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Tilda Tries Again ISBN: 9781526612991
Percival, Tom
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2021
I have put this book into a number of different categories because we are not told what it is that has turned Tilda's world upside-down. But the most obvious things might be divorce or separation in her family, a death in the family, or perhaps a new sibling that has caused the problem. One of the strengths of the story is that Tilda must learn to keep trying to get herself out of the anxiety and fear she is experiencing. In the old saying, 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again', Tilda takes awhile to learn the necessity of this truism, but in the end she gets there. She is a happy child at the beginning of the book; her 'world was just as she liked it', and she had friends, and books and toys aplenty. But then something upsetting happens and suddenly everything is topsy turvy - quite literally so in the expressive illustrations. Things that were simple are not so anymore, and she doesn't want to see friends or read her favourite books or do anything. One day she sees a little ladybird on its back, squirming and struggling to turn itself over. As she watches, worried for the small creature, it finally makes a huge effort and is able to turn over and fly away. Tilda compares the ladybird to herself and resolves to try harder to bring her life back into order, which she does by degrees. 'Even though her world was still a little topsy turvy, Tilda felt she could cope.' This is a marvelous evocation of how it feels when something seriously goes wrong in a family, and it could be used in any situation when a child is having serious anxiety problems. It is evident from the lack of family in the book that something is seriously wrong in that part of her life. Outstanding.
Age: 5+