Katrina Lehman (text) and Sophie Beer (illustrator), Wren, Scribe Publications, July 2018, 32 pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925322118
Wren, one of four children in the family, doesn’t like noise and just wants some quiet, away from noisy trucks, cars, trains, doors, kids. But the noise levels increase when his new sister comes home and constantly wails, whatever anyone does for her. Wren decides to go permanently to Grandpa and Gram’s. In the country, all is quiet, which Wren at first loves and then he misses all the activity at home. He is welcomed back and is able to cuddle his sister for the first time. His are the magic arms which soothe her.
This is a lovely picture book about busy families and new siblings. It shows that Wren doesn’t like all the noise but allows the reader to understand how and why Wren misses the cacophony of his environment and the love of his immediate family.
Bright primary-coloured illustrations complement the rhythmic text and are humorously detailed suggesting the chaotic household with five children. They are sure to encourage lots of discussion from and with younger readers. A great debut collaboration.
Reviewed by Maureen Mann