New Frontier Publishing are releasing some outstanding picture books into the market this autumn, and this one is sure to melt hearts, as bedraggled Luna searches for a new home.
The author, Stef Gemmill’s words are accompanied by wonderfully detailed illustrations in a muted, natural, colour palette created by Mel Armstrong. I believe that this is the first picture book that she has illustrated – it’s a stunningly impressive debut. In an inspired nod to her target audience there is a small hermit crab to find on every page, an activity that little children will love and that again emphasises the theme of searching for a home.It is not clear why the little cat Luna has washed up on a strange shore, only that “sounds of danger had made her leave her home.” She is tired, friendless and hungry, but gradually she finds a trusting friendship with a huddle of penguins and an unlikely partnership develops. The simple, elegant text and characterful pictures convey this poignant story perfectly for a young audience. The tale can be enjoyed at a surface level as one of developing friendship and finding a new home, and on another level this book could be used as the start of a discussion about displacement and refugees with young children.
I am most grateful to New Frontier Publishing for sending me a review copy which will be added to our school library, and is a lovely addition to our “Read for Empathy” collection.