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Shadow

By (author) Lucy Christopher
Illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova
Genres: Picture books
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Lantana Publishing, London, United Kingdom
Published: 17th Oct 2019
Dimensions: w 228mm h 242mm d 9mm
Weight: 385g
ISBN-10: 1911373838
ISBN-13: 9781911373834
Barcode No: 9781911373834
Synopsis
In our old house, Ma told me there was nothing to be scared of. No monsters hiding behind doors, or in wardrobes, or under beds. She said there were no dark places at all. But in the new house, under my new bed, that's where I found Shadow.

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"A girl moves into a dusty old house where she encounters Shadow--a dark, shape-shifting figure. As the two play, the girl notices that her mother cannot see Shadow: 'Sometimes Ma couldn't see for days.' After following the being into the woods and becoming lost, the girl finds 'the smallest crack of light, ' which leads her to her mother, who is searching for her. The two stand together with their silhouettes cast across the snowy ground--their dual shadows present for the first time--then make their way home, which no longer seems looming and unfamiliar. Suvorova's moody, gray-washed color palette turns from gloomy to full of warmth, and Christopher writes about the trials of liminal states with a light touch and an adept use of familiar metaphors. A well-executed work about the transformative nature of togetherness."--Publishers Weekly; "A child finds a new playmate, but troubles hang like a cloud over the house. After a move, the narrator discovers Shadow, a spectral boy, under the bed. They spend days together, although the narrator's perpetually distracted mother does not perceive Shadow even as his shape changes. Eventually, the two leave and wander into the woods, where Shadow goes off, leaving the child alone in a visually arresting spread that isolates the muffler-clad child on a nearly all-black page. After 'a while, a very long while, ' the child reunites with Ma when they recognize each others shadows. The white-presenting pair play and invite diverse new friends over for tea, including a cat that could be Shadow, who is not unwelcome. The digital artwork strategically uses grayscale with red and navy accents. The tale is definitely uncanny, featuring a doppelganger ('In the dark, Shadow and me were the same'), and the characters' washed-out eyes have an eerie look. Rest assured, there is a happy ending, with the mother present for multiple pages after the woods. Dappled edges and scratched textures embellish the dreamlike atmosphere. Whether seen as a metaphor for fear, grief, depression, or something else, this story professes that denial is not the way to deal with one's troubles; it is better to communicate and be together. Sensitively shines a metaphorical light onto scary but nonetheless real emotions."--Kirkus Reviews