Sunday, May 29, 2016

On sudden hill by Linda Sarah illustrated by Benji Davies

I love the idea of imaginative play using something simple like a cardboard box.  This is what happens in the book On Sudden Hill but this book is about so much more.  Young children often experience difficulties with friendships.  Can you be 'best friends' with two or more children?  What is the best way to handle feelings of rejection or jealousy?  On Sudden Hill explores these complex emotions and presents a very satisfying resolution all in the context of a simple picture book aimed at our youngest students.  Please look for this book.  It is one to treasure.

Here is the blurb:

Birt and Etho are best friends.
They spend hours together playing on Sudden Hill.
Then one day a new boy arrives.  He wants to join them.
Can two become three?

Don't rush.  Start on the title page.  There is so much to talk about here.  Where do these boys live?  Do they look rich or poor? Does this matter? Where are they going?  How is the weather?  What might they plan to do with these boxes?  Can you see a mountain beyond the fence?  Do you think it is really called Sudden Hill?  What might the next scene after the title page show?

There are so many examples of exquisite use of language in this book. "Birt loves their two-by-two rhythm."  and "one Monday (it's cramping cold)" when Shu "finally found a big enough box and courage to ask if he can play too."

You can read an interview with the author and illustrator and see some more art from this book here.

Here are some other books I really like about using cardboard boxes for play.

After reading On Sudden Hill make sure you look for my other most favourite book about friendship - A friend like Ed. Take a look at my review of The Storm Whale also by Benji Davies.

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