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Our Tower Reader Reviews

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Our Tower

A poetic and beautifully illustrated story of the magic of nature and where we find beauty in our lives.

Beautifully rich in both language and illustrations, Our Tower is a book for adults and children to share and to keep returning to again and again. There is much to explore and talk about in the magical images by Richard Johnson which accompany Joseph Coelho’s lyrical text.
The book accompanies three children on a journey from a grey, urban landscape to a wondrous forest inhabited by an ancient tree spirit. Coelho’s writing becomes increasingly poetic as the children wander deeper into the natural landscape and the setting becomes more wondrous. However, the true beauty of the story emerges when the children return to their homes in the tower blocks where magic of their own lives is revealed in the bonds of family and friendship that hold them together and the elements of nature that creep and hide amongst the urban landscape but which should be a part of everyone’s lives.
Younger children will love exploring the images and finding the hidden pictures whilst the beautiful and thought-provoking story will give adults and children sharing the book plenty to discuss and think about. The illustrations show people from many different backgrounds, of all ages and shapes and sizes and physical abilities ensuring that, as you pore over the pictures together, young readers will recognise themselves and their families in the book.

Alison D'Urso

We really like Our Tower because lots of books make you wish you lived somewhere else, but this book is about seeing the special in where you already are.

This book is really beautiful. It started out as a book where you think the message is about how much better it is in the countryside and that tower blocks are bad, but then the children meet someone who turns that idea upside down. We really like it because lots of books make you wish you lived somewhere else, but this book is about seeing the special in where you already are, and how you could make it more special. It’s a picture book so probably aimed at younger children, but it was really restful, and we liked looking for all the hidden details in the pictures, and the way the light and colours reflect the story. Most kids do live in cities and in tower blocks so it’s good to make them feel connected with nature too. There’s lots of different people in the pictures too, with old people and young people, people from different places and people on walkers and in wheelchairs all helping each other and having fun together. The illustrations have a dreamy look to them, and the words flow like a poem so this would be a really good bedtime book.

Ollie and Toby Hopwood

This book is stunning!

This book is stunning! I was excited to read this book to my KS1 class, the front cover drew us in straight away but we could not have imagined just how enthralling the story and illustrations were going to be! We related straight away to the characters of the tower block and could see ourselves in them, trapped in the dreary, grey city. Then the hope of nature, life and growth gripped us as the colour began to trickle back into the pages. The magical adventure took us on a journey of hope to a place that we all dream of. We spent a lot of time dissecting and discussing the illustrations of the woods, the use of shape and colour shades had us hooked. Then the story took a full 360 turn, quite literally, and showed us how we all need to look closer within ourselves and our community to find what we are truly searching for, to find the heart and soul of our little worlds inside the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We learnt that beauty and love is within all of us and is stronger if we work together to make our lives the best that they can be, wherever our little piece of life is on this earth!

Ursula Curtis