Little Steps, 2022
32pp., hbk., RRP $A26.95
Simon was shy at the best if times, and luckily for him, being a stick insect meant he could change colours to match his surroundings and hide from those around him. That was until the day he stayed the glowing pink of the rose he had been resting on! He was certain that all the other bugs who were gathering for the Spring Fest would laugh at him and the thought terrified him, so when a friendly beetle told him that there would be a magic gypsy moth who would help him, Simon set off in search of this saviour. But as well as eventually finding her, he also discovered something much more important…
Told in rhyme, this theme of who you are as you are is enough is a common one in literature for young children but it is one that they need to hear again and again in all sorts of situations so they learn that it is okay to be pink or purple, or straight or bent, or spotty or striped or whatever… That no one really looks twice at your differences because they’re too busy involved in whatever else is going on, and if someone does make a nasty comment, then they are not worth your time. For some, this is not something easily accepted and body image can become a major issue in the future so perhaps they can have fun imagining what it would be like to be able to change colour like Simon and how that would change who they are inside.
As little ones face the challenges of new places, new schools, new people at this time of the year, this is one to help them overcome any anxieties they might have.