Monday, October 12, 2015

Roar! written and illustrated by Julie Bayless

One night in the Savannah, as his lion and lioness parents soundly sleep in a tree, a young cub decides he can't sleep and wants to play.  First, he tries to wake up his dad, but, like all dads, his is just too tired to wake up, and just keeps sleeping and snoring.   Next, the cub goes to his mother, who, like all moms, is also tired and simply continues to sleep and snore.

Since his parents aren't interested in playing, the little cub starts to look around from the top of his dad's head.  Finally, he spots a family of hippopotami.  Thinking they might want to play, the cub hops down from the tree.  At first, things look promising, one of the young hippos is as curious about the cub as the cub is about them. but as soon as he opens his mouth and out comes a roar, the hippo family quickly runs off.

Next, the cub sees a tower of giraffes.  These also look promising as possible friends and playmates, but again, as soon as the cub opens his mouth and out comes another roar, the giraffes quickly scatter, just like the hippos did.

Feeling sad and dejected, the cub lies down near a rabbit hole.  The rabbits are all sleeping and snoring, except for one who is thinking how nice a big, yummy carrot would be. When the rabbit sees the cub's tail hanging down the hole in the ground, he mistakes it for a carrot and tries to take a big bite out of it, which causes the biggest roar of all to come out of the cub.  Not intimated or afraid the way the much larger hippos and giraffes were, the rabbit responds.  The result is a friendship between the two unlikely youngsters.  After playing and playing, the two new friends climb up and fall asleep on the lion dad's head.

Roar! is Julie Bayless's debut picture book and what an endearing story of friendship it is.  Using only two words throughout (Roar and More), leaves a lot of space for the young reader to fill in his own narrative about how the lion cub and the rabbit become friends.  In that respect, it reminded me of Yo? Yes! by Chris Raschka, another story of unlikely friendship.

Bayless did the illustrations in pencil and colored them in digitally, resulting in clear, crisp images that really impart a rather comical side to these otherwise scary-to-children animals.  The cubs wakefulness at the same time his parents are just so tired does indeed a mirror real life, though, of course, we wouldn't want our children wandering around at night outside and alone.  It does, however, point to the importance of friends even for the youngest of kids/cubs.

Roar! is a funny and fun book that is sure to please the younger set, who may just be starting out in pre-school and meeting new people who may be different from them but who are also looking for friends and playmates.

This book is recommended for readers age 4+
This book was sent to me by the publisher, Running Press Kids

1 comment:

  1. This sounds perfect for my granddaughters. Lilly is 3 and Zoe 4 so it couldn’t be better. Thanks for telling us about it.


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