Together, by Anna Pignataro

As the sun came down behind
the bramble bushes Oli asked,
‘Mamma, are you there?’
‘I’m right here,’ said Mamma.

Togetherbegins with a child checking that their mother is close by. What follows is an affirmation of mother-child love. The child asks questions, and Mamma tells her that she will always be there. The pair travel from the ‘now’ to the ends of the earth. The ‘now’ of the picture book disappears in Mamma’s reassurance that wherever the child will go, so will she. Illustrations are in pencil and watercolours, gentle and colourful. ‘Together’ is an almost square, small-format hardback. The red cover offers a portal image of Mother and child reading a book together, just as this book is designed to be. Gold embossed lettering of title, author and falling leaves enhance the tactile experience of this book. Endpapers show the journeying child.

Together is a lovely book. The topic is not new, in fact the need for reassurance and affirmation is as old as time. But each new generation needs to learn for themselves what it is to be loved and cherished. The text is very short, with illustrations conveying much of the action. It’s easy to imagine little fingers turning the pages, contributing to the ‘reading’. It is a book to be read and reread for comfort and reassurance. One small quibble is that the child in one spread is pictured holding an attractive-looking but poisonous toadstool (poison to people, if not to teddy bears!) Recommended for preschool-aged children.


Together, Anna Pignataro
Scholastic 2009

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author