15 January, 2016

Grrrrr! by Rob Biddulph

The highly talented author and illustrator Rob Biddulph has followed up his award-winning Blown Away, a delightful tale about the perils of being a penguin with a kite, with another beautifully illustrated and cleverly written story about a bear called Fred who discovers that friends are more important than winning.

Fred, who has won the Best Bear in the Wood competition for three years running by catching more fish, hula-hooping for longer, scaring more humans and roaring louder than any other bears faces stiff competition from Boris, the new bear in town.

Fred finds that, rather than relying solely on his own abilities, there are times when you need help from your friends. In the process, he makes an unexpected new friend himself.

This is a simple but smart story, with a message that will resonate with children. The story is told with rhyming lines, adding a lyrical quality that is very appealing. Biddulph is excellent at adding in little details that add originality and memorability to the story.

The illustrations are just fantastic – Biddulph is the art director of the Observer Magazine – and guaranteed to delight and draw comment. Boris steals the show for me, with the glasses and moustache.

One test for an excellent picture book is whether you read it more often to yourself than to your child; then it becomes a guilty pleasure! Grrrrr! is definitely one of my guilty pleasures right now.

Title: Grrrrr!
Author: Rob Biddulph

Reviewed by Nick K, Ranui Library

Nick K enjoys reading crime fiction, demonological adult and young adult fiction, classic children’s fiction like Arthur Ransome and picture books, especially those illustrated by Quentin Blake. He hates reality TV.

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