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Over the Shop - Book Review

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published June 18th 2021
A beautiful story about friendship and community
Over the Shop, Jon Arno Lawson, Book Review
JonArno Lawson & Qin Leng. Walker Books.


Over the Shop is a wordless children's picture book that was written by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Qin Leng. It is 48 pages long and was published by Walker Books on 3 March 2021. It is suitable for children 3 years and older. JonArno Lawson is an award-winning poet and author of multiple published works for adults and children. He was awarded the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry in 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014. His 2015 wordless picture book, Foothpath Flowers, was awarded the Governor General's Award for Illustrated Children's Books in 2015, and entered the New York Times Best Illustrated Books list of that same year.

Over the Shop tells the story of a lonely little girl who lives with her grandparent in a flat above a general store. When they need to find tenants to rent a room in their building, they place a sign in the shop window advertising the flat for rent. A number of interested people come and visit, but no one is willing to sign a lease, because the flat will need a lot of renovating. Just when they are about to give up trying to find someone, a young couple turns up on their doorstep and expresses interest in renting and renovating the flat. With a lot of hard work, the couple transform the flat into a habitable space to live, and fill the home with love and laughter.

Why read a wordless picture book? Wordless picture books can be a powerful tool in developing children's literacy skills. With no words to read, wordless picture books encourage children to study and interpret the illustrations to figure out what has happened and to predict what will happen next. This helps them develop their comprehension, vocabulary, and listening skills as well as their understanding of story structure and character development. And for children who struggle to read, a wordless picture book can help remove some of the pressure they might feel when trying to read, and lets them enjoy the pictures and the story.

Over the Shop is a work of art with an important message in it about community, diversity, family and friendship. Children will enjoy looking at the illustrations and telling you what they think is happening in the story.
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Why? Over the Shop is a wordless picture book that encourages children to figure out what is happening in the story through studying the illustrations and using their imagination.
Cost: $27.99
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