‘Through the Gate’ by Author and Illustrator Sally Fawcett takes a soft and gentle approach to overcoming change with time.
The story follows a young girl who has recently moved to a “new” old house which she views rather unfavourably “the roof was drooping. The paint was peeling. The step was crumbling. Everywhere I looked I saw cracks”. It is very apparent that she is not happy with her current situation.
We follow her as she leaves the house through the gate for the first time “I plodded to school…I plodded home…I plodded all week long” and as each week passes thereafter her walk to school grows in confidence and a sense of hope takes root that this place could become her home.
We also follow her at the end of the school day as she returns to the house and each return brings a physical alteration to the house (ie either being been fixed up and/or decorated to some extent). These changes always make her stop at the gate and a subtle shift in how she views the house is noted in the text.
I know as a parent sometimes it is our first instinct to fix everything for our children and so I thought it was a nice touch that no adults in this book are shown interfering in the adjustment process, but just the young girl moving forward everyday no matter if it is plodding, mooching, walking or marching; she keeps on. A gentle reminder for our children that the only thing constant is change, even our feelings towards those changes.
The illustrations show the house in shades of grey and the outside world in colour, only changing when her feelings do, which adds an even bigger pop to the ending. The physical changes to the house are also shown through the illustrations which allows the readers to play some fun spot the difference games.
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Hope you have enjoyed. Hope to share some more fun things with you all soon.