All alone in its own wonderful world, with all its beautiful treasures, the First Slodge is comfortable. But the rude awakening comes when she realises that the fruit which she eats, the sun which she sees setting in the evening, the fragrant flower that she can smell are all as much someone else’s as hers. It’s a rude awakening indeed. We relate to this because all of us have experienced it ourselves, when we were ‘the first slodge’! We have all had to go through the transformation of realising that perhaps our parents were not just our parents, or our best friend didn’t belong to just us – of realising we are one among many in the world. The subject of learning to take a place in society and to become yourself amongst others that share the world with you is a large undertaking for a children’s picturebook. But with careful text and sensitivity towards the Slodge and her journey, Jeanne Willis has pulled it off beautifully. This coupled with Jenni Desmond’s friendly, playful illustrations (with fantastic facial expressions) deliver the large undertaking marvellously. The First Slodge is an original read with a superb sense of judgement and understanding, and I would gift this book to any child, young or old.