A giraffe with long, gangly legs--just think of all the wonderful things he could do with such legs! And the cheetah with its speedy-spotty, fuzzy fur--the glorious things Little Why could do with such fur! And the wildebeest and its horns--wow! A little elephant could really use those horns!
On the way to the waterhole, Little Why buzzes and conceptualises all the wonderful things he (or perhaps a she?) could be, yet is consistently told to get back in line. It's not until he is at the waterhole, that Little Why realises how good it is to be just the way we are.
This is a storyline that's been done many times in children's picture books, as are the repetitive plot points that build to the 'you're special just the way you are' finale. How I would have loved to have seen this book end in a way that wasn't like so many others.
Nevertheless, the messaging is one children will always benefit from and enjoy, and the illustrations and book design really make this book stand out in the pack. Lambert's illustrations are truly superb, gorgeously textured, with beautifully-constructed movement and characterisation. The main star is adorable and the text voice is a delight to read.
Preschoolers will dog-ear this book, quick-smart.
Title: Little Why
Author/Illustrator: Jenny Lambert
Publisher: Little Tiger, $16.99
For ages: 3 - 6
Type: Picture Book