Monday 18 July 2016

Little Why

Little Why written and illustrated by Jonny Lambert (Little Tiger Press) PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 9781848691834

Reviewed by Liz Ledden

Cute baby elephant Little Why struggles to stay in line as he marches along to the watering hole with his elders. He diverts from the path each time he spots a creature he aspires to be like, from the leggy giraffe, to crocodile with its ‘snippy-snappy snazzy snout’. When his request for their features is constantly denied by the older elephant, Little Why asks ‘Why?’ to the reply of ‘Keep in line!’

The images are striking, with the use of white space accentuating the animal characters, which are reminiscent of Eric Carle’s illustrations. Some fun features on each spread include the busy little orange and purple insects, and Little Why’s ever-faithful bird companion – extra layers to examine during repeat reads.

Repetition, alliteration and rhythm result in some lovely language, culminating in a message of self-acceptance. Although, it takes one of the elephant elders to point out Little Why’s unique attributes – it would have perhaps been more powerful if Little Why came to this conclusion himself. Nevertheless, Little Why is a charming and beautifully designed book with a strong, evergreen theme.

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