Despite being more than a little averse to this pairing, a colleague leant us tonight’s choice before the half-term started and T picked it out. That meant it was a go for Tadpole’s Promise by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross.
It’s quite hard to know where to start with this review! It’s fair to say that this is a picture book with a difference. From the moment you open in landscape rather than portrait, this book is making it obvious that normal conventions don’t apply. And what you have inside is a tale of forbidden love, between a tadpole and a caterpillar.
Tadpole and Caterpillar both love each other and promise not to change, but Tadpole can’t help but develop arms and legs, breaking Caterpillar’s heart in the process. She cries herself to sleep and wakes up as a butterfly, her only memory her love for Tadpole. Immediately, she sets off in search of her ‘Black Pearl.’ Surely we will have our happy ending? Or maybe not – this is, after all, a picture book with a difference.
If this was the only PB we had read by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross, I would now be declaring them geniuses (not that they would be bothered either way as they are already both incredibly successful). This book is inventive, daring and very, very funny (although in the wrong hands the ending could definitely spark tears)! We liked it – a LOT! T told me, “my favourite bit is the really funny ending.” If you want to discover that ending for yourself, don’t watch T’s solo read…