Have you seen my Blankie? Lucy Rowland and Paula Metcalf

This gorgeous rhyming story about being kind both to others and to yourself is a brilliant little story encouraging young children to be assertive but not aggressive in their peer interactions.

Littlefae loves the way that Princess Alice gets her Blankie back AND solves the problem by eventually finding the Teddy to share with Dragon.

I really like this message because it honours the child’s emotional needs and power to consent as well as the social message of sharing and caring.

Book Cover for Have you Seen my Blankie by Lucy Rowland and Paula Metcalf

Princess Alice wakes up and sees her Blankie has disappeared. Her brother had it but a giant took it; the giant had it but the witch took it; the witch had it but thinks it disappeared that way.

Turns out Dragon has it and it’s the only thing that can help him sleep in his cold uncomfortable cave. Alice walks back to the castle with Dragon asking everyone along the way whether they have something to help him but nothing quite works until she gives him a teddy of hers and they make friends.

Princess Alice wanders the woods looking for her Blankie and the Dragon

I remember a viral parenting hoo-hah about a mother who gives her son the choice, she doesn’t force her son to share his special toys with others (especially random/strangers) it’s his choice.

The mother said her reasoning was adults don’t just surrender their sandwich, laptop or phone to strangers just because; so what messages was she sending her son about his worth if she compelled him to consent to other children whom he didn’t want touching his toys, simply because of ‘social niceties’.

This goes against a lot of books, messages and conventional parenting expectations because often society expects children to just share everything on demand without whining or refusing, especially for girls.

I get this, so many adults suffer because they don’t learn how to set boundaries or ring-fence their needs. I don’t want my girls to be walked over by children who use their size, words or grown up’s attitude to overpower and take from them in the name of ‘be nice/good’.

Princess Alice sits on her bed wondering where her Blankie is

This book follows this positive message of standing your ground without losing your principles. Princess Alice isn’t a brat. She doesn’t have a Verucca Salt style tantrum that her Blankie was taken from her and used as a curtain, hankies and more. She gets cross but she doesn’t give up or give in. She listens to what happened and focuses on what she can do, not what can’t be changed.

But she wants her Blankie back and isn’t prepared to compromise on that. Instead she is happy to find Dragon his own special cuddly thing as a replacement and chooses to be kind and empathise with the creature who just wants love and comfort and in the end giving up something she didn’t need to help Dragon.

Double page spread showing detail of the interior of the witches cottage and Princess Alice being directed towards the dragon

The gorgeous richly pigmented illustrations by Paula Metcalf are both calming and immersive drawing both the eye and the attention into the story and are deeply expressive, I also love the slightly powdery tint to this colour palette.
Equally the vocabulary in this book is awesome. Lucy Rowland has written some beautiful children’s books but her word choice is always a strength and a selling point for me; you can see her love and respect for language in her writing. There’s lots of clever rhyme, a solid rhythm to the narrative and great vocabulary choices such as slumber, flowing, beaming were among our favourites.

Dragon is curled on the grass and crying and Princess Alice is consoling himThis book says you deserve to have your precious things, don’t compromise your happiness but don’t compromise your kindness either. No tantrums, no spiralling or chandeliering, just firm in kindness to both others AND yourself then you can move forward because you both know where you stand.

It doesn’t say don’t share, Princess Alice shares her big teddy with Dragon, that’s absolutely brilliant, but she is confident to know she can ringfence what is precious AND THAT is a lesson that is very important to children.

Thank you Lucy Rowland and Paula Metcalf for gently empowering children and encouraging kindness at the same time.

Have you seen my Blankie by Lucy Rowland and Paula Metcalf (Nosy Crow) is published on 4th April 2019.

Thank you to Nosy Crow for providing me with this copy, this has not affected my opinion.

7 thoughts on “Have you seen my Blankie? Lucy Rowland and Paula Metcalf

    1. It is lovely. If you’ve got a Blankie child then I recommend Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket by Tatyana Feeney it’s particularly great to reassure if your little one is reluctant to let Blankie have a wash!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh that’s fab thank you! I will definitely be checking that out, he stood in front of the washing machine this morning, I had to make sure it was on the quickest setting haha!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll admit, my mum wasn’t sold on it until I broke it down. I think there is a risk that people may not see the message but it’s still a sweet story, even if it’s just picked up for Dragons, Princesses and blankets.
      Maybe I’m seeing things in it that others won’t BUT it’s a very different message and it’s one I like to see.

      Like

    2. See that’s exactly my dirt if book with a message – hidden so stealthily in the story there’s a chance you’ll miss it!
      But you’re right, it *is* a good message to send out, and a rare one to see addressed!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Exactly, I’ve seen tons of ‘be nice and share’, don’t be a ‘meanie’ books and it grinds a little because it’s important to learn boundaries and that you have the worth to say No but you don’t have to be horrible about it.
      But it’s still a fun story without being preachy (I strongly dislike preachy books)

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s