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Every young child will understand Oscar’s irritation with those constant adult questions, and his decision to stomp out: ‘Where are you going?’, ‘Nowhere’. When he discovers Nowhere at the bottom of his garden, at first this adult free zone seems like paradise – no-one to ask, ‘Where’s your coat?’ or ‘Should you be playing with that?’, but as time goes by Oscar realises that there are some questions he misses, ‘Would you like a cuddle?’, ‘What about a story?’. Like Sendak’s Max, Oscar turns to find his way home from the wild world of his imagination back to his loving family. Jeanne Willis is one of our cleverest and most skilful picture book authors and this is a typically perceptive and multi-layered story. Anastasia Suvorova’s illustrations and die-cut pages add a delicate air of magic, while Oscar, vivid in his oversized red jumper, always holds the eye. A lovely book for family sharing.
In our old house, Ma told me there was nothing to be scared of. No monsters hiding behind doors, or in wardrobes, or under beds. She said there were no dark places at all. But in the new house, under my new bed, that's where I found Shadow.
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