Who would you take with you if you ran away from home? It’s a question many children ask themselves at least once – and something I suspect their parents occasionally ponder too!
The picture book Without Me? asks the question in a way that young children instantly identify with. It’s a light-hearted story about a boy who decides to run away. Upset, he feels no one loves him or wants him. He packs his bags and prepares to go.
Then he stops to think. About his pets, his siblings, his parents. He worries about them and wonders how they’ll cope without him. Should he take them with him? Or is it better simply to stay home? By reflecting on leaving everyone behind, he works out where he truly belongs.
This book isn’t just about understanding the importance of family. It’s about thinking before you act, and seeing things from another person’s point of view.
Published by Wombat Books, the story features flowing, rhythmic writing that kids will love to repeat over and over again. It can be read aloud to pre-schoolers and infants-school students, but will also suit emerging readers beginning to tackle books on their own.
It is written and illustrated by Kayleen West, who also writes Christian content for magazines and blogs. Her illustrations have won many awards and hang in private and corporate collections throughout the world.
You can read more about Kayleen and her engaging picture book at http://kayleenwest.com.au.