Blog tour: ‘Silver Linings,’ by Fiona Woodcock.

This is a gorgeously-illustrated book about the importance of looking for the positives when things don’t go as you’d hoped. Pip and Parker highlight the value of friendship when the going gets tough.

Make sure you read creator Fiona Woodcock’s piece about how she had the initial idea for this title about two friends with very different perspectives on life.

“Pip and Parker are best friends who do everything together. When Pip makes a mistake, Parker is always there to see the bright side. But what happens when Parker needs a little encouragement, too?

Perfect for story-time and bedtime sharing, Silver Linings is a funny picture book about friendship, resilience, overcoming anxiety, and staying positive in the face of adversity, from acclaimed author-artist Fiona Woodcock. 

Pip and Parker live next door to each other and are such good friends that sometimes they don’t even need words to communicate. If something goes wrong, Parker (who always looks on the bright side) helps Pip see the silver lining.

When the clouds roll in, Pip sees a day spoiled by rain, but Parker sees a chance to play a fun cloud guessing game! When Pip accidently drops her sweet strawberry snack into her lemonade, she’s certain disaster has struck. But Parker finds a reason to celebrate their unexpected pink lemonade! But what will happen when Parker makes a mistake and feels blue? Can Pip cheer him up and show him the silver lining?”

‘The initial idea’ by Fiona Woodcock

I’ve always been fascinated by perspective. How many people, or in this case how two people can see the exact same situation differently. And how we can’t control things that don’t go to plan, but we can choose how we react to them. Of course, sometimes things feel so bad that you can’t find a silver lining, and that’s when a good friend comes in very handy.

Silver Linings was a long time coming. Greenwillow liked my initial idea, but encouraged me to develop it into a more conventional narrative with more text, rather than it being a high concept book. The characters and a lot of the scenarios were there right from the start and I slowly developed the story, working through it, carving out the time and attention it deserved.

I ended up with a story about two friends with different perspectives on life. Pip is easily discouraged when things upset her or go wrong and Parker always knows what to say and is able to quickly find the silver lining in the situation. But eventually something huge happens to Parker and for the first time in the story he doesn’t know what to say, so Pip has to raise to the occasion this time.

I had a lot of fun working out Parker’s playful responses to situations and finding a way of making things go full circle. I’m trying to write this without ruining the impact of the ending, but I like how Kirkus put it… “Can Pip discover the silver lining this time? The bright side is . . . she can and does—sweetly, ingeniously, and wordlessly. . . . A gentle lesson that being optimistic brings rewards, as does having a very good friend.” 

Glass half empty or glass half full?
I think I’ve got a bit of Pip and Parker in me, so I relate to both of them. I have been known to worry about the worst case scenario, but I also really try and find the positives. I’ve noticed I’m much better at doing this if I’m helping someone else out of a negative situation rather than myself. Even though Parker’s glass is half full and he’s endlessly positive, it was important to show that he’s only human, and he eventually has a blip when he’s unable to find a silver lining.

I think a positive mindset can really help in life. Not ignoring and denying the existence of the difficult things, but experiencing them, processing how they make you feel and then reframing them so we can move on. The book explores how sometimes a negative situation or a mistake can be an invitation for something brilliant to happen. (especially if we think creatively about it).

For me, this book clearly illustrates the power of playfulness and being able to ‘flip your mindset’ when, at first, things appear to be going wrong. I shall certainly be using this with the children who attend the specialist provision I work at, where low self-esteem and lack of resilience often go hand-in-hand. Stories like this make it much easier for me to instigate conversations around challenging subjects and allow the children to develop empathy and understanding for others in a non-threatening way.

Gorgeous and uplifting! 3+


*Many thanks to Harper 360 U.K. for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour*

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