Abigail is not having a good day at school. She doesn’t want to join in with writing, she feels restless and wants to scribble or fiddle with other children’s hair. After being rude to the teacher she is sent to the calming down room in disgrace. The next lesson is music. Abigail arrives late to find everyone has already chosen instruments and seems really good at playing them. Abigail can’t cope and starts screaming, very loudly. Expecting to be sent away in disgrace again Abigail is surprised when her teacher reacts positively and helps her find a rewarding role within the music class. With this everything changes for Abigail, she finds a focus for her energy, success, a purpose for writing and friendships too.
The feelings of a child presenting challenging behaviour are sensitively explored in this simple story about the frustration of not fitting in or being understood. Towards the end of the story Abigail sets out her feelings plainly in the song she writes – she just wants to be herself and above all to be understood. The impact a sympathetic teacher can have by intervening at just the right time and in the right way is celebrated. Showing the music teacher in a wheelchair is a thoughtful touch.
The anthropomorphic illustrations show Abigail and her classmates as a set of young animals and their expressions, especially those of the main character, Abigail, would be easy for young children to read as she switches from boredom, mischief, misery, worry to finally pride and happiness.
Another inclusive picturebook from the creator of Talking is not my Thing.