I borrowed this book hoping to be able to use it for a Mondayitis, it certainly has possibilities with a greenhouse or the missing pane of glass from the greenhouse or I could be really silly and use the hole from the missing pane of glass, all of these would make great opportunities for Mondayitis.
I’m not, though, I think it’s a wonderful book and here’s why:
The parenting is done by one person, the father. There are increasing numbers of books with sole parents but so few of them have just a dad. Even when I was young there was the occasional book with a sole parent and the general rule was that the parent was the mum, I’ll just cite Carbonel for example. Also, the dad works from home so he works hard but they don’t have to worry about babysitters or being latch key kids.
This is all about change and how children cope with it. The family have recently moved into a new house and they’re adding a new room so the two children don’t have to share. There are so few books where the male and female children have to share a bedroom and this is one of those few. They are fairly young children and the issue barely explored as the focus is on the building of the new room.
The children make friends with the builders, not immediately as each child is different. Cassie is first as she is more outgoing but Ben gets there eventually. Their friendship is close enough that when they see Ben’s drawings their interest and their buying one picture gives Ben much encouragement so he starts drawing in the playground leading to him becoming very popular as everyone wants a portrait of themselves.
Leading me nicely to my next point. Ben is trying to fit in with his classmates but he has a problem as they all seem to be interested in playing football and he has my skills when it comes to kicking a ball i.e. fairly non-existent. This causes him to be left out when they’re choosing sides, he has trouble dealing with this and his dad being too busy to notice a problem doesn’t help. It’s only when the builder notices his drawing skills and buys one that he gets the courage to stop being worried by not being chosen for a team and starts drawing in the playground that things change and football becomes a non-issue.
So, all of this leads me to recommend it as a great book to read with your young child. I’d say it’s aimed at lower primary aged children but it would be a good book for your slightly older child to read to a younger sibling and learn some lessons.