Microreview: Away by Emil Sher and Qin Leng

Just in time for summer and the summer camp season… Away by Emil Sher, illustrated by Qin Leng.

Away is lovely. Trimmed down to the fewest words necessary, the story is set in the last week(s?) before summer camp, a mother and child communicate back and forth via sticky notes. The illustrations fill in the details of their lives and relationship beautifully.*

Skip (the child) is determined not to go. Not Ever!

Maybe for just one night. That’s it.

As Skip and mum fill their summer days before camp with fun, it might just be Mimsy (grandma) who finds the middle ground.

Not every child wants to go to camp. And that’s okay. Away is stunning because both words and pictures depict a gentle, affectionate, playful relationship between different generations in a loving family.

Spoiler alert: Skip does go to camp. The past pages are golden.

Highly recommended.

*And what doesn’t need to be said, isn’t. (We don’t know which is deaf, the child or the mother. It isn’t relevant to the story, except as a reminder on the calendar, to change hearing aids.)