Rebel Challenger, Food or Friend?, Larrikin House, September 2021, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781922503374
Food or Friends? is a bright and colourful celebration that gathers curious animals with food names, and foods with animal names.
Rebel Challenger is an illustrator and wildlife carer. Each double page is filled with lushly coloured food and animals, with simple sentences of text in a large and bold format.
Challenger’s wide-eyed animal illustration includes a lovable Lemon Shark and the curious Cabbage Butterfly who are named after foods, contrasted with foods that have animal names, like Crabapple and Dragonfruit. A brightly illustrated visual index in the back of ‘Our Foodie Friends’ allows readers to look up each animal or food and learn more about them. Food or Friends? provides a fantastic opportunity to explore words and language with young children, at the same time prompting curiosity about why and how our common names for animals and plant species emerge.
This is a perfect book for reading aloud with emerging readers who have lots of questions about the names we give to the extraordinary diversity in nature.
Food or Friends? teachers notes are available on the publisher’s website.
Reviewed by Angela Brown