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

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Review: Grey

We all have days when our colour is gone and we feel a little grey.

This book acknowledges that life is not always full of sunshine, and that we are actually still loveable even when we are not our shiny, happy, best selves.

‘I don’t feel sunshine yellow

or balloon orange bright

or treetop green.

Not new idea white

or night sky black.

I am grey today.
I just am.
I am grey.’

From this lyrical, beautiful start we follow a child who is met with kindness and understanding through their journey of just feeling meh, which leads to acceptance. A simple concept perhaps, but one that many of us will resonate with in our daily lives.

Particularly appealing in this book is the combination of poetry and prose, alongside incredible pictures by a former Children’s Laureate. Together, these create an almost poetic and wholly accessible narrative which reaches deeply inside, to touch both head and heart.

This book is beautifully crafted, with cut outs that offer colour and a sense of ‘gloss’ on one page, with a different grey representation of the same or altered scenario, on another. The cut outs allow for a gorgeous humour and light within what could potentially be a darker story.

In fact, for a book titled Grey, this story is full of welcome and warm, surprising humour and upliftment. A testament to both the author and illustrator, it imbues a potentially heavy subject with life and hope.  

My sense is that this book will be a gift for all occasions and all ages – literally and figuratively. Young children today, perhaps more than ever, need reassurance and reminding that they are okay in this world, just as they are. And that they will be loved unconditionally.
This book offers all that, and more. It is wonderful.

Title: Grey
Author: Laura Dockrill
Illustrator: Lauren Child
Publisher: Walker Books, $27.99
Publication Date: 1 May 2024
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781406389562
For Ages: 3 +
Type: Picture Book