Thursday 10 March 2022

A Blue Kind of Day

A Blue Kind of Day by Rachel Tomlinson, illustrated by Tori-Jay Mordey (Puffin) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781761046384

Reviewed by Kathleen Grace

Coen is in bed. He is having a ‘sniffling, sighing, sobbing kind of day.’ His family – mother, father, and sister Junie – gather around him, trying to bring him out of his gloomy feelings. However, Coen can’t respond. He feels ‘like a lost kite: loose in the breeze, with feelings that tangled like string.’ 

Junie pounces on him, saying he doesn’t look sick. She even tries to give her brother his favourite teddy. Mum tells a joke; Dad pulls a funny face. Next the three family members snuggle close to Coen and wait.

Eventually Coen feels the warmth and love of his family and sits up. ‘His tiptoeing fingers crept out from under the blanket to grasp his dad’s hand, and the confusing feelings started to untangle.’ Finally, he’s out of his funk and looking forward to tomorrow.

The text of this picture book is well-written and poignant; the illustrations – which depict a mixed family (dark-skinned Mum and Coen, white-skinned Dad and Junie) – are beautifully rendered.

At the front of the book the reader can learn about the author (who is a psychologist) and illustrator (an indigenous Australian), while at the end of the book the author has a full-page note advising adults on how to support their child if they are experiencing symptoms of depression or emotional distress.

This is, without doubt, a book for an adult to share with a child, ideal for readers aged 4 to 9 years.

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