You all look SO beautiful…just as you are!”
The jungle animals gather for a dusk jamboree, where one creature will be crowned the most beautiful of all. The animals immediately point out what they consider to be their imperfections: the zebra has boring stripes, the bird’s legs are too short and the hippo’s bottom is too big. Only the little fly seems content to buzz about, enjoying the wonderful sights and sounds of the jungle. The contestants make costumes to enhance their bodies and hide their insecurities. But as the sun sets, a storm whips up and washes away all the feathers and frills, leaving the distraught animals in darkness. “Let me give you all some light”, says the firefly kindly, and their natural, un-enhanced beauty is revealed to the judges. It is decided that the jamboree crown belongs to the fly, whose kindness is the most beautiful thing of all.
A Jo Empson picture book is always a treat, and this one doesn’t disappoint with its sumptuous and skilful illustrations in the most gorgeous colours. The poetic lilt of the story is a pleasure to read aloud to children.