This beautiful book, Clancy and Millie and the Very Fine House, written by Libby Gleeson and illustrated by Freya Blackwood*, is getting a workout here at the moment. It's a delight - thoughtful text and sensitive, brilliantly executed illustrations, with a poignant and extremely relevant theme; how does a child cope with moving to a new house in a new location?
I have to agree with the main character, Clancy - I would also prefer to stay in the pretty cosy cottage rather than the inner city townhouse with large cavernous rooms that his family have moved to. But that's not the point. As Clancy checks out his new surroundings, clutching to his security toy, he is nervous, anxious, displaced.
Just like my little girls have been feeling! Unsettled. For Miss M, it first manifested in her early morning writing session, all over Grandma's new couch. ALL over it. Wow! Completely out of character. And then she spent a week clutching on to her security toy, crying a the drop of a hat as she tried to find her way in this new place.
Five weeks on and they are doing better now, and school starts in a week. I'm looking forward to the routine it will provide and I have no doubt that our girls will be more settled when they find new friends. In the meantime, swimming lessons have helped, as have visits with their cousins and, this last weekend, visits from out-of-town grandparents and friends. And cuddles. Lots of cuddles, talks, letters and parcels sent to old friends, phone calls...
What books have you been reading lately?
* Check out Freya's blog here. She is a very talented lady!