Sunday Skating by Andrea Rowe & Hannah Sommerville

Sunday Skating by Andrea Rowe

Andrea Rowe and Hannah Sommerville are a dynamic author-illustrator team, creating the much-loved and award-winning, Jetty Jumping. There has been high anticipation about their next book – Sunday Skating – and they do not disappoint! In this gloriously illustrated picture book, Andrea and Hannah take us back to the world of Jetty Jumping, with familiar characters and even the jetty, featuring in the illustrations.

This time, it is Clancy’s turn to star. Filled with nostalgia for skating kids like myself, the story shines a light on courage, friendship, overcoming your fears and taking a chance. It’s a gentle story, with a positive message that the young skater crowd of today will adore. The seaside setting is the backdrop on which the children skate through Sunday, from dawn to dusk.

Clancy’s friends skate through the quiet Sunday streets, while Clancy feels self-conscious, and embarrassed, that he’s just a beginner. His board stays tucked under his arm; his feet stay firmly on the ground. 

But his friends aren’t giving up on him and Clancy realises the only way forward is to step on his board and try … even if he might fall.

Andrea Rowe and Hannah Sommerville transport us back to the world of their award-winning picture book, Jetty Jumping, with a story about self-doubt, courage and the power of friendship.

Hannah’s gentle pastel tones set the mood for the story from the start. The cover is a perfect pairing for the Jetty Jumping cover, this time with golds and pinks overlaying the blue, giving a sense of sunshine. There is much movement and light in her illustrations, which pair with Andrea’s warm and heartfelt prose.

The story unfolds at the beginning of an easy Sunday, which opens up to the freedom of skating for the children of the seaside town. Andrea uses alliterative pairings and phrases, to give a sense of movement throughout the narrative. Clancy’s friends are ‘ready to roll’ but he stands alone, uncertain. His friends display daring moves on their boards and blades and skates, but ‘not everyone is rolling. Not everyone feels sure.’

Clancy’s friends tell him to ‘Go for it!’ but still, he does not try. He wishes they would stop asking. He watches, as the girls grow even more daring, still telling him to try. But his worries win the day and his skateboard stays tucked beneath his arm.

As the sunset creeps closer, his skateboard (and his heart) heavy, Clancy has such regret that he didn’t try, he didn’t overcome his worries. He feels exposed and filled with doubt. Everyone will laugh, he is sure of it. He does not want to be the centre of attention. Now, the girls fly into the skate park bowl, which is even more daunting. But his friends won’t give up on Clancy.

This time, when they tell him to ‘Go for it!’ Clancy takes a deep breath, Clancy takes a chance. He takes his first leap of courage, supported by his friends, learning that when you fall, your friends are there to pick you up and it’s always worth taking the leap.

This book will be loved just as much as Jetty Jumping and is the perfect story for Sunday snuggles. It is also a lovely addition to any picture book library and should be read aloud to experience the full joy of the prose.

Available everywhere and be sure to look for signings and events, which are rolling out in various locations right now. Head to Andrea’s website for more details.


Leave a Comment