Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

All Alone

All Alone

Kevin Henkes
Picture Book
For ages 6 and up
HarperCollins, 2003   ISBN: 978-0060541156

The best thing about being alone is being able to do and be whatever you want to do and be. Most of all, being alone is a time for being quiet and contemplative, and this is the atmosphere that Kevin Henkes has been able to capture in this small book so well. With very few words, and simple watercolor and pencil drawings, he manages to convey how very wonderful being alone can be. So many of us are afraid of being alone and spending quiet time under a tree by ourselves; which is a shame because there are so many wonderful reasons to spend a little time alone for a while. One can see, hear and feel things so much better when one is not distracted by the doings of others.

The boy in this book likes to imagine that he is so big that he can taste the sky, or so small that he can hide behind a stone. He talks about how “When I am alone/ I look at myself inside and out.” This is perhaps the hardest thing a person can do, and yet the author describes it simply, giving it a feeling of ease. It is just another thing that the boy does, along with wondering “what my friends are doing.” Henkes manages to take the scariness out of doing scary things.

This is a book that readers of all ages will be able to treasure, to read every so often, and to keep handy.