In Sarah’s Shadow, written by Nick Jones and illustrated by Si Clark, a young girl arrives home after being bullied about her scrawny shadow on the school playground that day. Upon seeing a shooting star up in the sky, Sarah makes a poorly thought-out wish to get rid of her shadow, thinking she’ll be better off without it. Initially, Sarah is thrilled to discover that her wish has come true and that she is no longer dogged by her shadow. But later at summer camp, as Sarah and her campmates are making shadow puppets on the wall of their tent, Sarah realizes just how disastrous of a situation her wish has created for her. In the end, she finds her shadow and the two of them pair up to perform some truly dazzling shadow puppetry for the entire camp.
Jones and Clark have put together a truly lovely children’s book here, reminiscent of beloved children’s classics like Peter Pan. Jones’s story has a nostalgic simplicity to it that brings sensitive issues, like school bullying and body image, to the forefront but avoids calling direct attention to them. This proves especially effective for young readers who are in greatest need of seeing these problems resolve themselves on the page in a subtle but socially responsible manner. As for Clark’s artwork, each image carries a fantastic sense of motion that drives the action along and creates an almost cinematic impression, which is further enhanced by the beautiful brushstroke pattern behind each picture. This is sure to make an excellent addition to any child’s ever-growing library.