Friday, 22 March 2019

ReadItDaddy's Second Picture Book of the Week - Week Ending 22nd March 2019: "In the Swamp by the Light of the Moon" by Frann Preston-Gannon (Templar Publising)

Our Second Picture Book of the Week this week covers subject matter that we've discussed in great detail on this blog, and once put out a cry for more books about on Twitter.

So perhaps Frann Preston-Gannon heard our plaintive (but quiet) cry, and perhaps it might have had a smidge of impact on the utterly delightful "In the Swamp by the Light of the Moon".

Probably not though, because Frann is that rare thing, a picture book genius who consistently produces glowing, vibrant and absolutely essential books that are completely wonderful in every way.

We were initially a bit 'down' about this one, but it's one of those books that feels familiar, yet surprises you with hidden depths once you begin to peel back the layers of the story to find the message at its heart. We read it quite a few times and definitely think there's a need in the children's book market for books that celebrate introverts and show them in a more positive light.

"In the Swamp by the Light of the Moon" centres around a tiny frog who lives in a swamp. The frog loves nothing better than singing in the light of the moon - but each time Frog begins his song, he feels there's something essential missing.

One by one, friends join in with his song and guitar playing - but there's still something not quite right. In the end, it takes the quietest but sweetest voice to complete Frog's song, and make it a tour de force, and utterly beautiful.

Look at this book for a moment, take a moment to savour Frann's beautiful cover art, and rest assured that the rest of the book is equally beautiful as we're introduced to a cast of characters that all have their parts to play - but none more important than the humble and tiny firefly, who may not be as loud, brash and bombastic as others, but is still worth hearing and listening to.

That's such a great lesson for kids to read and hear, that you don't have to be outspoken or a showy extrovert in order to be of importance to the world. Hear hear!

Sum this book up in a sentence: The kind of story we've been clamouring for more of, a story that celebrates those individuals who have a clear but quiet voice and deserve as much attention as the loud showy ones.

"In the swamp by the light of the moon" by Frann Preston Gannon is out now, published by Templar (kindly supplied for review).