Baby book club: Ruby’s Sword by Jacqueline Veissid, illustrated by Paola Zakimi

Welcome to another baby book club! This month, baby librarians Tilly and Marian discuss the heartwarming picture book Ruby’s Sword by Jacqueline Veissid, illustrated by Paola Zakimi.

Tilly: Hi Marian! Mummy and I read Ruby’s Sword this morning. It was one of my post-breakfast reads (that’s when I do most of my reading, these days. The rest of the day just gets so hectic, you know?). It was a pretty good book! An enjoyable book to listen to, overall. What were your initial thoughts?

Marian with Ruby's Sword, aka a stickMarian: It was a post-breakfast read for me too! I try to read at least a few books an hour, unless I’m napping or outside. First, did you notice that the spots on the end pages are the same as the spots on Ruby’s shirt!? I like pointing at the spots. Also, I love sticks. I don’t know exactly what a sword is, but it must be pretty cool to do all the things Ruby does with it.

Tilly: This book is about Ruby, but there are other characters in it too: her older brothers. They weren’t very nice to her in the beginning. Mummy is always telling me to be nice. I’m not sure I like them. I don’t have any brothers or sisters. Do you? What did you think of Ruby’s brothers? Would you want to play with them?

Marian:  I don’t have any brothers or sisters either. I’m like you, I wouldn’t want to play with them. I don’t like playing with other kids for the most part, though it’s okay to play beside them, as long as they don’t get too close. There’s a little boy at storytime that I play with, and he’s okay. He’s never mean. He likes to run and say my name and since I like to run too, we have fun. Sometimes we run in opposite directions. I’m sad Ruby’s brothers aren’t as nice as he is.

Tilly: I liked the sentences in this book. They were short and fun to listen to. Like this bit: ‘Swords! Leaping and lunging. Swirling and swishing, Ruby felt invincible.’ I don’t know what invincible means but I liked how this sentence sounded when Mummy read it aloud. Do you have a favourite sentence or page?

Tilly reads Ruby's Sword

Marian: I like the page where Ruby fights the wind, clouds, and rain, with the help of a rabbit and squirrel. ‘Wild winds whipped. Swish Swish Rumbling clouds grumbled. Swish Swish Raindrops drummed. Swish Swish.” Mommy says the sentences are like a poem. I think poems are when words sound really good together, and the words in this book do sound really good together.

Tilly: The really best bit of this book is the sword. Well, the sticks, really. I love sticks. Those are my favourite toys. I like poking in the dirt with them. And collecting them. My other favourite toys are rocks and they are also in this book! What a great book. What are your favourite toys? Do you like sticks too? Or rocks?

Marian: We have so much in common!! I love sticks and rocks! And books! The best days are days where I read a bunch of books, wave a stick around like what Mommy calls a magic wand, and pile rocks up in different places. Add cheese, an Elmo, and my fawn stuffed animal, and it’s a perfect day. Thankfully, these days happen a lot. I feel like Ruby’s perfect day is probably pretty similar to ours. Except minus the Elmo and fawn.

Tilly: Mummy says this book is all about how great imagination and free play and siblings are. I like free play and imagination! I am unsure about siblings since I don’t have any. Other babies are fun to play with though.

Marian: Are they? I’ve never noticed. Stuffed animals and play babies, sure, but real babies? Nah. But I do love free play and imagination. What’s not free play? Is that like when Mommy makes me take a bath? I don’t like those.

Tilly: Thanks for reading with me, Marian!

Marian: Thank you!

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