Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Roaring Brook Press
Source: Raincoast Books
Dan Santat’s After the Fall is the book I would give as a gift to my best friends who do not necessarily read picturebooks but who are going through difficult times.
Santat, using the Humpty Dumpty fable (I don’t know if that is quite the correct word to use. Nursery rhyme?) illustrates how working at something that seems impossible can lead to unexpected benefits. After the Fall is an amazingly beautiful tale about the poor Egg that fell down. In Santat’s picturebook, Humpty Dumpty is patched together again but carries the trauma of his fall that affects his daily life and keeps him from the things he usually enjoys–like high places and beautiful birds.
He works hard to make a plane that will fly when he can’t but when the plane flies to the other side of the wall he is too scared to climb after his fall, he has no choice but to attempt ascending the wall once again so he can retrieve the plane he so painstakingly made. Climbing the fall is difficult; he has to confront his fears and there are times when he thinks that he might fail. But he makes it and when he does…oh it is glorious and you should discover that end for yourself so I won’t spoil it.
I heard from Fernanda over at Raincoast Books that this picturebook was written for Santat’s wife who suffers from anxiety. As someone who also battles the same thing, this book feels like a balm. You know, rather than being told things will be okay, you read this picturebook and it shows you that you will be okay. That’s the beauty of it.
This will be invaluable on any occasion and for any reader no matter what their age. I recommend it.