Life can be challenging at times. Certain experiences can leave us feeling vulnerable, sad, angry or afraid. The impulse is often to avoid the things or situations that created these feelings in the first place and instead play it safe. Young children are especially prone to this type of knee-jerk reaction.
As parents and teachers, it is our role to help children face their fears and encourage them to get back up when they fall or experience failure. This is how resilience is cultivated: the more we overcome our fears, the more we grow – and the stronger we become. Simply put: “Life begins when you get back up.”
Picture books are a great way to initiate a conversation with a child, especially when it comes to tough issues. After the Fall is one of those books that goes beyond instruction to… inspiration. Written and illustrated by award-winning author, Dan Santat, this heartwarming story is sure to please both kids and adults.
“Inspiring and unforgettable, this epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme will encourage even the most afraid to overcome their fears, learn to get back up – and reach new heights.” (Inside flap)
After the Fall takes us on a journey of courage, perseverance and determination. Although its main message is about facing one’s fears, it also addresses a deeper issue: that of depression and anxiety. This is most apparent when the fragile egg admits that “there were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” In fact, the story was inspired by the author’s wife who suffered from debilitating anxiety. We feel for post-tumble Humpty Dumpty, as he avoids his upper bunk bed, the enticing top shelf of the cereal aisle and, ultimately, the wall.
Matching carefully selected words with beautiful artwork, Santat loves to play with contrasts throughout the book: light versus dark, warm tones versus monochromatic grays… What also makes the book so special is its unexpected conclusion, which is sure to take your breath away and leave you and all its young readers hopeful and full of wonder.
For ages 4 and up.
Available on Nook, Hardback, iBooks and Kindle.