The Swap written by Jan Ormerod, illustrated by Andrew Joyner (Little Hare Books) HB RRP $14.99
Reviewed by Liz Ledden
Winner of the CBCA Book of the Year in the Early Childhood category (2014), The Swap has been released in board book format.
Little Caroline Crocodile is jealous of her baby brother and the attention he receives. The more Mama Crocodile gushes over him, the more jealous Caroline becomes. The illustrations build on the text, with Andrew Joyner’s depictions of Caroline cleverly conveying her emotions. When Mama Crocodile heads into the Hat Shop to swap a hat that’s not quite right, Caroline gets an idea. She takes her brother to the Baby Shop, and attempts to swap him for some other animal babies. However, their cute features belie an array of difficult traits, leading Caroline to take another look at her baby brother.
The Swap examines sibling jealousy in a really fun way, with highly engaging characters, and a big dose of humour and mayhem as Caroline interacts with all the potential replacements for her brother. A heart-warming, satisfying conclusion rounds the story off perfectly.
The Swap would make a wonderful gift for a toddler or pre-schooler grappling with the arrival of a sibling. This new format’s sturdy, square-shaped pages are perfect for little hands, allowing the longevity this timeless tale deserves.