The Lazy Friend by Ronan Badel

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The Lazy Friend by Ronan Badel

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Lorraine McDonald
Reviewed by Lorraine McDonald
Summary: Four jungle pals have their friendship tested when a logger chops down the tree that they are sitting in. Whilst Snake slithers to the rescue, Sloth simply snoozes. No words are needed to tell this tale, just a series of pictures. Good fun for more reluctant readers and a novel approach to story telling and characterisation that is enjoyable for all.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2014
Publisher: Gecko Press
ISBN: 978-1927271414

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In a remote jungle, near the top of the forest canopy, Sloth, Snake, Frog and Bird hang out together. Whilst his pals play cards, Sloth does what he does best, sleep. When a lumberjack fells the tree that they are sitting in, three of the friends make a hasty escape but Sloth just carries on snoozing. Luckily Snake acts fast and slithers aboard the truck carrying their tree trunk away with Sloth still in it. Can Snake save the day and get them both back home?

The Lazy Friend uses cartoon drawings instead of words to tell its tale. The illustrations are fairly simplistic but detailed enough to convey the sense of the story. The story itself is not complex. There is no great moral or lesson. It’s more about the characters and the situations they encounter. That said, the personalities of the creatures are captured well. Snakes have never struck me as being particularly expressive but this one manages to convey anger, despair, urgency and hope in his two beady eyes as he encounters a series of Looney-Tune-esque escapades.

There is certainly fun to be had in watching Sloth travel obliviously through danger while Snake, a reluctant and slightly panicky hero, picks up the slack. The absence of words leaves children free to extrapolate the plot and understand the characters and their motivations unimpeded by literacy level. This makes The Lazy Friend a good choice for reluctant readers or those simply looking for a change to mainstream picture book formats.

Children may not be the only ones to appreciate this tale of reptilian loyalty. It struck me that this would make a great gift for an adult snake or sloth in your life, if they can only recognise themselves...

For another unusual take on story telling try The Farmer's Away! Baa! Neigh! by Anne Vittur Kennedy.

Buy The Lazy Friend by Ronan Badel at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lazy Friend by Ronan Badel at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Lazy Friend by Ronan Badel at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lazy Friend by Ronan Badel at Amazon.com.


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