Somebody lives on the edge of the park where Hugo is the park warden. He’s taken to dancing and tapping on her window. However during one particularly energetic visit, Hugo has an accident. Can Somebody help Hugo? Will he return to the park? Thereafter, can Hugo encourage Somebody to journey beyond her confined world to that of the park community?

Hugo is a tender, warm-hearted tale of friendship and trust. What might the little pigeon ignite in Somebody? Thereafter, can his needs be realised by her? We know that she’s come to depend on him, but what of Hugo? He has his responsibility as a park warden! There’s ‘Minou and Cherie and Puce and all their friends and relations‘! Might Somebody feel curious, maybe inspired to discover Hugo’s world beyond her window?

Acclaimed writer and illustrator Atinuke joins forces with Birgitta Sia of Kind, to create a really empathetic, encouraging picture book. Somehow the dancing, knocking Hugo encourages us too! The warm tones, hopeful eyes and rich promise of the park are lyrical and lovely. What a beautiful picture book to share, keep and love.

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Atinuke, illustrated by Birgitta Sif

(Walker Books)

Hugo is a park warden who looks after the park and ‘the people who live around it.’ He takes his job seriously, so encourages ‘Monsieur Petit to take his walk’ and keeps ‘Madame Grande company as she takes the sun’. However, the little pigeon is aware that on the periphery of the park is ‘one window where the curtains are never open.’
He is delighted when Somebody answers his tap at the window and thereafter waits to hear him ‘knock’ and ‘dance’. Her attention is most necessary when this park warden has an accident. What will happen now? Can Somebody help the pigeon as he has helped her? Should he recover, will she allow him to return to his park warden ways and maybe join in?
Like Everyone Walks Away or The Boy Who Loved Everyone Hugo is a tender-hearted story of feelings and fears. What does Hugo bring to the world? Is it possible for him to extend this to Somebody? Does she appreciate his need for the outdoors, as he understands her compulsion to hide?
Atinuke tells a thoughtful tale of an inclusive French community. However, her story goes beyond such confines. Furthermore, Birgitta Sif’s pictures are nostalgia toned, gentle, hopeful and kind. We recommend this title for sharing and gifting for it is surely a title to cherish.


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