At The End of Holyrood Lane reviewed by Georgie Donaghey

At The End of Holyrood Lane
Authors | Children's Books

At The End of Holyrood Lane by Dimity Powell and Nicky Johnston

I’ve had a bit of a reviewing explosion lately courtesy of EK Books.

One book I have had for a little while but only now getting to review, is At The End of Holyrood Lane by Dimity Powell and Nicky Johnston.

I have a long association with these two remarkable ladies. Nicky was the one I turned to when looking to revamp the CKT logo. And Dimity, well she is one of my dearest and original friends I made when beginning my journey in this industry.

After their latest book, At The End of Holyrood Lane won the Australia & New Zealand SCBWI Crystal Kite Award 2019 I thought it’s time to get my review of their gorgeous book onto the blog.

Unfortunately, the topic of domestic violence fills our daily news feeds. Children are more fearful of the world around them than ever before. Sadly, for some domestic violence victims, this is the everyday world they live in.

Dimity and Nicky’s latest picture book addresses this real problem.

Flick lives beneath the beech woods at the end of Holyrood Lane. She loves to dance with the butterflies and tumble through the autumn leaves. Sadly, Flick is visited all too often by stormy weather.

Dark shadows repeatedly consume Flick’s world. She tries to hide away from the storms, but no matter how hard she hopes they will blow over, they keep coming.

Storms smother the sunshine in her life. They hack away at her confidence.

‘Sometimes, they roar so loudly, Flick’s ears hurt and her head throbs.’

Flick has learned to hide away. She takes shelter where the thunder cannot reach her.

But the abuse under which Flick has been living, builds into a storm like she has never experienced before. This time, there is no time to hide.

As the thunder builds around her Flick flees — the storm bellows and booms. Drenched and shaken by its fury, Flick does something she has never done before, and it works. Flicks strength takes away the storm’s power. As the grumbles fade, the sun returns melting like butter on her cheeks.

At The End of Holyrood Lane is an emotionally charged story, perfectly composed by both author and illustrator. Dimity’s sensitive use of text gives insight into the world of a blameless child while Nicky’s illustrations blended seamlessly with the text to harness the emotions and innocence of Flick who is surrounded by an unpredictable darkness.

This story will prompt discussion about domestic violence, confidence, hope, support, trust, love, resilience, feeling safe, decisions, speaking out and making a difference.

At The End of Holyrood Lane is endorsed by Act for Kids, Paradise Kids and Think Equal. These organisations support families affected by domestic violence.

I hope this book finds the laps of young souls who need it and that its pages will provide a warm hug and the courage to speak out.

Teacher notes are also available for At The End of Holyrood Lane

Author: Dimity Powell

Illustrator: Nicky Johnston

Publisher: EK Books


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