. . . as we join the tour celebrating its release!
Here's a gorgeous new picture book that's certain to raise your happiness meter and may even change how you experience the world. Silver Linings introduces best friends Pip and Parker and explores how they overcome the various challenges the very young can encounter in one day. Whether you have a tendency to catastrophise or are inclined to look on the bright side, Silver Linings will have you convinced that your glass is half-full.
There are so many reasons to love this book but here are our top five:
1. It shows how to turn a negative into a positive
As the smallest setback can be an enormous disappointment for a child, it's fantastic to have a story that encourages them to see difficulties in a different light.
2. It teaches valuable life skills
By demonstrating how readers can avoid becoming derailed by the unexpected, it helps them develop coping skills and build resilience that will benefit them even as adults.
3. It's so gentle and cosy
A content feeling radiates from every page and the reader is comforted along with the characters.
4. It celebrates friendship
Pip and Parker have a wonderful relationship which demonstrates the importance of having and being a supportive friend. One of my favourite lines is: "You can tell they are best friends because sometimes they don't even need to speak." It's brilliant how this conveys so much with so few words. Whenever Pip is sad, Parker finds a way to cheer her up, but I love how their dynamic changes as the story progresses and how it is Pip who comforts Parker at the end. I also love the endpapers at the back and how Pip stops Parker crying over spilled milk by sailing a paper boat in the milk.
5. It's just so beautiful
The illustrations are stunning. Fiona Woodcock's (deceptively) simple style captures the essence of childhood and all its complexities. More on those illustrations . . . They are just amazing. Fiona uses the white of the page effectively while still including adorable and attractive details that enrich the story and its message. You will genuinely feel your heart expand as you look at each illustration. One of the most striking scenes features Parker and Pip jumping in puddles. This is a wordless spread and indeed no words are needed. From the adorable birds joining the fun, to the palpable joy on Pip and Parker's faces, and the soft raindrops descending from the sky, this evokes such a strong sense of satisfaction and bliss. I adore the treehouse nestled between boughs of cherry blossoms. The cloud animals and the floating kites elicit the same sense of wonder and delight I would have felt when observing these in real life as a child.
How the book is designed is also really clever, interesting and attractive. You can see Pip and Parker racing through the endpapers to jump on a seesaw that stretches across the title pages. This is a genius touch! And underneath its dust jacket, the cover is adorned with bright sailboats. I love the sailboat motif and how it represents how both Pip and Parker are the wind in each other's sails.
Going behind the scenes of a book's creation always fascinates me and I am thrilled to be able to share some early sketches for this book, thanks so much to Fiona Woodcock who kindly sent them on. Here they are along with some of the finished artwork so you can see how they turned out . . .
My youngest has a friend called Parker and was excited to see a character with the same name, while my eldest has a lot in common with Pip. The eldest's favourite type of picture book is one with, as she says, 'a problem to solve' so she was delighted to find a problem on almost every page. All three of us have been enjoying it so much since it arrived. We have even been adopting our own Parkerisms, which came in handy on a recent holiday in Donegal when it rained constantly (and one silver lining was that we had more time to explore books like this one).
Like the refreshing raindrops that fall on Pip and Parker, reading Silver Linings is a gloriously uplifting experience. An essential book for anyone who ever needs a little cheering up, including grown-ups.
We're honoured to be among such fabulous company as part of the book tour celebrating the release of Silver Linings. You can find more reviews at the below tour stops - make sure you visit them all to learn more about this stunning book.
Silver Linings was published by HarperCollins in April 2023 and is available everywhere books are sold. Thanks so much to the publisher for our advance copy - all opinions expressed are our own.