As a child, I was a voracious reader: I literally never had my nose out of a book and I read to my children from the earliest age.
With my children being young adults now, I have friends’ children to read to and it was to a 2 and 5-year old I read Foxy and Cinders.
I never speak to children in the ‘baby’ tone that is so common and have often felt that children’s books limit their vocabulary, or limit adventures to a moral high ground: not Foxy and Cinders.
The language is clear and mature. There is plenty of scope to mimic the characters’ voices theatrically, or for able children to read and enjoy it by themselves. There is a path – an arc in the book and yet each segment is a story within its own right – so you can return and continue from there, or come back another day to ask where Foxy will be going that day.
It was also good to see themes that are not ordinarily represented in children’s books, such as the graveyard scene. Dark touches like that have a hint of the Grimm Brothers – and yet Siusaidh softens this so that visiting Grandma at the graveyard, for instance, becomes natural instead of scary or bereft or life.
There is a depth to her writing that touches on the spiritual and I appreciate that as it is so often overlooked. However, it is purity and innocence that our children teach us, so we need it included in their books.
I love the mix of animals and people and it could be a metaphor for so many things, such as equality yet I never felt ‘preached at’.
Being born in the Year of the Dragon, I love dragons, so my only criticism would be that I thought the illustration of Cinders looked rather more like a cow. However, I will happily add this delight to the books I read to children.
Actor and Performer
Do you have a website/Facebook/Instagram link for your writing (hint hint)
Although the latter does not have very much at all on it!