Sunday, December 4, 2016

SHY by Deborah Freedman

I believe in having a childlike attitude towards life, and enjoy popping into children’s bookstores to sniff out good books with the intensity of a dog sniffing the ground on its walk. Children’s books have a way of telling us much with great simplicity and it takes a gifted storyteller to deliver a story that has different layers of meaning for both children and adults.

SHY caught my attention one afternoon. Something about its size and hard cover belies its demure title – it is bigger than most books. As a book lover, I was immediately drawn to the first sentence: “Shy was happiest between the pages of a book.” It goes on to describe a giraffe who, in spite its build and bearing, liked to read about birds but never got to befriend any because it was too shy.

“But Shy had never actually heard a bird.
  None of his books could sing.”

To younger children, the books talks about getting to know someone of different ethnicity or ability.
To preteens, it can introduce the topic of having friends of the opposite sex.
For adults, we can reflect on meaningful friendships that we can open up to without fear.

Most children books have no page number and it took me just a short time to browse through the book at the store. So I will not give away the ending. But it is one that rewards opening the windows of our lives to let others in – whatever our age.

Where you can get it: Books Ahoy! at Forum Galleria (about $31), and Book Depository (about $21).