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My Two Blankets

July 3, 2014

My Two Blankets

By Irena Kobald and Freya Blackwood, Little Hare, 2014.

‘Cartwheel has moved to a place that is so strange to her, she no longer feels like herself. This is a story about new ways of speaking, new ways of living, new ways of being.’

Cover of a book showing an illustration of two girls under an umbrella

In My Two Blankets, we travel with Cartwheel across countries to a new world far from the world she grew up in and is familiar with. She feels isolated and alone, and goes home and hides under her old blanket, where she feels safe. She mentions that when she went out, it felt like she was ‘standing under a waterfall of strange sounds. The waterfall was cold. It made me feel alone.’

Her old blanket is adorned with familiar objects from her homeland. Then, one day when she is in the park, she makes a friend. Her new friend begins to teach her new words, and as Cartwheel grapples with her new language, she doesn’t feel so much like she is under a waterfall anymore. She soon begins to weave herself a new blanket encapsulating the words and images of her newfound language. And, as she learned the new words she ‘whispered them again and again. Soon they didn’t sound so cold and sharp any more’.

Every day her new blanket grows larger until she forgets about the ‘waterfall’, and finds that her new blanket is just as nurturing as her old blanket.

This book raises awareness of diversity. This is not only highlighted in the conversations that Cartwheel has with herself, but also in her experience of her new world and in the illustrations. Richly illustrated, we see a strong association with the different colours from her two worlds.

My Two Blankets is written in the first person from Cartwheel’s perspective. This choice of voice adds to the immediacy of Cartwheel’s experiences in her new world. The isolation she feels is strongly evoked through illustrations and use of language.

Download the Teacher Resource.


Winner: The Picture Book of the Year, Children’s Book Council of Australia, 2015.

Winner: Kate Greenaway Medal, 2010.

Wrap Up

My Two Blankets

  • 8.5/10
  • 9/10
  • 5/10
    Educational content
  • 0.1/10
  • 8.5/10


  • Richly illustrated, with distinct differences between the colour palette for each each experience.
  • An honest portrayal of life in a foreign new land.
  • Could help children develop empathy for people in similar situations.
  • Lovely metaphor of the old and new blankets representing her two worlds.

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