S. C. Manchild (text) and Sam Caldwell (illustrator), Sneaky Shadows, Berbay Publishing, July 2020, 36 pp., RRP $25.99 (hbk) ISBN 9780648529163
Sneaky Shadows is a modern take on the mystery of shadow puppets and hand shadows. This is the very funny and bold first book by author S.C. Manchild who writes under this pen name, so the governing board of his international company does not discover his identity and his true passion for writing funny picture books.
Whose shadow is it?
Did you guess a dinosaur?
It’s much scarier than that.
This poor kangaroo is panicking because she is meant to be babysitting four young penguins while their parents are out at a Christmas party.
But they’re out of control…
Using a witty, comic voice and Sam Caldwell’s bold and extremely creative illustrations this picture book is sure to have wide appeal for young readers pre-school and upwards. The shadows and their revealed explanations get more absurd with each page and my children found each bizarre scenario more exciting than the last. They loved to keep guessing and using their imagination even after multiple reads.
Sneaky Shadows is a cheeky and uniquely creative picture book with plenty of repetitive, read aloud text to engage reluctant readers.
This title certainly inspired a renewed love of shadow casting in our house and was a perfect bedtime choice for children of multiple ages to enjoy together with their parents.
Reviewed by Lisa Mercer