‘Little Why’ written and illustrated by Jonny Lambert is a gentle, humorous tale of a little elephant who gazes up at the world above him and sees all the things he could be if he was like the other animals. If he had ‘spiny-spiky special horns’ like the wildebeest he could be ‘super-duper scary’ Or if he had ‘long -lofty leggy legs’ like the giraffe he could be ‘super-stretchy tall.’ But poor Little Why, everything he asks for he is told no and he keeps asking ‘why?’ When he almost gets snapped up by a crocodile we realise he soon starts to realise there is a real reason why he must stay in line and listen to the grown up animals. While children will be delighted by Little Why’s constant questioning all parents will be able to identify with the incessant ‘why?,’ it is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s faces.
The language has fantastic alliteration which flows beautifully. It is perfect for emphasising when reading aloud my favourite description being the ‘snippy-snappy snazzy snout’ on the crocodile. Having repetition throughout the story is a great aid encouraging children to join in with telling Little Why to ‘keep in line’, and help say ‘No!’ Jonny’s illustrations are stunning I love how he creates the textures within his drawings which bring the animals to life. Using only a limited palette of colours set aside a stark white background he allows us to focus on the animals and their emotions rather than the journey they are undertaking. At the heart of this story we learn that everyone is different and uniquely special. This book is an absolute treasure it really captures the wonder and awe of small children who see the world in a totally different light. I absolutely loved reading and sharing this story.
Thank you to Little Tiger Press for sending me a copy of this book to review.