Willis and Ross are a formidable partnership, Willis’ seemingly effortlessly flowing text alongside Ross’s versatile and maturing graphic work make for a satisfying package. Don’t Let Go! is a book for our times, exploring the father/daughter relationship within an implied broken home context through the metaphor of the child learning to ride a bike. Ross’s exquisite pen and wash evocations of a breezy city park are full of lovely passages. The visual metaphors come thick and fast as the girl grows in confidence and her father realises the need to ‘let go’.
As picture books become increasingly sophisticated, one wonders whether this is really a book designed to tug at the heartstrings of adults. It does, though, work very well on other levels. The somewhat overwrought emotions at the conclusion of the book may not be to everyone’s taste.