Thursday 3 December 2020

The Great Realisation

The Great Realisation – by Tomos Roberts and Nomoco (HarperCollins Children’s Books) Picture Book RRP $24.99 ISBN: 9781460759806

Reviewed by Jeffery E Doherty 

The Great Realisation is the picture book version of Tomos Roberts’ poem, written in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. Roberts, a freelance filmmaker wanted to write something with a hopeful message for his younger brother and sister. The poem was performed online by Roberts and has been viewed over 60 million times and has been translated into over twenty languages. It is a beautifully written poem with an uplifting, message albeit with a slightly unrealistic outcome. The illustrations by Nomoco are colourfully simplistic and suit the text.

The language of the text is clever, sophisticated and utilises some complex language and concepts that would be lost on many children. For example, “It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty. Back before we understood why hindsight’s 2020.” I am a firm believer that authors should not write down to children. However, even though The Great Realisation is a wonderful poem, I am not so sure that the picture book audience it the correct market for this work. It almost seems like HarperCollins saw the viewer numbers of the poem and thought, “This will make us some money.”

This is a special poem with a great message. As a picture book, I believe it would be better suited to older readers, upper primary aged children or even adults

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