Daan Remmerts de Vries
Sometimes I Leave You Behind for a Little While
An eloquent picture book about a girl and her toy bear
This colourful read-aloud story with expressive pictures gently tells how a young girl overcomes her separation anxiety by playing an imaginative game.
It’s a simple game, but it’s still tense and exciting: a toddler leaves her bear behind in the wood and pretends she’s forgotten him. Bear misses her. He feels “empty”. And he gets scared when he meets the wild bears in the wood. But the girl thinks “it’s good to be a little bit scared”. The game doesn’t go on for too long and they’re both delighted to see each other again.
The crisp text harmonises beautifully with the pictures. The illustrations, a mixed technique of watercolour and collage, wonderfully support the story and offer perspective, with the images and colours reflecting Bear’s state of mind. One beautiful example is the transition from dark to light as Bear finds his way through the depths of the forest and bravely heads into the unknown.
Sometimes I Leave You Behind for a Little While perfectly captures the mind of a toddler, with imagination, an urge to explore, and affection all subtly wrapped up together.