Cover Image: The Tunnel

The Tunnel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Tunnel may seem like a simple book but it is anything but that.  The tunnel is the perfect metaphor for how a child may feel when they are at the height of an emotional rollercoaster. The tunnel is the like the rollercoaster heading down and once the body has regulated itself, it is time to come back up to center. I think a lot of children will be able to relate to this story and the boy's struggle to escape his emotions. The beauty of the story is what ends up bringing him back to center.  By remembering his family's love and support he can return to them and be calm again.
Was this review helpful?
A young boy doesn’t understand what to do about his sad feelings (grief)..  Something bad has happened.  What happened?  His mom and aunt tried to help but it makes him feel overwhelm.  He goes to his bedroom and ends up digging through the floor and keeps digging into the tunnel he is making to escape from it all.  It is dark in the tunnel.  Suddenly, he turns around to go back home.  Why?  What happened to make him change his mind?

The author has written a book about feelings that may be difficult to understand and/or what to do with them.  The illustrator did an excellent job with the illustrations as they were perfect for the story.  I liked this book because it can be a good book to bring up difficult feelings when something bad has happened.  The picture book makes life a little bit easier for when something bad happens.  It’s a way to open a hard discussion for “bad things.”
Was this review helpful?
This book is about a child dealing with grief, it was a wonderful, quiet, thoughtful introspection on how a child might feel when suffering a loss. Although the loss isn’t specifically named, it is implied the child has lost his father, since he is alone now with his mother. The book is definitely sad, but not depressing, the subject is sad and that’s the point, it’s ok to feel sad, it’s expected to feel sad when you have suffered a loss. The words were poetic without being too lofty for a child to understand. The illustrations were perfect, dark, gray, images with splashes of red, appropriate as red to me signifies the anger aspect of grief in a subtle way. 

This book would definitely be.a book I would recommend for a child who has lost a parent, however since the loss is never directly discussed I think it would also be appropriate for a child who is facing grief or sadness due to a loss for any reason, whether that be loss off a pet, divorce, or loss of a grandparent.
Was this review helpful?
Lovely book about a difficult topic. For a child dealing with grief I think this would be a great book to recommend.
Was this review helpful?
This picture book is soft and stunning, with beautiful black and white illustrations highlighted with small patches of color. It tackles the necessary processing we all must go through - even children! - after a loss or trauma. The significant loss is not named, though it indicates the child is now along with his mother. Rather than focusing on the particulars of the loss, it sits quietly with the pain, allowing the child to feel the distance and desire to run away while still providing the regular reminders of family stability and love that will always be there. When the child returns from the adventure of digging the tunnel, finding themself back in their comfortable room, they hug their mother "as hard as possible," where before the book acknowledges that sometimes you don't feel like hugging back when you're hurting. Never diving too far into the darkness, The Tunnel offers young readers healthy explorations of sad feelings and how to sit with them appropriately.
Was this review helpful?
This title would need some guidance for the reader. This title is a bit on the sad or dark side. The illustrations go alone with the feelings in the book. The book would work great as a classroom setting resource. I would include this title as a teaching book for our library programs.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Owlkids and NetGalley for the digital ARC of this book!

When I finished this book, I really had to sit with it for a while. It was very complex and emotional, and for a while, I was afraid that it was too heavy for kids. Ultimately, I was wrong. 

I think this book is a perfect introduction to the concept of grief for any young children, and I think it could be used to really help young kids who are struggling with such big and complex emotions. The simple yet hard-hitting story combined with the emotional illustrations are an incredible duo and I think any household/library/classroom would be lucky to add this book to their social emotional learning collections. Whether we like it or not, many kids do go through grief, sadness, and despair, and books like this can really help teach them that their feelings are valid, and help them learn how to find their way back.
Was this review helpful?
I am always a fan of picture books that illustrate ways for children to articulate and give form to feelings that may otherwise be outside their ability to process.  The Tunnel by Sarah Howden is a tender story of a kid grappling with difficult feelings and the need for space and time alone.  The artwork is muted and somber, with splashes of red to draw the eye.  And the writing itself is spare but powerful in its execution.
Was this review helpful?
This is a wonderful picture book about dealing with feelings of all sorts. It seems to focus on grief. The home is now just the boy and his mom, suggesting loss of his father in some fashion. He struggles with grown ups' attempts to reach out to him. So he digs a tunnel and ends up outside. There he could disappear, but instead chooses to return. Lots here that doesnt need explanation or discussion that could also be an opportunity for a lot of either.
Was this review helpful?
Great read. Gentle and purposeful. Would recommend for caregivers and children dealing with grief, space, and thoughtfulness...just to name a few.
Was this review helpful?
I received this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.

This is a very compelling story about a little boy going through a hard time, I'm assuming a loss, with his mom. He digs a tunnel away but realizes he can't leave his mom when they can care for each other. The illustrations were very unique and profound. A sad but heartwarming story!
Was this review helpful?
A child-like view of trauma and grief and how children process these heavy emotions. There is very little color in the book which highlights the intensity of emotions that the boy feels. The grown-ups in the book allow the boy a safe space to explore these hard feelings. This is a much needed addition to grief and trauma picture books for young children.
Was this review helpful?
Something has happened in this little child’s world. We don’t know what has happened but there is grief and sadness. Sometimes in the sadness you just want to be by yourself and away from the things that remind you or make you feel pressure. And our main child decides to dig a tunnel. The tunnel is under his bed and out to the night world. While out in the night world he sees his mother in the living room with his aunt and the sadness that emanates from the pages both from the words and the illustrations can be felt by both the boy and the reader. It helps all realize that sometimes you may need solitude but you always need your family. This book is wonderful for its simplicity. Its nonspecific and it could be anything. It could be troubles at school, it could be money problems, and it could be a death in the family. There are so many things that could bring about the situation that symbolizing how it feels works tremendously well. They are children that need this book so hopefully every library will have a copy.
Was this review helpful?
The Tunnel is a much-needed book on a difficult topic. Something bad happens to the main character, and though mom and his aunt try to help, he needs time and space to help him process his emotions.  The grey illustrations add to the weight of the story. The story feels dark and scary, even as an adult.  But the feelings that the boy has are very realistic and this book could help kids who have experienced trauma and loss process their feelings.  While I wouldn’t read this to a classroom full of students, it could be a valuable discussion starter for a family or individual child.
Was this review helpful?
This book could fit a wide range of situations since the "bad thing" is never identified. It's a strong telling of a child needing space but then learning to accept comfort from others, while also acknowledging that adults handle the "bad thing" too. A purposeful lack of color helps the mood of this book and allows the reader to focus on the story and the child's emotions.
Was this review helpful?
This would be a great resource for a school social worker, nurse, or psychologist.   It's a gentle, non-specific tale about a young child who experiences something bad and occasionally needs space to deal with it.  The metaphor of the tunnel is likely best suited to elementary kids (as opposed to pre-K, who may not get it) but the overall tone of the book is compassionate, validating, and supportive.    

What I like best is that this is blessedly free of toxic positivity.   It acknowledges that bad things happen and we don't get over them right away and we don't always want to interact or accept traditional forms of support.  It leaves lots of room to process conflicting emotions and just sit with them when needed.  The illustrations are appropriately subdued and interpret the story well.   I would definitely recommend this for any young child working through something traumatic.

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy to read in exchange for an honest review. 

Oh this book hits you in the feels. A child is clearly working through grief and doesn't know how to be, do, feel. They want to go away so they dig a way out. It's breathtaking how accurate the illustrations are for anxiety and grief. A touching book.
Was this review helpful?
Terrific book for little ones dealing with grief. It’s not an easy book to read but it’s not an easy topic. It definitely will help kids process the hard feelings of grief and let them know it’s ok to feel like they want to be alone. And that it’s ok to come back from that too.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the Owlkids Books and NetGalley for the advanced electronic review copy of this wonderful book. This is a great book to start conversations about dealing with trauma, grief, an importance of being by oneself, as well as coming back and rejoining the world. Such a great way to visually show emotion and using language that children can relate to.
Was this review helpful?
A beautifully-illustrated imagining of a child seeking solace after the presumed loss of his father. I will be purchasing for our library for any families needing help with grief. ARC provided by publisher.
Was this review helpful?