This Way Ruby

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This Way, Ruby! By Jonathan Emmett, Illustrated by Rebecca HarryA couple of years ago I read a lovely book with my daughters that was called ‘Ruby Flew Too’. It was written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Rebecca Harry and we thoroughly enjoyed this lovely tale of a little duck called Ruby who was the last to hatch and slow to catch on to all the things that her brothers and sisters could do. She did however always manage them – but in her own time! The reason why I am telling you all this is because on a recent visit to the library, my girls were very excited when they discovered another book about this lovely character – ‘This Way Ruby!’ Of course we had to borrow it and I don’t think that my daughters will want to take it back!

In ‘This Way Ruby’ you meet Ruby again along with her brothers and sisters Rufus, Rory, Rosie and Rebecca. In this story the ducklings are all a bit older and a little more adventurous too – all except Ruby who tends to be that much more cautious. On this day the ducklings go off exploring and Ruby swims after them as she does not want to be left behind. However, every time the others race on, Ruby stops to look around and notices all sorts of interesting things: a small waterfall sparkling in the sun; water lilies with bright purple flowers; a willow tree that bent across the bank and many other things too. Every time she spots something exciting she calls to the others to stop but they just carry on calling ‘This way Ruby!’ (Hence the title!)

Unfortunately a storm blows up and the fearless ducklings are suddenly not so brave especially when they realise that they are lost. Luckily, Ruby catches them up and realises that she can help them all find their way home. She spots the willow tree and heads towards that shouting ‘This way’ as she goes. She then traces the way back to their parents by remembering all of the landmarks that she stopped to notice on the way. Everyone is very relieved and they recognise that Ruby taking it a bit more slowly can sometimes be a good thing!

We think that ‘This Way Ruby!’ is a very sweet story and its message to slow down and enjoy what is all around you is one worth remembering too. It is beautifully written with some lovely bits of description. For example:

‘She saw a small waterfall that sparkled in the sun, and a great golden fish that glimmered in the depths’

I think this is beautifully described with some good examples of alliteration too. There are many other parts that I could have quoted which would have been just as good too.

This Way Ruby‘ is an ideal book for young children and will probably appeal to quite a wide age range. With not too many words on any page it will be ideal for children who are just starting off as independent readers and it has lots of repetitive phrases for children who are not quite at that stage to join in with. The font is bold and appealing and sometimes the sentences are positioned in interesting ways on the page, often ebbing and flowing like the river current. This makes it interesting for young readers.

The illustrations are beautiful too. They are pretty much in muted pastel colours that create a whimsical feel with lots of pale blue, green and yellow. They really do make the book look quite charming.

It’s lovely to meet characters that we have met before (especially as they are so cute) but it is not necessary to have read ‘Ruby Flew Too!’ in order to enjoy this one. I’m not sure whether there are any more books about Ruby’s adventures but it would be great if there were and I know that my daughters will definitely be on the look out for them!


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This Way Ruby
by Jonathan Emmett and Rebecca Harry

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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