Over The Shop

Authored by JonArno Lawson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Published by Walker Books

Over The Shop: This wordless picture book reaches out to the reader by offering endless stories. Stories of relationships, community, love and acceptance. Or a story about a big fat cat who learns to love her neighbours!

As the pigeons settle on Lowell’s General Store’s roof, the reader is offered a bird’s eye view of the comings and goings. Two individuals live and work together at Lowell’s. The reader is faced with many questions: could this be a grandparent and granddaughter or grandson? Where are the parents? Why is the shop in such a poor state? Why has the flat above been neglected?

Together, child and adult, decide to advertise that the above flat is available to rent. Many different individuals and couples pass the sign and glance at the accommodation. Some choose to view the property but leave pretty swiftly. Too much to do. Too dilapidated. Until a young couple approached the dusty window and peer at the sign. Even though the shop says open, the shop was very much closed. This becomes apparent as the shopkeeper removes the sign very swiftly. The flat was not available to certain people.

Fortunately, the child mediates and convinces her elder to accept this couple as tenants. The child begs on their behalf. After a brief handshake, the young couple was handed the keys. Unlocking new possibilities for the neighbourhood and the inhabitants of Lowell’s General Store.

This is truly a wonderful book with original illustrations by Qin Leng. Over the Shop is about inclusion, community and acceptance. Together we must celebrate the diverse communities we all live within.

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