The Curiosities

Greystone. Jun. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781778400087.
Gr 1-2–Miro is a dark-skinned child living in a rural village, with the beauty of nature surrounding him. He has an unusual ability: throughout his daily comings and goings, he sees shadowy companions who perch on his shoulders, hiss, gurgle, whisper, and most often guide him, as he navigates his world. But these creatures—the Curiosities—can also overwhelm Miro with their noise, forcing him to grasp at what appears to be a ghostly guiding thread to regain his equilibrium. On one level, any child who has conjured imaginary friends will be able to relate to Miro. However, the story will resonate most deeply with the anxious or neurodiverse child who, like Miro, may have specific challenges and sensitivities, but also some heightened perceptions and understandings. An illustrator’s note explains the inspirational cues Lesnie took from Babaylan, or community leaders, in Philippine history, as well as from that country’s folklore. The deeply saturated color scenes work hand-in-hand with the text of this original story that conveys wisdom and expresses respect for elders in a style often found in myths, containing truths within comfortable storytelling cover.
VERDICT A worthwhile and compelling addition for all collections seeking titles to support parents and teachers of children with anxiety or neurological conditions.

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