Once there was man, Stephen Michael King writes, who loved boxes and who also loved his son. Unfortunately, he didn’t know how to tell his son that he loved him – so he made things with boxes to share with his son, to show his love. Other people thought that the man was strange, even a bit crazy, but the man didn’t mind, and neither did his son, because they had a special way of showing their love.
This delightful picture book, King’s first, was first published in 1995 and subsequently won the Australian Family Therapist’s Award as well as being shortlisted for the Chrichton Award for Children’s Book Illustration. The fact that Scholastic have seen fit to reprint the book some ten years later is of little surprise – it is a timeless piece with a timeless message about family relationships.
King’s whimiscal illustrations use a combination of watercolours with ink outlines and the use of dusky blues and greens captures the gentle tone of the piece.
This is a book which should be read by every father – both to himself and with his children – and would make perfect bedtime reading.
The one disappointment of this particular issue is the very thin card of the softback cover, which may not withstand the regular reading and rereading which such an offering is likely to inspire. Still, it is such a delightful book, that parents will look for a way to preserve iit, raather than passing it over.
The Man Who Loved Boxes, written and illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Scholastic, first Published 1995, this edition 2005