'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 16 September 2018

Review: Ruby in the Ruins

The end papers are the first to inform that this is a book about WW2. Copies of advertising posters in olive green make you stop and read them. 

You get the feel of how things were during wartime, whether it be how sandwiches were made without butter, or a call out for Air Raid wardens.

The war is over and the soldiers are returning home. London is in ruins but the bombing has stopped. 

The children that had been sent into the country areas for safety have returned to their homes again. Celebrations are taking place everywhere due to the pooling of rations.

Ruby and her mum wait anxiously for the train that will bring her dad back to them. His return is a joyous occasion, but there is great change in Ruby’s house.

There are many things for Ruby to come to terms with. War has left many scars, even on the land. Bomb sites are an attractive thing to adventurous children, whether they are fenced off or not.

When Ruby falls during a venture into the ruins with some boys, it’s Dad that saves her, and brings her home safely.

Stunning illustrations portray the ravages of war. With her life-like images, Shirley Hughes draws the reader into an epoch that today’s children learn about only through pictures and words. She has done this perfectly with her brilliant and well- designed book.

The layout is superb. It allows the illustration to be the commanding factor and speak louder than the text, but nevertheless, the words play a significant supporting role in the story’s tale.

The book comes with a gorgeous jacket, depicting Ruby on top of a pile of rubble.

Title: Ruby in the Ruins
Author/Illustrator: Shirley Hughes
Publisher: Walker Books, $27.99
Publication Date: April 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781406375893
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book