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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Grey Boy (The)
by Luis Farre
Age Range: 6-8
When Joshua is born, his mother and father are astonished to see that their new baby is grey. What is even more worrying is that, as the little boy grows up, it becomes clear that he isn’t just grey on the outside. Nothing seems to excite, engage, amuse or even upset the child. Despite his parents’ various efforts to incite a reaction, he remains emotionless – and grey.
Then, although the sight of great whales and erupting volcanoes prompt no response at all, it is finally Joshua’s own pet hamster who curiously manages to break the curse.
This is a quirky and thought-provoking book. Its unusual narrative can be interpreted on different levels, just as Gusti’s artwork appears also to have been constructed in layers. The potential for discussion is vast, offering a particularly valuable opportunity to explore attitudes, ‘differentness’ and disability. What makes the Grey Boy ‘grey’? Do we all feel grey sometimes?
This is a distinctive and highly memorable book, succeeding in being both simple and complex at the same time.