‘I am Bat’, he declares, his wings folded protectively around his stash of cherries. But his fearsome expression, his threat that he will be angry, is not enough; someone takes his cherries. ‘I will never be happy again’. Or will he?
Morag Hood is fast establishing a reputation as a creator of clever, intriguing, sophisticated yet simple picture books that ask the reader, whatever the age, to think and engage. Her minimalist approach is the perfect medium. There are no unnecessary details to detract from the words and the images. Here the text speaks directly to the audience. Bat looks out at us, demanding that we listen to him. His expressions speak volumes – from fierce determination to inconsolable disappointment and final joy. These are the extremes of childhood – and that is what the reader will recognise. Emphasising the narrative is a clever use of fonts and page design heightening the humour of what is a story about sharing and generosity. That this is unstated makes it all the more effective and powerful. Subtle, sophisticated, fun – this is a deceptively simple picture book that really does deliver its message. Highly recommended.