We are delighted to have children’s writer Eoin McLaughlin choose our Book of the Month for March. His debut picture book The Hug was named a ‘Book of the Year’ by The Guardian and shortlisted for the CBI Book of the Year Awards. The follow-up While We Can’t Hug has been widely used around the world to help children during the Covid-19 lockdowns, including with our partner project Children Heard & Seen, a UK charity that supports children and families affected by parental imprisonment.
As a picture book writer, I’d like to suggest a picture book: ‘Last Stop on Market Street’. It’s the story of a bus journey made by a child and his grandmother, written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson.
At first, I couldn’t understand why my four-year-old kept asking me to read it to him, again and again. It’s one of those books where, on the face of it, nothing much really happens. Which is relatively unusual for a picture book. There are no singing unicorns or pandas who need the toilet, but it’s one of those stories that very quietly and subtly contains just about the whole universe. It’s prompted all kinds of interesting conversations at bedtime, from why someone might have a tattoo, to why someone might not have a home.
At a time when too many books labour over ‘diversity’, which often seems to defeat the whole point, here’s a story that just happens to be full of all kinds of different people.
And which finds beauty in the everyday, something children are often better at doing that grown ups. Which is why this book is perfect, whichever one of the two you purport to be.
Thank you Eoin for choosing this title. To see our previous Books of the Month, click here.