What must it be like to be confined to a wheelchair with no hope of ever leaving it? What if you are only 8 years old? Stephen Lightbown knows something as a wheelchair user since his teens. In this sequence of poems he explores the frustrations, the anger, the joys, the sadnesses that just such a boy would experience capturing his tone and voice. We meet Cosmo who, falling from a tree, breaks his back – and there is no going back. He shares his thoughts in verse that is direct and immediate as Cosmo faces the fact that he is paralysed; he will never walk, run or climb again. His voice is refreshingly unsentimental as he addresses the tree ‘Why did you let me fall’, he asks. He would like to tear the tree up ‘Some days I hate you’. He comments on how people now react to him, that they start to look at him in a different way. We experience his excitement when he discovers what he can do – dance, surf. We feel his real anger and frustration when he cuts off the legs of the footballers in his magazine, off his sister’s dolls – ‘If I can’t cut my own legs off/These will have to do/SNIP, SNIP, SNIP’. Interspersed with Cosmo’s thoughts we find comments from his mother, his Nana and his sister each expressing their reaction to the situation. Capturing moments are the pen and ink illustrations by Shih-Yu Lin. Ranging from vignettes on the edge of a page to the occasional full page spread these spare, soft-focus images provide a perfect foil for the words. Deceptively simple, these poems open a door to a situation that few can imagine, while giving a real voice to children (or even adults) who, like Cosmo, face a future from a wheelchair.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Andrea Reece http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Andrea Reece2023-11-17 20:47:342023-11-17 20:48:48And I climbed and I climbed
Illustrator: Shih-Yu Lin