4 out of 4 stars
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Are You Coming Back? is a children’s picture book written by David S. Watkins. It’s a short book of just over thirty pages, half of which are illustrations. The book tells the story of Cat and Dog as they are left alone at home for a short time by their human guardian. Her absence causes them some anxiety. Both fear that she might not return. The story explores how the pair cope with their feelings and invites young readers to reflect upon this.
This is a book that young children will love. Visually, it’s very appealing. The book is predominantly sky blue throughout. It’s a colour that is safe and comforting. The illustration on the front cover is similarly reassuring. It shows Cat and Dog sitting together in a relaxed way, making it clear that they’re friends.
I also appreciated the simplicity of the tale. The feelings of Cat and Dog are easy to understand; children will surely find them relatable. The full-page illustrations support the story by mirroring the sentiments and actions expressed in the text on the opposite page. This will help young minds stay focused.
One aspect of the book that left me wondering was the very first page. It’s here that the author addresses the young readers directly, affirming their feelings and informing them that it’s always okay to talk about these whenever they want. I had no issue with the content of the page. Rather, I was surprised that it came at the start of the book. For me, it would have sat more naturally at the end as a takeaway or moral of the story.
I am happy to award this book four out of four stars. It has been well produced and edited, and I found only one minor error. I recommend it to teachers, parents and guardians searching for suitable reading material for elementary school children. It could be read to kids at home or in school to stimulate a discussion, or it could be read by kids who have just moved on to independent reading.
Are You Coming Back?
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