Music (and pancakes) makes the world go round

Although picture books are mainly aimed at children, there are some that come along from time to time that appeal more to adults and the new book by the illustrator of The Story of the Little Mole who Knew it was None of His Business is one of those. The book’s publisher, Gecko Press, describes Wolf Erlbruch’s new picture book, The Fearsome Five as ‘the story of five misfits who discover that what you look like doesn’t matter as much as what you do, and that being happy is a matter of attitude.’

Toad, Bat, Spider and Rat all believe that nobody likes them because they are ‘ugly’ and are feeling rather gloomy when Hyena comes along and tells them that it doesn’t matter what others think and that it is more important what you do. They all discover that they have hidden talents, including singing, whistling and making pancakes, and it is these skills that lead them to open a pancake palace. The music and the smell of the pancakes attract the other animals and they make some new friends.

The story and the style of the illustrations will appeal more to older children and adults, but the message of the story is universal.