Review by Kim Higginson, Information Management Specialist, MHF
Adam Wallace (2018). Exisle Publishing, AUS
This book is an absolute gem! It is a wonderfully illustrated kids’ book that tells the story of what it is like to be introverted and quiet in a loud, frantic world. It is about feeling lonely, but also building confidence to initiate friendships.
The story is told through the eyes of Jerry, who is quiet and shy. My son is one of the quiet kids in his class and this story is a beautiful representation of what he sometimes feels.
Through the story we learn it’s not just the loud kids who have something to contribute, and introspective traits are a character strength, especially the ability to empathise with others. I think this sentence nicely sums up the dilemma some quiet kids encounter where they want to belong but too much attention makes them uncomfortable – “Jerry hated feeling invisible, but he didn’t want to stand out either.”
Jerry’s classmate Molly holds out a hand of friendship and through her actions she role models the traits a good friend would possess – “She would ask what he thought, she would share things with him, when she bumped into him, she would say, ‘Sorry Jerry that was totally my fault.’ She made him feel visible.”
We are shown how acts of kindness can have a real flow-on effect. Through Molly’s kind actions, Jerry finds the confidence to befriend other kids who spend time alone. The book helps reinforce to kids that there is room for everyone to be themselves and that kindness is a powerful and positive trait to have.