Values: Positivity, Hope, Community, Love.
Kate Milner sensitively tackles the issue of poverty in this book, which is unlike any other picture book I have come across. I personally would share this book with carefully-chosen groups or classes rather than a whole-school assembly. In the story, the little girl lives with her mum and they don't have much money. This means they are creative with how to have fun for free - for example, they make a cat from Mum's dressing gown, try clothes on in the charity shop to have a fashion show, and chase pigeons. They also go to the foodbank to get some food to eat. The girl and her mother play a game called 'Maybe one day...' where they imagine things they would like to do when they have some more money. The book evokes a strong sense of positivity and hope.
This is a very powerful book to have discussions about poverty within the UK and what this might look like. I have looked at this book with Year 3 and 4 children (in groups) from a middle-class school and we have had a discussion around what life must be like for children who don't have the same options they do at the weekend. The children were keen to ask questions about what foodbanks were, and were mature in their thoughts of how communities can pull together to help those that need it. They also commented on the little girl's hopes for the future and we talked about how hope can be different for each person. The other Value that shines through in this book is love. The relationship between the mother and child is very strong and the mother often sacrifices food and other things for her child. The children really understood why the mother might do this. The love between the community and the families in need also was very apparent.
This is not a book that is designed to be filled with action, drama or humour as in some of the other picture books I have reviewed. Yet it is one that carefully tackles a very real issue. I highly recommend every school has a copy in their Values/PSHCE toolkit.
Find your own copy here.
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