Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth
Age 3-5, 5 to 8
written illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Synopsis from Groundwood Books:
Roslyn Rutabaga is an exuberant, feisty young rabbit with a vivid imagination. One day Roslyn wakes up with a plan. She will dig the biggest hole on earth. With her father’s quiet encouragement, Roslyn sets out on her big adventure. Obstacles abound — a grumpy worm, a grouchy mole and a bone-hogging dog get in her way. Will she fi nd a pirate’s treasure or a dinosaur bone? Will she meet a penguin? Anything could happen!
In Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth, Roslyn’s enthusiasm and unstoppable spirit are qualities most of us adults wish we had retained from our youth, or at least I do. The thought of physically being able to dig all the way to China or the South Pole is far-fetched but kids don’t think that way; they think without boundaries. Roslyn’s dad doesn’t crush her dream either. Even at the end when Roslyn starts to feel discouraged about never being able to dig her big hole, her dad’s enthusiasm with the work she had accomplish makes her rethink what’s she’s done. A disappointing scenario is now turned into something pretty cool.
My kids loved the different animal encounters Roslyn had in her backyard. They loved her quest to not only dig the biggest hole (and whose child hasn’t wanted to do that) but also her adventure in finding the perfect spot to dig. My 6-year old was struck by the conversation between Roslyn and her dad. He commented that sometimes when his younger sister makes something out of Lego, like a boat, and it didn’t turn out the way she wanted, he tells her that her boat has some really cool features making it better than other boats. Suddenly her disappointment is an accomplishment and she’s content. Encouraging others and looking at things differently are great qualities. Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth does a great job illustrating a child’s free spirit and imagination as well as disappointment. But it also does a great job showing the relationship with parents or others (such as a friend) and how a few simple words can help you change your perspective. I’m not sure if that’s what Marie-Louise Gay was trying to get across but that’s what we walked away with and that’s not too shabby for a story.
I also love the illustrations in Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth; they’re very organic feeling (and I’m not just saying that because most of the pages take place in the dirt in the backyard). The illustrations fill and weave around the pages with the text slotted into pockets here and there.
If you’re a fan of Marie-Louise Gay (you know, the Stella books) then be sure to visit her website www.marielouisegay.com for more on her books the new Stella and Sam TV show, downloads for kids and more. You can also visit Groundwood Books to get a peek at some of the inside pages of Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth.
You can add Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth to your personal library by visiting your local book store or visiting Groundwood Books.. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations. What are you reading with your kids?
I have to thank Trish at Groundwood Books for my review copy.