Little Beauty by Anthony Browne
|Little Beauty by Anthony Browne|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Can I give it 6 stars out of 5? 600? 6 million? Little Beauty is absolutely perfect. I really don't know how it's possible for a picture book, just about a friendship between a gorilla and a kitten, to be this good. Buy it. Read it. Love it. Anthony Browne was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: June 2008|
When a lonely gorilla needs a friend, his keepers introduce him to Beauty, a gorgeous kitten. It's an unlikely pairing, but they hit it off immediately, and become inseparable. They love spending time together, cuddled up in a comfy chair, swinging from the light fittings, or even having a very happy poo side by side. When the gorilla does something he shouldn't, it looks like Beauty might have to go away. But they have to be together, don't they? They'll live happily ever after, won't they?
Little Beauty is an utterly wonderful picture book. It's such a moving tale of friendship and love. It's simple enough for even the youngest child to understand, yet deep enough for the most life-scarred and battle-hardened grown up to find meaning in. The core story verges on the minimalist, yet every page is packed with so much real emotion that you'll be taken aback.
There are lessons to be learned too. Important lessons about standing up for your friends, about doing right by others, about unbreakable bonds of friendship, about love. They're not hammered home; they're just there. You can read it as just a sweet story about a gorilla and a kitten, or you can delve deeper. You'll absolutely adore it either way. It's completely perfect; entirely without fault. It's wonderful. I love it.
It's beautiful too. Anthony Browne's illustrations are so expressive and engaging that I was awe-struck. It certainly helps that gorillas are similar to humans, but I defy anyone not to be moved by the gorilla's sad eyes, or be as anxious as him when he cowers in the corner with the scared look of 'what have I done?' on his face. And if you don't laugh at the page where they did everything together, then there's something wrong with you.
I've read and re-read Little Beauty. I've loved it every single time. I'm still not sure how it's possible for a picture book to be this good. I've probably rabbitted on more about why adults will love it, rather than why children will, but they really will lap it up just as much. I've gushed about many picture books, and I'm sure I'll gush about 40,000 more, but Little Beauty is firmly at the top of my most favouritest bestest ones ever. Yes, even better than Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd. I love it. If you don't buy it, I'll cry.
Huge thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
Further reading? What do you mean further reading? Re-read Little Beauty! ...Oh, alright then. If cats are your thing, check out Mr Pusskins and Little Whiskers by Sam Lloyd and Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr. If it's simians that float your boat, then you'll love the monkeys in Banana by Ed Vere and Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. And if picture books are your thing, then just read and re-read Little Beauty. It's perfect.
Anthony Browne was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Little Beauty by Anthony Browne at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Little Beauty by Anthony Browne at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.