Once, I was Loved by Belinda Landsberry
|Once, I was Loved by Belinda Landsberry|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A social history of the last sixty years of the twentieth century as a toy rabbit is loved by a series of children and finally ends up back with the first of them. I cried!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: October 2019|
|Publisher: EK Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Tock, the toy rabbit, is in a box of toys going to the charity shop. He realises that he's not wanted any more, but muses that it wasn't always this way. Once, he says, I was loved. And he tells us of all the children who have loved him over the years.
He came to Sam on her fifth birthday in 1939. Tock was there when her father went to war and with her as she missed him. He was with her until 1944 when she realised that Flynn, a young boy sick with polio and in an iron lung, needed Tock more than she did, and because Tock loved Sam, he let her go.
Flynn loved Tock. Tock made him smile and gradually Flynn got better and was able to go home, but as Flynn leant out of the window to wave at the soldiers returning from the war, Tock slipped from his grasp.
And so Tock moved from child to child, joining them in their games and seeing them grow up. We see a potted social history of the last sixty years of the twentieth century. By the fifties there was rock and roll and the sixties saw the first moon landing. In the seventies we had flower children. Through the eighties the yachting world fought for the America's cup. In the nineties we saw the beginnings of the internet and finally the last of Tock's children moved away and he found himself in the charity box.
I cried, unashamedly. I admit it. But all was not lost. We see the charity-shop volunteer unpacking the box. Her name is Sam.
And the years fall away.
It's a lovely story, beautifully illustrated in pastel shades by the author and it's one which will appeal to both boys and girls. The soft toy is one which both sexes love and the children who have the benefit of Tock's love are evenly mixed. I could perhaps have wished that not all the children had been white, but that's me being very picky. The illustrations capture changing fashions and I loved the way that Tock 'aged' from being the pristine toy which was given to Sam to the well-loved elder statesman of rabbits who returns to her all those years later.
I liked the way that the book encourages sharing and the moving on of toys, of believing that another child could give - and receive - the same love. The story will read well at bedtime and will ensure that the child's own favourite toy will have a special cuddle and be kept very close. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might like to take a look at Loved to Bits by Teresa Heapy and Katie Cleminson.
You can read more book reviews or buy Once, I was Loved by Belinda Landsberry at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Once, I was Loved by Belinda Landsberry at Amazon.com.
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