Perfect ISBN: 9781910862469
Davies, Nicola and Fisher, Cathy
Published by Graffeg, 2016
The young lad who tells this story loves nature,and, in particular, loves the swifts who swoop and glide around his 'pointy' house. They seem quite perfect to him, and he spends time watching them in the small room at the top of the house where his new baby sister will live when she is born. How lovely it will be to be able to play with her, to 'race and chase and laugh' with her. But when the baby comes home from hospital, he realises she is too quiet, that something is wrong and she will never be able to play with him in the way that he envisaged. He is seriously unhappy about this and refuses to have anything to do with her, spending most of his time in the garden, watching his beloved swifts. When one of the fledglings falls from the nest and lies in the grass stunned, the lad checks him over and decides that perhaps he just 'needs a little help'. Taking him up to the room at the top of the house, he holds the small bird out the window and releases him to flight. Because the bird is analogous to his young sister, the lad begins to realise that perhaps she just needs some help as well, and he learns to love her imperfect as she is. This very beautiful and tender story of a sensitive boy dealing with a disabled and fragile sister is lyrical in every way - both text and pictures. The end papers with their wonderfully-formed swifts in flight are indicative of the delights to come, and the swooping and soaring birds represent the theme of the perfect as opposed to the imperfect. The pictures swirl too, and become black as the lad's mood changes and his great sadness becomes apparent. We never know exactly what is wrong with the baby, and that is one of the strengths of the story. We don't need to know; we just see in word and lovely, lovely illustrations that her brother is accepting her and will give her the love and help she needs. Quite 'perfect'.
Age: 8+