Spot and Stripe by Anna Shuttlewood
Published by The Five Mile Press
Combing her talents as a painter and storyteller, Anna Shuttlewood brings forth a quintessential picture book for pre-schoolers:- a colourful tale of two friends who realise that the differences between them make their friendship great.
As a mother of a little boy who is just starting to grasp the concept of ‘best friends’, I was delighted to find a book that used animal characters to explain the importance of respecting each other’s individuality. Spot and Stripe tells of a young leopard and zebra that enjoy nothing more than roaming the plains together, until they decide they would be better off if they both look the same. Fortunately their creative attempts at erasing their differences, only serve to show them how boring it would be if they really were the same.
The beauty of this book is that its simplicity belies its deeper messaging. Readers picking up this book will do so under the impression that it will tick the boxes of an animal adventure with broad appeal. The illustrations and colour palette beautifully capture the colours of the African savannah and the leopard and zebra heroes entertain with their quest to master each other’s skill sets.
It is the ‘Ah’ moment however, which provides the moral of the story. Spot and Stripe realise that the physical differences that make them unique, are the exact things that they liked about each other in the first place. A valuable lesson to learn for young readers growing up in a multicultural and diverse society.
This heart-warming tale of friendship and acceptance combines the old adage of opposites attracting with the new message of celebrating difference. Endearing and beautifully painted, Spot and Stripe a lovely book to read to your read to your littlies!
CKT Book Reviewer
Author/Illustrator: Anna Shuttlewood
Title: Spot and Stripe
Publisher: The Five Mile Press
Published: March 2016