Author: Ahmadreza Ahmadi
Illustrator: Nahid Kazemi
Translator: Azita Rassi
Reading age: Under 5’s and 6 – 8 (and 9 – 11 as a stimulus for philosophical enquiry)
I really enjoyed this story, and the opportunities it opens up for discussions on some quite challenging themes such as loss, death and re-birth. Though these aren’t explicit themes within the text, the simplicity of the narrative acts as a wonderful stimulus for exploring the tale further – who is this young boy and why is he worried about these things disappearing?
The repetition will also appeal to young readers, and make it particularly accessible for a range of abilities. The young boy asks “when blossom goes, does the word ‘blossom’ die…can there ever be blossom again?” This theme recurs until the boy’s father counters one day that “new blossom has been born. The word ‘blossom’ is alive again.” It reminds me of a page in Elke Becker’s book What happened to Daddy’s Body which uses the symbolism of the seasons and life cycle of a leaf to help a young boy understand his grief over the loss of his father. The illustrations are also really interesting, made up as they are from a collage of textile, pencil sketches and paint or print work. A great starting point for some fun and creative art lessons which incorporate a variety of mediums and encourage children to be experimental with their pictures.
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More to read about Alive Again:
- Here worlds are brought together. A review by Ferelith Hordon for IBBY LINK. Here
- A review by Jill Bennett. Here.
- There is always hope. A blog post. Here
- Introducing global children’s literature. Here
- Poetic side of Tiny Owl Publishing. Here.
- Nahid’s storytelling and craft event in London. Here and here
- A gallery of Nahid Lazemi’s beautiful illustrations. Here
- An interview with Nahid Kazemi. Here
- For the love of poetry. A blog post. Here