Children’s Book Review – Elephants in the Custard
Elephants in the Custard is written by Samuel Langley-Swain (author of Santa’s Wish), published by Owlet Press and illustrated by Jemma Banks. It cleverly tackles the fact that children can find it difficult to share their problems with others, especially when everyone seems busy with other things. Little worries can turn into big worries, so it’s important that our children understand that they can trust us with their problems, no matter how busy we look or how strange the problem seems. They need to know that someone will listen, will believe that their problem is real and will help. This is achieved through a metaphor on the saying ‘elephant in the room’, by showing how when one little boy starts seeing elephants in his custard, sharing this with his family alleviates his worries. It also contains an important side note on family meal time, and how we can use this time to talk about our day and our feelings and to listen to each other, rather than be on the phone, watching TV or engrossed in our own things. I think Elephants in the Custard really portrays an important message well and will help children feel confident about sharing their problems. The brightly coloured silly illustrations and talk of elephants dancing and having fun gives the book a frivolous and amusing feel that will encourage children to keep coming back to it – helping the message sink in. You could read this to children from toddlers onwards, whilst pre-schoolers and those in infant school will be able to start reading it themselves and understand the idea behind it. My son isn’t reading yet, and is definitely on the younger side for this story, but he listened to the rhyming words intently and loved the whimsical illustrations. This book is quite different to anything else in his collection and has definitely captured his attention. It’ll be brought out many times over the next few years as I read a book to him every night and I feel confident that the message will resonate with him when he’s older. This charming rhyming book has an important message for both children and adults and I would thoroughly recommend it! Elephants in the Custard is available to purchase on Amazon or direct from Owlet Press. Owlet press is a small independent publisher who I’m very happy to support, so do consider buying their books from them directly and you can keep in touch with Owlet press and get news about future book releases on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Another book that I’d highly recommend for children’s mental health is One for Sorrow by Mr Gresty, but if you’re interested in another book by author Samuel Langley-Swain then you can read my review of Santa’s Wish – a very heart warming Christmas tale (coming next week!). Note I received a review copy of this book from Owlet press to share with my son and my readers.