Saturday 20 April 2019

The World of Ruby Red Shoes

A Book about Ruby’s Day        ISBN: 9781460756935 HB RRP $14.99
A Book about Ruby’s Feelings ISBN: 9781460756928 HB RRP $14.99
Series: The World of Ruby Red Shoes by Kate Knapp. (Harper Collins, 2018.)

Reviewed by Julie Anne Thorndyke

A Book about Ruby’s Day and A Book about Ruby’s Feelings are two new releases in The World of Ruby Red Shoes Series by Kate Knapp. Designed as small, square, hardbacks in the style of Beatrix Potter’s child-sized volumes, interestingly, these books have none of the earthy naughtiness of Peter Rabbit or Jemima Puddleduck. These are cute, pastel, feminine books, each with a positive tone and a consistent illustration style like up-market greeting cards.

The endpapers feature a floral design reminiscent of a Liberty print or Laura Ashley wallpaper. Each two-page spread, on sturdy matte paper, features a stylised illustration and a rhyming text. The anthropomorphised white hare wears classic “little girl” outfits, and of course, her signature red shoes, all hand-drawn in pencil, ink and watercolour. Each page has a stanza of two or more rhyming couplets.

The poetry is even and sunny, no surprises, drama or flashes of brilliance await the reader. The words and pictures are comforting, predictable, optimistic. Even the negative emotions in the Feelings book are rounded off with a strategy for coping, e.g.
“So now when I’m cross, it’s a sign to me
To relax somewhere quiet, like under a tree.”

Ruby’s Day features the events of a small child’s life: mealtimes, school, nap time, bath time, bedtime, and so on. It is a reassuring book to share, perhaps with a child who struggles with routines. The gentle reassurance of the rhyming text and the safe, flower-filled world Ruby inhabits offer a peaceful reading experience.

The first books in The World of Ruby Red Shoes series were alphabet and counting books. These new titles add to the collection in an educative way for preschool story times.

The Ruby Red Shoes Series is a related set of books about travel adventures to Paris and London, for an older audience. There is a related range stationery and  giftware.

These sweet little books will be popular as new-baby presents and gifts from grandparents. Snuggle up and read one with your special little hare soon.

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