Experienced author and illustrator Ruth Paul has produced an appealing picture book about a puppy - and you don’t even have to be a dog person to appreciate the minimalism of the text and the skill of the illustrations. There are only a few words on each page, usually with a bit of rhyme involved. “Still cat, dull cat; fast cat, fun cat; run, cat!” This staccato style is continued throughout the book - until Flash stops getting into trouble and finds somebody who loves him. The illustrations are a delight, with mellow colours, lots of white space, and interesting perspectives. Flash himself is particularly cute, with his fluffy fur, floppy ears, button eyes, and expressive face. A comment on the production of the book - it looks good, with an eye-catching cover and quality paper, but the size is unusual. It’s 30 cm wide and 24 cm tall, so it will not be an easy book to shelve (speaking with my librarian’s hat on). I think this book would be best for reading one to one or to a group of children aged about 2 to 4. Adult readers could have fun emphasising and indicating the words in the text.
See Ruth's gorgeous illustrations here.
ISBN 978 1 77543 096 4 RRP $19.50 PbRuth Paul is a Wellington-raised writer and illustrator. She completed a Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University of Wellington, and a Diploma of Visual Communication Design at Wellington Polytechnic (now Massey University Wellington). Throughout the years, she has worked in a variety of jobs including waitressing, acting, administration and sign-writing. She has had ten picture books published - many of which have won awards and been given rave reviews nationally and overseas.
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman