by Corinne Fenton & Hannah Sommerville
On a yellow morning, when the sun is new and shadows long, a puppy comes to live at Beth’s house… And so begins the healing process for Beth who has recently lost her mother. The loss is not overtly discussed in the narrative, rather it is suggested in the evocative illustrations by Hannah Sommerville. When Patches the puppy enters Beth’s life he is a bumbling, tumbling ball of love, but Beth does not engage with him. When he falls victim to a snake attack, however, Hannah realises finally how much she has come to love him.
This is a story about grieving, new friends, and the healing power of love.
“Corinne Fenton and Hannah Sommerville’s Chasing Shadows is the kind and honest story of a young girl Beth, who is navigating her way through the shadows of grief after the loss of her mum… grief is deep and complex and Corinne Fenton’s lyrical words and Hannah Sommerville’s soft illustrations allow the reader to tread gently through the theme and discover its many layers…
The text and illustrations are subtly layered, and gain in complexity through multiple readings, opening a doorway into deeper discussions. Corinne Fenton approaches the topic with care but remains honest without being precious, while Hannah Sommerville’s illustrations fill out the details in basic but subtle ways…This wonderful book would be of great benefit to children coming to terms with the loss of a family member or any other times of great sadness.
— Robyn Donoghue
“Chasing Shadows is a number of things – soft, beautiful, touching, silent, open, heart-wrenching and honest. It’s a picture book worthy of discussion and multiple reads, to truly soak up the meaning, purpose and unspoken pull of its pages…
Chasing Shadows is perfect for older picture book readers, but also perfect as an education tool for teachers, librarians, parents and psychologists. The story is so wonderfully told, so soft and delicate in its handling of this complex theme, that it could be an excellent vehicle for important discussions — not just about depression, but emotions and being able to open up to our loved ones. On a simpler side, this could also be a story about the love shared between animals and humans. However you choose to read it, it will be a beautiful journey.”
— Francine SculliBack to overview