Book Review: “There’s This Thing” by Connah Brecon | Diapers and Daydreams

Connah Brecon’s “There’s This Thing” follows a little girl as she tries to share her heart with another. She tries to invite love, entice love, capture love, but the love seems to be unrequited and unreturned. She tries to be someone she is not, to be loud and showy in order for her displays of affection to go noticed. And just as she is feeling rejected and giving up, she gets her happy ending – love has found her after all.

This book’s message of not trying too hard for love, but letting it find you, is not in-your-face, but rather, more philosophical. The girl’s longings are described rather vaguely so I am not sure a picture book aged-child will understand completely; However, I think if you can explain the story to your child first, in a simplistic way, they will really enjoy the story. Perhaps if it was more straightforward all along that she wanted to share her love with a boy, it would read easier for children, but I understand in doing so, the story could lose the “thing” about it that makes it so different.

Brecon’s quirky illustrations accompany the story perfectly and show the girls’ frustration through squiggles and hope of potential romance on the horizon through a single red heart balloon that follows her. I do think that picture book aged children can appreciate “There’s This Thing” for what it is without understanding the message; the pictures are bright and vibrant and tell a story all their own that a child can make of what they will.

This book may require more than one read even as an adult, but as such, I must say I really enjoyed “There’s This Thing”, on many levels. There truly is this “thing” about it that makes it very captivating. In fact, it gives you that all-too-familiar butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling you experienced in your youth, even just remembering how nerve wracking and tough and exciting and dramatic it was to be in first love (ugh, those years were the worst). This book was a really different story of love than is typically told in a children’s book, probably a more real story than most, so I appreciated that realness very much. Love isn’t always easy, it is full of heartache and turmoil, joy and playfulness, but it is beautiful.