Philippe Jalbert, And…, Berbay Publishing, May 2021, 32 pp., RRP $25.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780648953371
A young girl reaches her hand out gingerly to touch a butterfly sitting on a flower. No! Her mother warns her away and details what might happen if she does. And what might happen after that. And after that. And after that. And… well you get the idea.
Jalbert has created a clever tale here about consequences. Creatures ranging from a dung beetle to a mole, to a bear with a big butt find themselves entangled in the sequence of escalating events. Jalbert has created a crescendo that builds and builds to an anti-climactic, although pleasing, ending. The language is simple but effective in helping create the crescendo.
The graphic illustrations are created in a limited palette of colours. They are carefully designed to play with perspective and provide surprises on the next page. The ferocity on the mole’s face while biting and the panic on the bear’s face while being bitten are especially amusing.
Teachers and parents will enjoy reading this aloud to younger readers. In the classroom, students could analyse the simple structure of the narrative and create their own versions, asking themselves, what next?
Reviewed by Madeleine Crofts