Friday, 13 June 2014

Picture Books

French Illustrator
Ronan Badel
The Lazy Friend
Gecko Press  2014  $24.99hb  24pp
ISBN  978 1 9272 7141 4
Themes: Bravery/ Courage/ Determination/ Friendship/ Jungles/ Sloths/ Wordless picture books

The lazy friend of the title is Sloth who remains asleep through the whole drama and yet, he is the cause of it all! When the tree fellers come to the jungle, they cut down a tree on which Sloth is fast asleep and load him on to a truck. Snake, his friend, slithers into action and follows him onto the truck while the other friends wave a sad goodbye. The power of the illustrator, Ronan Badel, is such, that he manages in a few simple lines, to convey abject misery on the faces of Toucan and Frog as they sit on a tree stump, waving. Dramatic adventures follow and then Snake organises the escape and the pair make it back home with Sloth opening one slightly bemused eye on arrival. Stories within stories abound here and there will be more to discover on each opening of the book. Older students may well wonder at the skill of the artist who manages to tell such a story of courage and determination without actually writing one word.
Adults with imagination will have much delight in telling and sharing the saga in their own words.  
Preschool up/ Age 4 up.

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