Review Blog

Oct 05 2020

Ruby and Graham by Lucy Barnard

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New Frontier Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781921928758.
(Age: 4+) Ruby seems to be the life of the party. She loves to have fun and all the animals in Acorn Wood love to have fun with her. Graham on the other hand, loves to organise things, but finds one day that the animals ignore him, wanting to be with Lucy. Despondent, he tries to think of ways he can be more like Lucy. He begins to dance, wear cool clothes, swing up high on the swing in the tree, the fun pendulum swinging Graham's way. But now everyone is having fun and partying in the wood, and chaos erupts. No one is there to organise or clear up or simply be sensible. Lucy admits that she wishes she was more like the old Graham, while Graham says that he quite likes being more like Lucy. But this is a problem. Together they decide that Lucy could learn to be more organised and he retrieves his clipboard and they set to work. The whole group cleans up the forest, and all is set for the two animals to see that there is merit in both their abilities.
A neatly resolved story about finding your feet and using what skills you have to the best advantage, neither animal is derided for their difference, but each skill is seen as a positive skill to have although the consequences of neglecting one skill can be dire for the whole community. Both animals have a skill that can be shared to advantage, and the sharing of the two skills means that all share in the outcome. Teaching notes are available.
A story that celebrates difference, and encourages children to work together, joining their skills for a mutually agreeable outcome.
Themes; Difference, Sharing, Friendship.
Fran Knight

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