Today’s book review is Ruby, Blue and Blanket, by Jane Hissey (author and illustrator)
What it’s about:
(From the back cover) ‘Ruby, Blue and Blanket are playing dressing up, but Ruby doesn’t know what to be; a cowboy, a witch or a ghost in a sheet?
‘I just can’t decide!’ she cries.
Luckily, Blanket’s idea makes everyone happy, but who will win the glittering prize?’
I liked this book because it is funny and sweet. In the book, these three teddy bears play dress-up but Ruby can’t decide what to be so her friends Blue and Blanket try to help her. I also like that in one bit of it there’s some rhyming going on and I absolutely love poetry and rhymes. Jane Hissey is one of my favourite children’s authors. I really love Old Bear. This book is a great book for children of all ages so do you want it?
We were excited to get a new Jane Hissey book, having her Old Bear ones here that have been read over and over again. This didn’t disappoint, and Holly (as you can see) really enjoyed reading this. There actually is poetry throughout, with each page having an AABB (sun/run/by/lie) scheme (for poetry fans, it’s in iambic pentameter, what we are all supposed to speak in naturally in English!), and then a little refrain with an internal and end line. This adds rhythm to the story although occasionally it sticks with a slightly out-of-place stress or an extra beat. However, I am being pedantic, and I doubt that children would notice this, though I stumbled once or twice reading it.
The story is so reflective of children’s make-believe and dressing-up that they will identify with Ruby’s indecision and her insistence on finding the right costume. What I thought was clever was how Hissey brings in the joys that make-believe can bring – a simple blanket over the head can lead you into outer-space, for example. The illustrations are uniquely hers – I find it fascinating how she makes them sort of 3D with her clever shading and colour work. It’s definitely going to be a classic on children’s bookshelves and in libraries and could provide a fantastic point of discussion and activity with children to encourage them to explore an imaginary world.