We’re All in This Together

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Skye Hughes (text) and Alice Coates (illustrator), We’re All in This Together, Dean Publishing, September 2020, 34pp., RRP $21.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781925452266

Appropriately written and illustrated by two Melbourne residents, this is a book about six friends who are in COVID-19 lockdown and can’t go to school. We meet each of the friends and get a glimpse of how they and their families are affected by the lockdown. Wearing of masks, shopping and exercise excursions, Zoom schooling, missing distant relatives and boredom are some of the experiences of the children. These will be familiar to readers who have shared this experience and could open up discussion, writing or art projects with children reading the book. A couple of pages have been left blank at the end of the book with an invitation to write thoughts and feelings.

The illustrations are rather quirky and purposely off kilter. They are painted in a happy colour palette and depict all the diversity of the six children and their families: Kiana, Amin, Roshan, Casey, Ming and Tyler. The children look to be upper primary, and their teacher, Mrs Wilkins, keeps in touch several times a day.

The author has teaching and parenting resources available from her web page, for a modest cost.

Reviewed by Marita Thomson

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