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Katherine Davis-Gibbon

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Katherine Davis-Gibbon is a yoga teacher, longtime practitioner of Vipassana meditation, and most importantly a mother of two. She is also the founder of Riverlet Press, a children's book company for conscious parents raising mindful kids.

MY OLD FRIEND, THEN Cover
CHILDREN'S & TEEN

MY OLD FRIEND, THEN

BY Katherine Davis-Gibbon • POSTED ON Nov. 29, 2021

A girl explores her relationships with the past and the present in Davis-Gibbon’s picture book.

A kid introduces readers to a faceless figure named Then, an “old friend” whom she has known “as long as I can remember.” Then is gray and shadowy and has the same shape as the unnamed main character. The youngster, who is White, recounts her times with Then, who is very demanding, has an active imagination, and can be a braggart. When Then’s presence impacts her ability to pay attention to others and enjoy her favorite things, she makes a new friend named Now, a girl-shaped being with a colorful paint-splotched appearance. Now is supportive, caring, and fun. She also accepts the girl’s ongoing relationship with Then. The girl explains how Then “is the perfect friend” when “I feel like a story,” which Now also embraces because she “likes stories” as well. Ostensibly, this indicates a healthy ability to revisit the past without letting it overshadow the present. Davis-Gibbon’s creative personifications of the past and the present here will enable readers to reflect on how “Then” and “Now” impact their own lives. The protagonist’s constructive realizations underscore the importance of integrating our past and present selves. Daigle’s lively illustrations depict Then and Now throughout the girl’s life. Settings, evocatively portrayed, include outdoor locations with sun-dappled skies, mountains, and waters with splashes of color and texture.

A philosophical, kid-friendly take on the rewards of being present.

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73795-760-7

Page count: 40pp

Publisher: Riverlet Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

Awards, Press & Interests

Hometown

Chicago, IL

Favorite author

Annie Dillard

Favorite book

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Day job

Yoga teacher and mother of two

Favorite line from a book

"All we can talk about is what is on this side of transcendence. The problem is to open the words, to open the images so that they point past themselves." -- Joseph Campbell

Favorite word

Hope

Unexpected skill or talent

I don't actually sleep

Passion in life

Learning

The Children's Book Review, 2021 Kirkus Reviews, 2021