Blossom is Laura’s second collaboration with Sara Ogilvie for Barrington Stoke, and once again explores candidly the wobbly life of a young inner city child on the precipice of change. These snapshots of life, of real experiences told with honesty and innocence are truly a gift to any reader.
Laura Dockrill’s writing reminds me of a polymath, she has this incredible ability to capture just what is needed to be said and how to whatever age or audience she aims for whether it be the tantrum of an Angry Cookie, or the high rise dreams of Sequin and Stitch or her older writing.
Blossom lost her Tutu and Pops recently, renowned sellers at the Flower Market, they brought joy, colour, atmosphere and comfort to the city around them.
But Blossom’s parents are struggling to carry on the legacy because her mum has gone back to university for her dream is in science, not flowers and something has got to give.
The sights and sounds of Peacham Flower Market are full sensory immersive, and you can smell the spicy scents of sweetpeas and the green of moss, and equally feel the friendship and community there that reminds me of the Big Hub in CBBC’s Molly & Mack where lives from different paths, ages and styles are entwined and care about each other because they all care about this place.
The illustrations by Sara with glorious foliage and textures of plant life make these inky captures of life sing from the pages along with the burble and rumble sounds of the marketplace.
‘Never mind’, says Gilda… ‘ some people would say it’s a blessing when we break into pieces- it gives us a chance to rebuild.’Gilda to Blossom
Bawling my eyes out at 2 in the morning reading this quote. Laura had this ability to speak so plainly and lovingly the hard truths of life. But with hope, and kindness, that it’s not alright, but we can find a new way of living if we try. Theres a gentle hand with some HUGE topics ranging from dealing with loss after extended illness, ‘orphaned’ adults, the compromises mothers make of themselves to have and look after children and interpersonal stress.
Laura insists that no one HAS to lose out or give up their dreams if everyone tries, if everyone just shifts a little, makes a little room but doesn’t allow themselves to be swept over. Laura shows that sometimes our dreams just need a little tweak in perspective to get there, that a family run flower shop can still be in the family whilst another spreads their wings, that going back to school after a time still gets you your dream, that letting go doesn’t always mean letting down and that first impressions are not always correct, sometimes there is strength and wisdom come in very unexpected guises.
I’m always in awe of how Laura brings hard truths but with heart and hope, they are in a way modern resonant fairy tales that children can recognise and believe in, because with a little effort and compassion these happy endings could really happen.
Blossom by Laura Dockrill & illustrated by Sara Ogilvie is published by Barrington Stoke
Thank you for my copy 💜