THERE'S THIS THING by Connah Brecon


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 6
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A girl with abundant red hair and a green dress tries her best to share her heart with someone else.

The universal struggle to take a chance and share intense feelings for another person can be especially daunting for a child. In fact, the language Brecon employs shows that the idea of love is difficult for many to describe. “There’s this thing I really like. I would like to like it even more. // It’s all…”—an image of a pop bottle bursting with a fountain of color appears—“/ and…”—the facing page shows the girl cuddling with a kitten. She makes several misguided attempts to contact, capture or get the attention of who or whatever “this thing” is. She sends an invitation without a proper address; she leaves a trail of crumbs for it, but a bird eats them. At this point, readers will either be intrigued or confused. The girl’s attempts at “being someone else” are particularly out of step with young children’s understanding. The use of the words “it” and “thing” is frustratingly obscure, even coy. Only on the final few pages is it revealed that she would like to make a connection with a boy, who asks to join her on a bench. In his hand is a red heart-shaped balloon that he released on an earlier page and has evidently led him to the girl.

A muddle. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 26th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-399-16185-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2014


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