Matt’s Swirly World by Madeleine Matthews lept out at me when it showed up on my recommended book feed, as I have a three year old in my life who I am always on the lookout for great picture books for. I thought the title was catchy and the cover was cute- so I grabbed a copy and couldn’t wait to read it to him.
When we opened the book, I was impressed with the beautiful and colourful illustrations which just lept off the pages. Jack thought they were great too. He was pointing out the slide, the balloons, butterflies, children, rainbow, dragon, cars, and waves etc- and was really excited about the pictures. But, the story was very wordy and way over his head. I think it would be more suited to 8 to 10 year olds. So, I went back to the blurb to see what I could make of it- and found a rather long and wordy explanation for the book.
This book was written as a guide to help parents teach their young ones about mindfulness and self-control- using love and understanding to help guide them through stressful times. While I love the concept behind the book- the execution, for me, missed the mark. As a children’s picture book, “Matt’s Swirly World” really needs to be simplified more so that the younger children can engage and understand. Because a three year old is a ripe candidate for tantrums and/or emotional meltdowns- but this book is way to complicated to really engage him/them properly. An older child would better understand the story.
Love the pictures, love the concept- but the ‘story’ left us wanting.
Thank you, Ms. Matthews.
Reviewed by @angelahayes