The Important Things reviews
Review by Dee White on Kids’ Book Capers http://content.boomerangbooks.com.au/kids-book-capers-blog/tag/peter-carnavas, June 2010
The Important Things tells the story of Christopher, a little boy trying to come to terms with the absence of his father. He does this by cherishing the things that remind him of his dad – the memories. One of the things I liked about this book is that it showed how divergent an adult and a child’s thinking can be in these situations. It’s a story about a child and a Mum finding their way back to each other through understanding. The Important Things is a book that can be shared between a parent and a child on many levels. Each word has been carefully chosen and every colourful illustration speaks another thousand words. I can see The Important Things becoming an important book for many children. It is the work of writer, illustrator and teacher, Peter Carnavas. His first book Jessica’s Box has been shortlisted for three awards. It was closely followed by Sarah’s Heavy Heart which has already been translated into six other languages.
Reviewed by Jackie Hosking in Pass it On, May 2010
Get your tissues and your hankies ready this book is a real tear jerker. Typical of his previous books, Jessica’s Box and Sarah’s Heavy Heart, Peter tackles the big issues in a beautifully sensitive way. The Important Things is no different. Here is a story about a missing father (we don’t know why he’s missing just that he is missed) and the different ways in which the mother and son try to deal with their grief. One day they decide it’s time to pack up the father’s belongings and take them to the opp shop. Mysteriously items keep reappearing. Eventually we understand that Christopher is the culprit and when his mother asks why (you’ll need those tissues here), he answers…
I was trying to remember
And the mother then admits that she, on the other hand, was trying to forget. Though this is a sad story with lots of emotion, a happy compromise is reached allowing both mother and son to move on in a positive fashion. Peter’s illustrations, like his stories are minimalist, with lots of white space, allowing for the ‘important things’ to not get lost in too much busyness. The Important Things is an important book that will help to heal a broken heart.