions and how we can build trust after making mistakes. And what’s more, the book shares ideas that I am attempting to instil in myself and kids: that we are more than our mistakes, we are not alone and that we are loved.

As a primary teacher, I will use this book to explore emotions to help kids to articulate their feelings. It could also be used as a springboard to a more in-depth look at types of emotions. A good reference for this is Atlas of the Heart by BrenĂ© Brown which explores 87 different types of emotions and provides an emotional vocabulary. And hooray, there are also teaching notes available for the book. I especially love the activity suggestion of a ‘You are loved’ poster.

And guess what?! Tomorrow is a Brand-New Day has recently been nominated as a CBCA's Notable Early Childhood Book 2022! It’s also been longlisted for the 2022 Indie Book Awards.

Tomorrow is a Brand-New Day would make an excellent gift for children 3-7 but for anyone really, who needs to hear an uplifting and healing message.

Title: Tomorrow is a Brand-New Day
Author: Davina Bell
Illustrator: Allison Colpoys
Publisher: Scribe Publications, $24.99
Publication Date: 9 November 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925849462
For ages: 3 - 7
Type: Picture Book