Every day, wearing his best smile, the sun shines down on us and does his best to make us happy. Then, when the time is right, he hands over to the Moon. But what does the Sun do once he’s finished painting beautiful sunset colours everywhere? Where does he go when he dips below the horizon?
This engaging picture book invites us to step behind the scenes and visit the Sun at home, where we find him eating a solitary TV dinner, doing a jigsaw puzzle and practising his smile so that it will be ‘extra-specially bright the next day.’ Around his mirror are postcards with jolly messages. ‘Be Awesome,’ reads one, and ‘Keep Shining,’ says the next. Well, that’s easy for the Sun.
And that’s when we notice a pile of self-help books – including ‘How to Make Friends’ and ‘The Art of Happiness’ – and realise how lonely and difficult Sun’s life must be. If only someone would smile back at him, or thank him for his work! It doesn’t matter how many motivational messages you read – ‘Fake It Until You Make It’ only works for a while, and nobody can be positive all the time.
One day the sun decides to go home early, and the next morning he doesn’t feel like getting up. Forcing himself to do his duty, he shines so brightly that he comes tumbling out of the sky. Luckily the clouds are on hand to offer help. ‘No-one can smile all the time,’ they say. ‘People need rain just as much as sunshine. Trust us.’
So the sun does. And as the ensuing rainbow demonstrates, amazing things can happen when we stop trying to do everything alone and accept that we need a little help.
This warm and reassuring book about kindness and friendship has bags of emotional integrity and depth, and Abe’s graphic, almost poster-like artwork communicates clearly in a stylish and appealing way. Her story is well-rounded and satisfying, and will develop children’s empathy and insight, as well as their ability to talk about how they feel.