This superb visual narrative is both a game of hide and seek and a subtly clever portrayal of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Surprisingly, Where’s Wally? was the inspiration for his startling and alarming depiction says the book’s creator, Barroux, who is passionate about the topic.
At the outset, three friends, Elephant, Parrot and Snake, are hiding in a lush, gloriously coloured forest landscape– just a portion of each visible. But then, a corner of the forest begins to disappear and as you turn the pages, that cleared space gets bigger and bigger – and, as a dwelling appears in the clearing, we know the loggers have definitely arrived. Then the fallen logs give way to more houses and the hiding space for our three friends gets ever smaller. Roads are made to take the increasing number of cars until horror of horrors, there are just three trees to accommodate the animals. Finally they are surrounded by a concrete jungle and worse is to follow; but there is happily, a way out, for the three pals at least.
This highly thought-provoking sequence tells its alarming story about wholesale deforestation and its consequences, in a manner that will surely, one hopes, make even the youngest children stop and take notice. Embedded as it is in a game of hide and seek in such a subtle fashion, the book is anything but preachy though it delivers its message with a powerful punch nonetheless.
A must read for all ages say I: and a springboard for discussion on a vital topic.