A Bed of Stars
By Jessica Love, Walker Books
For this young boy, the endless sky feels so expansive, it’s too much for him to contemplate. His dad has an idea, and the two of them head into the desert on a camping trip. They notice the detail of the world around them, and when night comes, the boy’s dad helps him see the connections between all things, and the stars turn into friends. There is so much love and understanding in this beautiful story about finding your place in the vastness of the Universe.
By Fay Evans, illustrated by Ayşe Klinge, Flying Eye Books
A girl remembers her mother’s laugh in all its glorious forms; it captures the way she lives and the way she loves. When her mother dies, it seems her laugh goes with her. But, one day, the girl laughs unexpectedly, and suddenly she hears it again. This is a poignant yet gentle book. It has a reassuring message that our loved ones live on through us. The Laugh can help open up conversations with young children about grief and loss.
I Will Swim Next Time
By Emily Joof, illustrated by Matilda Ruta, Floris Books
When the child in this story first encounters the sea, it is big and loud and scary. The experience leaves them with a lingering fear of the water. Gradually, held tight by Mama, they dip their toes, say hello to friendly fish, and read stories of watery adventures. It takes time for the child to feel ready to swim, but the book reminds us that everyone comes to things in their own time. This is an affirming story about listening to yourself and taking things at your own pace.
Reviews by Alice Ellerby
We feature a range of book reviews for adults, teens and children in each issue of JUNO, published bi-monthly.
First published in Issue 84 of JUNO. Accurate at the time this issue went to print.