Rory’s Room of Rectangles is the story of Rory’s first Fathers Day without his father living at home. A surprise trip to an art gallery with Mum’s new boyfriend helps Rory explore the conflicting emotions that he has about celebrating a new kind of Fathers Day.
The Story: Rory lives with his mum and her new boyfriend, Tony. He gets on well with Tony and still enjoys weekends spent with Dad. But when Rory’s class make Fathers Day cards he is thrown into turmoil and doesn’t know who he should give the card to. In frustration he tears the card up and hides it. Rory spends Father’s Day with Mum and Tony who later takes Rory on a surprise trip to an art gallery. Sitting in a rectangular room helps Rory verbalise his feelings and share his emotions with Tony who has another surprise for Rory when they leave…
Rory’s situation will be familiar to many children who live apart from one of their parents. Rory, Mum and Tony live in a flat and the activities that they do together don’t cost a lot of money. They paint, create imaginary worlds and play board games. When Rory is with Dad they play in the park and feed the ducks.
Tony is an incredibly sensitive and perceptive character who cares about Rory and realises how important it is that he maintains a good relationship with Dad. On Fathers Day he recognises that Rory is thinking about what his dad may be doing and suggests a trip to the art gallery. As they sit in a room full of rectangles, Tony listens to Rory and a discussion about the artwork helps Rory to explore and verbalise his feelings about having two fathers in his life.
Rory’s Room of Rectangles uses colour and art as metaphors to help Rory explore his conflicting feelings and uncertainties. Jessica Knight’s illustrations convey powerful emotions through the characters’ expressions and their reactions to the artwork. We love the scenes in the art gallery and the way that Tony and Rory holding hands conveys their close relationship.
This is a fabulous book to stimulate a classroom discussion about different family structures. It can give children the opportunity to share their own experiences and talk about how various special days are celebrated within their families as well as give them a safe space to share any uncertainties that they may have.
Age Range: 3 +
Thank you to PR Catherine Ward and Owlet Press for the review copy of this supportive and heartwarming picture book.