The Long Way Home is a gorgeously gentle, hopeful and heart-warming story, filled with kindness and humour which will not only take young readers on a wonderful adventure, but also reveal the importance of sustaining memories when a forgetting day happens!
Otto loves adventure and is excited to see where he will be exploring next with his beloved Nanu, herself a Great Exploraphant! Promising to look after each other, they begin their adventure – to Lion Mountain! On the way, Nanu becomes more and more forgetful as she forgets the name of the mountain, their backpack and even the way home. Will Otto remember all that his Nanu has taught him, and have the courage to find their way home?
I adored the close bond between Otto and his Grandmother, Nanu. He clearly loves and respects her and she is full of encouragement and kindness towards Otto. When Nanu realises that they are lost and she is unable to find their way home, Otto reassures her and uses what she has taught him to help. Nanu may be having a forgetting day, but she is still brave and strong; I loved that she was not defined by her forgetfulness, but has other qualities that she could still rely upon.
As well as being an exciting adventure through the African plains, encountering some other wonderful animals along the way, this story has a wonderful message about the importance of keeping memories alive and the strength to be gained in family bonds: the importance of looking after each other and helping to continue to do the things we enjoy even when we need support in order to do so.
This story is part of Little Tiger’s Colour Fiction range for newly independent readers, and has superb full colour illustrations throughout. These illustrations depict the landscape and animals of Africa, changing over the course of a day: the changing colour palette as the day progresses is striking. The images help to accentuate the loving and playful bond between Nanu and Otto beautifully and complement and add depth to the written text.
Thank you to Charlie Morris and Little Tiger for an early copy in exchange for my honest opinion.