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Guest Reviewer: Dimity Powell reviews Without Me

Guest Reviewer: Dimity Powell reviews Without Me

WITHOUT ME Kayleen West
Remember those days in your childhood when you felt the undeniable urge to shed the shackles of family constraint and run away? I do. I spent long hours planning my departure, organising provisions, and packing essentials, which were every doll and stuffed animal I owned.

I can't remember the various motivations for my wanting to leave and of course most attempts failed, stalled inexplicably under the apricot tree en-route to 'not sure where'.

Many kids experience this kind of emotional quandary as they navigate their way through difficult life situations; bewildering social expectations and consolidation of their own unique identities. In short, it's part of growing up.

Kayleen West's picture book, Without Me, captures this crossroad period in a small boy's life as he plans to leave his family believing they no longer love him. He packs his bags along with his resolve and then just as he sets off, begins to revaluate his situation.

West creates an accumulative checklist for our would-be-runaway using the passing of minutes, a nice numerical inclusion for young readers whilst establishing a sense of order and reason. Our nameless protagonist soon realises that every member of his family relies on him and values him at some level, whether for food, comfort, play, or simply companionship. After just ten minutes, his desire to leave wanes and he discovers that his true worth lies within being part of his family with them, not away from them.

Love and belonging often evolve from a sense of need and acceptance but this equation is not always apparent to little people or easy for them to comprehend. West's sharply coloured illustrations and light-hearted narrative helps them make the connection whilst delivering a far reaching reminder that it is not always kids who want to run away from the realities of the world.

Suitable for 4 – 7 year olds.

Wombat Books 2013

Reviewed by Dimity Powell

For this and more reviews by Dimity Powell visit: http://dimswritestuff.blogspot.com.au/ 

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Comments 4

 
Guest - Robert Vescio on Thursday, 28 August 2014 14:38

Wonderful review, Dimity. Great book, too!

Wonderful review, Dimity. Great book, too!
Guest - Dimity Powell on Thursday, 28 August 2014 20:29

Thanks Robert. Nice message for us all too. :-)

Thanks Robert. Nice message for us all too. :-)
Guest - Kayleen West on Monday, 20 October 2014 04:09

Thank you for such a lovely review of my book Dimity! ;)

Thank you for such a lovely review of my book Dimity! ;)
Jennifer Gress on Monday, 20 October 2014 09:41

Hi Kayleen, pleasure. Was good to revisit this book too. Reminded me of my childhood.;)

Hi Kayleen, pleasure. Was good to revisit this book too. Reminded me of my childhood.;)