Reviews /

Can I Come Too?

Authored by Owen Davey
Published by Rocket Bird Books

Tagged ,

Can I Come Too? is a gentle and humorous exploration of the highs and lows of sibling relationships. Teddy is off fishing and little Cub is desperate to come along too. Teddy begrudgingly obliges and quite soon becomes exasperated with Cub. First, he capsizes the canoe and then he tangles the pair of them up in a fishing rod! Poor Teddy is far too grown up for this and has no hope of catching fish with Cub getting in the way. But in one magical moment, Cub reminds Teddy of the love between them and shows Teddy that there is more than one way to catch a fish.

This is a universal story, full of play and fun and one that will certainly mirror the experiences of many children with siblings. From Cub’s innocent approach to trying to help to Teddy’s pure irritation with his counterpart, all children will have been or know a Cub and Teddy in their own lives.

I loved the care paid to ensuring that each aspect of the illustrations demonstrate Cub and Teddy’s changing relationship. Even down to the setting, the river itself draws an interesting parallel to the dynamics between the pair. Ebbing, flowing and growing just like their relationship. Davey uses a retro palette and the earthy oranges, greens and yellows create a timeless feel to the story. This is a lovely reflection of the subject matter, the age old, natural, almost inevitable distance that can grow when one sibling matures and seeks some independence. There are some thoughtful touches in the positioning of Davey’s characters. From the beginning, Teddy faces away from Cub and only turns towards him at a pivotal moment of reconnection. In contrast, Cub faces towards him throughout the story, desperate to please and gain approval. The attention paid to small details like these would make for powerful discussions with children and are instrumental for developing empathy.

Can I Come Too? would be a brilliant choice for the book corner in the Early Years and KS1. It may be typically aimed towards the younger year groups but would also hold real merit when exploring relationships in PSHE. Whatever Happened to My Sister by Simona Ciarolo would offer an interesting contrast and a differing perspective on how sibling relationships change. Full of warmth and heart, children will love making connections between their own sibling relationships and spotting themselves within the story.