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A Friend for Ruby

It is rare to find a Childrens Picture Book which combines exquisite illustrations with a meaningful and rich story. Sophie Laguna and Marc McBride have certainly achieved this in A Friend for Ruby. Our interest is captured from the end pages, again beautifully presented, with an image of a beach and footprints in the sand.

The story begins with Ruby walking home from school along the beach. She meets a creature who looked lost and sad, reflecting Ruby’s feelings. She asks the creature if he would like to come home with her and he follows. She makes him comfortable in her cubby house and later comes back to cuddle up with him for a while.

She then goes to bed and dreams about life under the sea. Feeding the creature and keeping him a secret from Granma proves to be quite a challenge until one night the sea creature gets into Granma’s Garden. She meets Ruby’s friend, but they can both see the little creature is unhappy. A solution needs to be found.

So many issues are dealt with in A Friend For Ruby. Loneliness and kindness are a focus in Ruby’s life, but compassion for this sea creature shows rewards. This book is just a delight to the eye and senses. The illustrations expand the understanding of the text so well and the colours are superb.

Exploding on the pages are the blue, violet and multi colours which make up the sea creature and surroundings. The problem solving which is needed to return the creature to the sea is thoughtful and deep. What a wonderful tale.

Author Sofie Laguna, illustrated by Marc McBride
Publisher A&U Children's
ISBN 9781761067648
Distributor A&U Children's
Released September 2023