The jungle is alive with anticipation. The coming of dusk is the opportunity for all the animals, great and small, to show off their beauty; but which one will be judged the most beautiful of all?
One after another the creatures dismiss their natural beauty: Lion says his mane is too dull; bird’s legs are too short; zebra’s stripes are too boring; leopard’s spots too spotty and hippo’s bottom is well, just too big.
None of them expects to win the crown.
A passing fly is interested only in his lunch and while the other creatures all set about getting themselves ready for the jamboree, he happily sates his appetite.
At last all are ready but they’re hardly recognisable with their fancy adornments and new-found confidence.
The fly, in contrast talks only of the beauty of the day’s ending.
Finally the long-awaited hour of dusk arrives. Judges and creatures assemble ready to strut their stuff; but all of a sudden the clouds gather and a storm bursts upon them.
The animals are stripped of their flamboyant accoutrements and left standing in darkness as the storm finally blows itself out. Now it’s impossible for the judges to see who should receive that crown of glory.
Then the little fly speaks out, offering light, for this is no ordinary fly.
How wonderfully one little firefly illuminates all the creatures, now clad only in their natural beauty; but which will be declared the most beautiful of them all?
Jo’s story is funny, thought provoking and a superb celebration of kindness, self-acceptance and every individual’s unique beauty: her electrifying illustrations are a riot of colour and pattern and likely to inspire children’s own creative efforts.