Patch and Ruby by Anouska Jones and Gwynneth Jones (EK Books) PB RRP $19.99
Reviewed by Elizabeth Vercoe
This is the story of a lonely pony Patch, who has farmyard friends in all sorts of places but still doesn’t feel quite ‘right.’ This delightful tale covers enormous terrain although it’s confined to a small geographic locale.
‘Patch was lonely. It wasn’t that he didn’t have friends. He did. But sometimes he felt like he didn’t quite fit in.’
A beautifully crafted story, Patch and Ruby touches on the universal themes of friendship and needing to belong. It shows us how Patch spends his days on the farm, highlighting his ‘difference’ and the clever ways in which he tries to deal with this. Through a wonderful melding of words and pictures, young children will immediately see and identify with his challenge to fit in.
When Patch’s special (human) girl Sam has a BIG idea, his life changes in an amazing way.
It’s hard to describe quite how much I love both the words and illustrated characters in this story. I can’t recall ever having seen a ladybird with such attitude. Gwynneth Jones’ soft paintings are simple, fresh and surprising. Beryl and the girls (chooks) hold a special place in my heart.
All children will at some point feel that they don’t quite belong – at school, at home or in the community - and the story of Patch and Ruby makes such ‘not quite belonging’ okay.
This book is simply a ‘must read’ for everyone!
Also available as one of three books in the Sugar and Spice Collection is a beautifully presented boxed set.