Sequin and Stitch by Laura Dockrill & Sara Ogilvie

Sequin and Stitch is the story of nine year old Sequin who lives with her Mum and baby brother, Stitch, on the twelfth floor of Primrose Mansions. Sequin has a strong, heartwarming relationship with her mother but their lives are impacted by agoraphobia, mental illness, loss and bullying. It’s a compelling, poignant read with a really, unexpected twist that took us totally by surprise.

The Story: Sequin lives with her mum and baby brother, Stitch, in a little flat which is full of the beautiful fabrics, buttons and beads that Sequin’s mum needs for her job as a seamstress. Sequin is excited when Mum is commissioned to make a wedding dress for a princess but the night before the princess is due to try on the dress, a fire destroys Primrose Mansions. Sequin and her family are forced to confront loss and embrace a new reality when their home is destroyed.

Sequin and Stitch intertwines buttons, beads, sparkly fabrics and a princess with difficult school and family dramas. Sequin is a strong, resilient heroine whose home life is impacted by her mum’s agoraphobia and low self esteem but she is fiercely protective of her family and longs for a better future. Her story shows the resilience and strength of character that many children find in the face of tragedy and heartbreak.

Mum is never named as the dressmaker for all the beautiful gowns she creates for top designers in London, they take all the credit and the money for them which annoys Sequin. She wants Mum to stand up for herself and be recognised for her work but Mum never leaves the flat. Sequin’s schoolmates aren’t allowed to visit and when Sequin does a school presentation about her inspirational mum’s work nobody believes her which leads to her being ridiculed and bullied. But the tragedy of the fire leads Sequin to realise that the love that stitches her and her mum together can help them to fix everything that is broken.

Partly inspired by the Grenfell tragedy, Laura subtly weaves mental health issues and diversity into an original story which provides lots of stimulus for discussion about family dynamics, bullying and issues that younger children may face in everyday life. The twist at the end also led us to read the book again to see if we had missed any clues!

Barrington Stoke specialises in creating books for dyslexic and reluctant readers so the text in Sequin and Stitch is easy to read but the content is relevant to the age of the reader. It is a thin book with short chapters, the perfect chapter book for those children who struggle with or may not enjoy reading.

Age Range: 8 +

Author: Laura Dockrill / Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie

Thank you to Barrington Stoke for sending a copy of this poignant, touching story about the relationship between a little girl and her family.

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