A new Lauren Child picturebook is always a treat, and they have been few and far between in the last few years as the award-winning illustrator has focused on writing fiction of late. But she is back with a BANG, with a candid tale of welcoming a new sibling and the many feelings this might generate in a child. Our hero, Elmore Green has been an only child for a while, with all the advantages that comes with it. But suddenly everything changes when a new small person comes along and, it seems, steals Elmore’s thunder. What can this new small person do to make Elmore change his mind?
This is a deeply honest story of the journey to accepting a new baby, particularly in how it shows that little brothers and sisters sometimes need to “grow on” older siblings, conveying to young readers that if they are unsure about them straight away, that’s ok. This is an incredibly positive message to read to little people who are in this situation and might be facing a difficult inner-struggle of emotions. I just love how the text mirrors that with omitting the name of Elmore’s brother, until the very end, when he has finally accepted that having Albert in his life is a good thing. It is such a clever tale, again showcasing that Child’s talent really does lie equally in her writing and her artwork. The illustrations are classic Lauren Child, full of colours, collage and texture. It is also effortlessly inclusive.
A little gem, truly.
Buy The NEW Small Person here.
Source: review copy from publisher