Picture Book Review - The BIG-Hearted Book – Nicholas Allan (Author & Illustrator)
Recommended for – Toddlers, Younger Readers
Now, I've never been ashamed to admit that I weep like a baby at the slightest happy or sad moment in a book, television programme or film. Or the odd computer game. So, a book about a dog owner who falls severely ill was always going to elicit a reaction, even if the back cover didn't warn me what was coming.
Babette and Bill are normally inseparable, but when Babette starts becoming angry and lethargic Bill doesn't know why. The truth is that she has had to go into hospital as she’s very ill, but when she is released things can go back to normal, cooking for each other and playing in the park, and the two remain the very best of friends.
When I’d finally dried my eyes upon finishing, I thought about whether or not I would want my son to read something like this when he’s a little older – after all, it’s very upsetting stuff, even if Babette gets better. Having thought about it, I decided that yes, it’s a great story to teach him that there’s always hope, and that friends will always be there for you no matter what. He might have to read it to himself as I’ll be blubbing all the way through it, but I really do think that it’s told in the perfect way to introduce children to the idea of illness. Not everyone will agree, but if this is the way you want to address such a topic, this is a perfect way of doing so.