‘But Big still hid, whatever he did.’
Big and Little do everything together. Until one day, Big suddenly hides away inside his shell. Little tries all he can to get Big to come out, but when your best friend is feeling down, sometimes they just need a little bit of time… and a big hug!
This charming debut picture book by Roisin Swales is an adorable tale of friendship. Big is a tortoise who out of nowhere suddenly retreats into his shell. His squirrel friend – Little, tries to tempt Big out with ALL of his favourite things and of course, with a little help from his friends.
The full pages with their bright, vibrant and modern illustrations add a touch of humour to what is actually quite a sensitive story. Big hides for no apparent reason, perhaps a difficult concept for younger children to understand, but with older children this could initiate discussions about anxiety and times when they are feeling sad. Small children will however understand the emotions portrayed by the expressions on the character’s faces and through their body language. A few may argue that we never find out why Big feels so sad, but does there always need to be a reason? This makes for another very relevant talking point.
Although essentially this is a picture book about depression. don’t be put off. It is also a book that champions friendship, kindness and not giving up on someone. It is a simple story, but one with an important message. With mental health awareness fully in the the spotlight at the moment, this beautiful story can help children to focus on how we handle difficult times. Share this book with your little bookworms and I can guarantee it will bring you out of the January blues.
I’d love to hear about the picture books that always cheer you up. Let me know in the comments below.