how to do heartwarming
Here is the creative writing teaching maxim: show, don’t tell, in action. Waddell shows (in dialogue and action) the particulars of how Rosie and Mum manage this potentially tense situation. The effect? The reader, aged 4, 34 or 64, feels enormous empathy for the individual characters, as well as that cosy feeling of… ‘Ah- yes, I know how that is!’ So, the reader is fully engaged by the universal and the particular.
This being a quiet book, there is no obvious conflict, no real excitement. However, the reader doesn't loose interest. When Rosie’s goal is achieved on the last page, one can't help thinking “Aww!” Sentimental? No, because the well-judged words and pictures have fully earned our emotional response. That's good storytelling.
For me, this quiet book is a classic example of how to do heart-warming: