#WomenReadWomen2019 Books Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes Sisterhood and Female Bonds

Feeling Overlooked And Being Apart From One’s Tribe And Finding One’s Way Back In 2018 Fiction Picturebooks

"Twig" by Aura Parker | "Out, Out Away From Here" by Rachel Woodworth and Sang Miao.

Myra here.

These two picturebooks do not outrightly show elements of sisterhood and female bonds per se. In fact, more than anything, they demonstrate a measure of singularity – yet, in the end, there is a recognition of one’s being a part of something bigger than one’s self. While it is a bit of a stretch, yes, I figured they are still worth including for our current reading theme.


Twig

Written and Illustrated by Aura Parker
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (2018, first published in 2016)
ISBN:1534424687 (ISBN13: 9781534424685). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

There is a new girl, named Heidi, who is new to bug school. However, it does not appear as if anyone notices her quiet greetings, her waves, her hellos. In fact, she was even mistaken for a hat stand:

While the entire school is busy doing a million and one things, buzzing about, all a-flurry with the many lessons they are learning, Heidi remains ignored and unnoticed by everyone.

The last straw was when Heidi was mistaken for a twig, and she is finally seen and recognized as Heidi.

As I was reading this book, I was reminded of The Invisible Boy by Ludwig Barton and Patrice Barton (see my review here):

and I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien (see my review here):

This would be a good addition to picturebooks that portray new kids in school, highlight sense of belonging and community, and being affirmed and appreciated for who one is.


Out, Out, Away From Here

Written by Rachel Woodworth Illustrated by Sang Miao
Published by Flying Eye Books (2018)
ISBN: 191117133X (ISBN13: 9781911171331). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I am a huge fan of Flying Eye Books. Hence, when I saw this title in our library, I immediately snatched it up and promptly fell in love with it. The story depicts a young girl who is going through a myriad of emotions from  “smiling-ear-to-ear-glad” to mad and sad.

And there are also days when this young girl just wants to be out, out, away from here (mood! as my teenage daughter likes to say)…

and to retreat into the confines of her imagination, where things make sense, everything is quiet, and she feels safe.

This is a great addition to the growing list of picturebooks that feature authentic emotions, and how a young girl is able to manage and regulate feelings that seem to be bigger than one’s self. The art of Sang Miao is also very reminiscent of Simona Ciraolo’s, which intrigued me. Despite the young girl’s retreating into one’s self, the ending shows this rooted connection to family members and the sweetness of returning to one’s home.


#WomenReadWomen2019: 17, 18, 19 out of 25: Rachel Woodworth while originally from Canada is now based in Tanzania while Sang Miao is from and still based in China (although currently studying in the UK), and Aura Parker is from and based in Sydney, Australia.

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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