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[Saturday Reads] An Illustrated Mantra To The Lost Child In Us

... in Charlie Mackesy's "The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse."

SaturdayReads

Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

So this book is not really a graphic novel/comic, but it is an illustrated story of sorts, or as my title indicated – an illustrated mantra for whoever needs one right about now.


The Boy The Mole The Fox And The Horse (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written and Illustrated by Charlie Mackesy
Published by Harper One (2019)
ISBN: 0062976583 (ISBN13: 9780062976581). Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

This book has been compared to The Little Prince, Winnie the Pooh, The Giving Tree – yet despite the message conveyed that has been told so many times before – there is an earnestness, and maybe a timeliness, to it that is comforting, that the reader feels like she is hugged close (or eating a cake, maybe?) while being awash with Mackesy’s words and scribbles.

There is a driftlessness to the narrative that is neither here nor there – yet it is fine, too. I follow where Mackesy leads because I know he will bring me someplace warm, quiet, and hopeful.

I imagine that this would be a popular gift to fresh graduates or those who are struggling to understand how the world works or their place in it – which pretty much sums up everyone on the planet.

Saying that it is an “inspirational” book does not seem to do it justice, although it does that and more. It is a book that attempts to reach out to the helpless, the dangerous, the beautiful, the lost, the fleeting and inevitably gone. Yet, it is in the grasping blindly that one touches another, perhaps by accident, or by chance – but we remain grateful for it. A gem of a book.


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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