As gorgeous as a child’s painting of their mum – ‘Roses Are Blue’

rosesareblueOMG. I have just finished reading one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read, full of heart and feeling, strength and healing.

The gorgeous ‘Roses Are Blue’ is by the fabulous Sally Murphy, and illustrated by Gabriel Evans, so it’s West Aussie through and through.

It’s written in verse, adding to the poignancy of everything that MC Amber relates. Amber is filled with so many emotions kids (anyone) (me included) can relate to – wanting to fit in, fearing being different, wishing for the impossible and not liking herself much sometimes for wishing that. Amber is a lovely narrator, the story is beautiful.

In fact it’s the several hankies or a whole box of tissues sort of beautiful.

Though maybe that’s just my reaction, being a mum who identifies a lot with Amber’s mum. Amber’s old mum, that is. Before the accident. For me, I read it and saw my own daughter in Amber’s shoes, and I cried my eyes out and marveled at Amber’s courage and was left uplifted by the ending.

Hope, indeed, can bloom from anywhere…

This is Junior Fiction, and it deals well with issues like bullying and friendship, moving house and family changes, loss and resilience.

Amber’s mum ends up in a wheelchair, unable to talk, walk or feed herself. The story follows how Amber deals with this tragedy, a new school, new friends, and the conflicting emotions that surround her first Mother’s Day at school since the accident. How will the rest of her class react to seeing her mum? Does she even want her mum to come?

It teaches kids a powerful lesson in empathy – everyone has a story, and you don’t know them all. So don’t judge. Everyone is different. Different isn’t bad.

This is a book chock-full of love. The love Amber has for her mum, as she comes to terms with what has changed, and what is still the same. The love she has for her little brother, who doesn’t remember the way mum was before. And the love for herself, the self-confidence and strength she gains along the way.

Absolutely recommended.


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