Pippa Goodhart and Anna Doherty
What does being best really mean? It’s the topic under dispute in this follow up to Pippa and Anna’s Fair Shares.
Bird finds a delicious-looking juicy strawberry just right for pecking, but other creatures have designs on it too. Frog is the first but Bird insists being ‘the best’ is entitlement to the entire thing and for the feathery one, “Biggest is best.’ Frog thinks best is all about pulling a funny face while little Shrew says that he too is special and a test will help them all decide which of them IS best.
After further discussion and negotiation as to what the the test will comprise, Shrew volunteers to act as referee and watched by an onlooker, Rat, Frog, Bird and Squirrel take their places at the starting line ready for the off.
During the test though, something unexpected happens: the animals start helping each other
and they finish the Best Test race all together. So what about that prize strawberry?
Seemingly another animal has already crossed the finishing line ahead of all the others and is tucking into the much-wanted fruit. Despite protests, Shrew declares the winner to be Snail. Snail however, has something far more important to say on the definition of ‘best’.
Pippa’s thought-provoking story demonstrates that no matter who or what we are, just like the animals herein, each of us has our own particular aptitude. That’s life lesson number one, but equally, there are messages about collaboration and teamwork.
Anna’s illustrations are wonderfully playful: who can fail to smile at the sight of frog’s silly face demonstrations for instance, and the looks of consternation on the other competitors’ faces when the additional participant is discovered.
This book is full of potential for early years/ KS1 teachers but most important, it’s a smashing story to share with youngsters either at home or school.