Monday, 30 April 2012

Picture Book review : Sparkle's Song - Samantha Hale

Having just reviewed The Goblin and The Girl here and now moving on to another book - Sparkle's Song - from the same publishers, I've come to the concluson that Maverick Books like to focus on charming children's picture books that have a more poignant, serious side to them. Although many young readers will just skim over the more emotional subtext, anyone who has been touched by the issues evoked will really relate to the characters in the story and find them reassuring and supportive.

While The Goblin and The Girl hinted at self esteem and body image issues, Sparkle's Song deals with loss and grief. When her parents are killed in an accident, Sparkle is sent to live with her Aunt Mildred in the middle of nowhere. Her aunt doesn't like music and Sparkle’s beloved radio is banned from the house. One day whilst playing outside, Sparkle hears beautiful music coming from the forest. She goes in search of it but
soon finds herself lost amongst the trees. She meets a songbird and a group of talking instruments, then learns the sad reason why her aunt has banned music, so she returns home and persuades her Aunt to play the piano with her.

The book subtly investigates grief, coming to terms with the death of a loved one and the healing power of music. But anyone who has not been affected by these issues will just read it as a magical fairy story without the deeper subtext. The beautiful illustrations by Mariana Ruiz Johnson which accompany the text add to this fairytalesque quality and make it an enchanting read for children of all ages to enjoy.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £11.99

Disclosure  : We received a free review copy of the book.

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