A friendship message in the shadows


Boris enjoyed his catnap, but apparently, his shadow didn't. Vernon noticed the antsy shadow and decided to do a switch-swap with Boris' shadow. He left his shadow for Boris. With a mouse shadow, the other cats made fun of Boris; but with a cat shadow, Vernon felt people finally took him seriously. Even so, Boris wanted his shadow back. Would walking in each other's shadow change their relationship? 

Parent Perspective:
This is a clever way of helping kids see life from someone else's perspective. Kids will like the bright colors and the mixed-media illustrations. Overall, I like the book and would recommend sharing it; but with the caveat about two scenes if reading with preschoolers. One describes Vernon telling a "teeny" lie. The presentation makes light of Vernon taking something that doesn't belong to him. That's not teeny. Second, and admittedly my nitpick, is the word "stupid" in big, bold letters. Boris describing himself with that adjective isn't something I would have read in our house. Even a preschooler who can't yet read will recognize that word.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Kids are sure to giggle at the idea of a cat with a mouse shadow (and a mouse with a cat's shadow). Humor is an excellent vehicle for this story about empathy and friendship. 

Content Awareness Factors:


Type of Book:
This picture book uses humor to encourage kids to accept themselves for who they are and not try to be like other people.
Educational Themes:

This is a story about empathy, forgiveness, and friendship. You might also talk about Vernon taking Boris' shadow without asking. It would easily be analogous to a younger sibling taking something that belongs to an older sibling. 

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
8 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
3 to 9
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. The story is cute and has a good message.

Title Boris and the Wrong Shadow
Author Leigh Hodgkinson
Publisher Tiger Tales © 2012
Illustrators Leigh Hodgkinson
ISBN 9781589254343
Material Paperback
Cost $7.95
Genres Animal Character, Humor
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