Sunday, November 21, 2021

Review - Why?


by Nikolai Popov
Date: 1995
Publisher: minedition
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

A frog finds a beautiful flower and picks it for himself. When a mouse sees him with it, his jealousy overcomes him, and he swipes it. Frog’s friends come to his aid and chase the mouse away. But before the frogs can celebrate, Mouse’s friends return for a counter-attack. Before long the conflict has devolved into a full-scale frog-mouse war. By the end of it, all either side can ask is: why? This seemingly simple book tackles an important subject and will be an invaluable way to talk to young children about conflict and warfare.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book has been around for decades, yet I can't recall ever hearing about it. It's a wordless picture book featuring a frog who's just minding his own business when a greedy mouse comes along and steals his flower. Things escalate from there as both recruit their friends to participate in battles that leave the landscape scarred. Nobody wins.

The allegory is clear and can probably be understood even by very young children. The illustrations are almost luminous, showing the ingenuity with which the critters come up with ways to destroy one another. If only they'd put their talents to use in a more constructive way!

It's kind of a sad book, but it carries an important message.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: n/a
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.6 out of 5

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