Educate To Life - Montessori Notes


Who is Shadow?
The author doesn't tell us.
A little girl and her mother have just moved into a new house: there are hidden places, fears and shadows, and an unnatural silence between the two.
Who is the girl afraid of? Who is the mother afraid of?
Shadow will go back to 'the forest' eventually, that's the place were the catharsis takes place before mum and daughter can start enjoying their new home.

Stories with an open reading are my favourite, as they are food for thought and can be read multiple times acquiring new meanings. Parents and children of different ages will see different things in Shadow: fear of the dark, fear of change, anxiety, depression, loss, grief, solitude.
I think that it doesn't really matter why the mother 'doesn't see' and wanders around the house with a lost look. And it doesn't really matter why the girl hides under the bed. Those situations will be familiar to us somehow, because we all have our invisible emotional baggage, we are all dealing with some shadows.

Beautifully written by British writer Lucy Cristopher (who is also by the way the course director of the MA in Writing for Young People) Shadow is sensibly brought to life by Russian illustrator Anastasia Suvorova

The illustrations are exquisite and work around the words, leaving space for the reader's own investigations.
This is a beautiful, charming story which is a true pleasure to read with children. Unconventional yet comforting and reassuring enough to work at bedtime, when it's easier for little ones to open up and explore their feelings. In my family, this typically happens at bedtime, when all is quiet and still, and reading is a time to be close and present.

Shadow is out now in good bookshops in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia thanks to Lantana Publishing.
Or you can buy your copy online here.
Shadow [7th November 2019]
Written by Lucy Cristopher
Illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova
Reading age: 4+
Themes: Dealing with emotions, Fear

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