Candace Ryan (text) & Mike Lowery (illustrations)
(Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Frog and Rabbit are best friends, and they do everything together. But sometimes, even the best of friends fall out. So when a new shiny toy robot appears on the scene, clouds soon start to gather, and the two friends get into a fight about it. Saying sorry is not easy; will they eventually stop sulking and be friends again?

This really unusual picture book will bring to light issues that many a parent will be well accustomed to deal with and that young audiences will be well acquainted with. Falling out with friends is part of everyday life for children and preschoolers will particularly be able to relate to arguing about toys.

The text is cleverly written and very playful, with lots of rhyme and alliteration which makes it quite entertaining and enjoyable to read aloud. It is complimented by really unusual artwork. It appears simple but is in fact really detailed and cleverly done.The palette of colours is also quite unusual (quite boy-orientated I would say but then I’d guess Frog and Rabbit appear to be boys, so it makes sense). The hand-drawn typography adds a lot of character to the story; it helps blend the text and illustrations together better and contributes to creating, overall, an effective story. Again, using animals rather than humans makes it easier, I think, for the message to be presented in a non-threatening way.

Although Ribbit Rabbit does not deal with a subject which is new to children’s literature, the way it is tackled and presented that it refreshing and original, with both text and artwork being particularly unusual and effective. This quirky little story is very enjoyable and one that is well worth discovering.

Sent for review by publisher