Once, I Was Loved: Book Review

An old toy rabbit finds himself in a box of toys donated to charity. ‘But it wasn’t always this way,’ Tock reflects, ‘Once I was loved.’

Title: Once, I Was Loved
Author: Belinda Landsberry
Illustrator: Belinda Landsberry
ISBN: 9781925820027          Language: English

Classification: Fiction
Type: Picture Book
Themes: belongings, timelines, letting-go

What's it about?
From World War II to rock ’n’ roll, from the moon landing to the Hippie movement, this is a story of the children who’ve loved Tock across the decades.
A celebration of the timeless nature of love, set against the backdrop of iconic moments of the 20th century, this heart-warming picture book is for anyone who has ever cherished a childhood toy, resonating with kids and adults alike.

The story is told in chronological order and refers to real events. The illustrations are very cute.

Lack of diversity of children. War mentioned several times.

My Thoughts
Once, I Was Loved released in Australia on the 1st October 2019 by EK Books.

"...this book has a lot going for it."

When I first saw the cover to this book I really wasn't sure about it. It features a toy bunny and a kid and it just seemed a little cliche to me, but from a teacher perspective, this book has a lot going for it.

The story itself is told in the first person by Tock, the brand new toy rabbit at the start who is gifted to Sam. Then we follow the journey of Tock as he is given to someone new, lost, found, and eventually donated. This concept might be difficult for kids to really understand. In general, we live in a 'throw-away' society and very few people probably have a toy that old, or anything that old really. It does, however, provide insight into how much things have changed.

This book could easily be used with younger students to create a timeline of his owners/adventures to meet curriculum needs in history. This is a good stepping stone to when they may look at the My Place TV series (available on DVD) and book later on.

I think it also helps to convey to children how it is possible for things to be used/loved by someone else (though let's be honest, Tock probably would have ended up in the bin at the donation centre but the sentiment is there). Recycling though is such an important aspect of modern life and I feel it worth looking at.

Overall, this is a beautiful little book that probably has more uses than those I've suggested. Remember that EK Books provides Teacher Notes for free on their website.

Special thanks to EK Books for the ARC.

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