The Safe Return

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

Over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, life has yet to return to what it once was. It’s hard to even say if we will ever find ourselves living the way we used to do after such an enormous global tragedy. Happily, authors are helping children and adults alike navigate the complex feelings that come from the isolation felt during COVID-19 through books.

One such story is The Safe Return: Kids Wear Masks for a Safe Return to Fun by Ashley Wheelock and Arwen Evans. This bifurcated story can be read one way, where everyone is wearing face masks, or the opposite way, where face masks are nowhere to be seen. In both instances, readers follow a girl and her father as they collect friends from the neighborhood for a balance bike adventure using the same illustrations and words. However, the inclusion or exclusion of face masks gives each approach a distinctly separate feel. Please see my full review here.

This beautifully illustrated story is written in a poetic fashion, using short, intentional phrases to convey more than an entire page of text in some cases. Using this style means the story is accessible to a wide range of readers, inviting more depth of understanding for older readers while using familiar words for younger ones. Lovely to read aloud and equally stunning to see, this is a delightful addition to library collections for young children, especially as we begin to emerge from the cocoon we’ve been in for so long.

I hope you get a chance to read it!

Do you know another great book I should feature in my blog? Message me here and let me know!

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