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Y Ddinas Uchel/The Builders - Huw Aaron

*For Welsh review, see language toggle switch on webpage*

Mae'n iawn i freuddwydio am rywbeth gwell...

Its ok to dream for something better...

Positive messages: ◉◉◉◉◎ Upsetting, tough themes: ◎◎◎◎◎ Violence, scary: ◎◎◎◎◎ Language: ◎◎◎◎◎ Sex: ◎◎◎◎◎

Suggested reading age: 5+

Suggested interest age: 3-7


This bilingual picture book is from talented artist/cartoonist Huw Aaron. We are very familiar with his drawings and doodles in a number of popular books and the magazine Mellten. On this occasion, Huw himself has taken care of writing the story as well as painting the pictures! Huw said that the story had been simmering in the back of his mind for years- well finally, here it is!

This is a story about a little girl called Petra, who lives in a city full of very busy people. The workers spend all day, every day building very high towers that stretch to the sky. In fact, the workers remind me of termites, who spend their lives building large mounds.

Poor Petra is bored with the daily grind of constructing towers. In fact, she is absolutely fed up! Petra begins to question the regime as she ponders the big philosophical question: Is there more to life?

Even though some very important people order her to 'grow up' and ‘get on with it’, in her heart she never stops dreaming.

One day, when a lady comes down from the clouds in a hot air balloon, they go on an adventure all over the world, seeing all the wonders that exist. I wonder if Petra will be able to persuade the rest of the city's inhabitants that there is more to life than building towers?

Huw Aaron’s watercolour paintings are beautifully colourful and we get a very affectionate story with a clear message to young children (as well as adults!) that it’s perfectly acceptable to question things. The book conveys children's natural curiosity and wonder about the world around them. Children and adults will understand the message that there are many wonders and opportunities out there to be seen and enjoyed, if you take the chance!

There’s a metaphor in the book that shows how modern life has conditioned us to hurry from one place to another, working non-stop, without taking time to fully appreciate our world. Go out to see the world and enjoy new experiences- life is too short!

I'm really glad Atebol decided to make this book available bilingually, so that more people can enjoy it.

Review from, by permission of Welsh Books Council.


Publisher: Atebol

Price: £6.99

Released: 2020

ISBN: 9781801060189


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