• Picture Book Snob

Why we love The Roar by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar


Following on from the runaway success of While We Can't Hug and The Longer the Wait the Bigger the Hug comes The Roar. The first two titles in the series have amassed sales of a quarter of a million! The latest collaboration from talented Irish writer Eoin McLaughlin and award-winning illustrator Polly Dunbar brings Tortoise and Hedgehog back for another endearing adventure.


This time, Tortoise is upside down and miserable. His woodland pals suggest a variety of things that might cheer him up, based on what they like. But no one understands what is the matter with Tortoise or what might help him, and he can only express his unhappiness with a loud ROAR!


Although taking a slightly different tone, The Roar demonstrates the different ways we can show we care just like its predecessors. It's a gentle but powerful story that's ideal for teaching children the importance of acknowledging feelings, talking about problems, listening to others and having empathy. It's also incredibly sweet and funny.

Eoin McLaughlin writes in a simple but meaningful style that children will easily understand and enjoy. Sound words like 'honk' and 'roar' as well as the other animal's suggestions will amuse the very young. The soft palette of nursery colours makes Polly Dunbar's lively and cute artwork even more appealing to little readers and gives the book a comforting quality. I love her watercolour clouds and how they communicate Tortoise's state of mind.



It's fantastic how The Roar explores different ways of comprehending those around us and shows the impact of listening as well as talking. Even if the actions of others might perplex us, we see how a little compassion can make a big difference. Children will learn along with Tortoise and Hedgehog that all feelings, no matter how overwhelming, are natural, and that they are temporary too. Little people will also see how connecting with friends and sharing a laugh is an excellent remedy for emotional ailments!

The Roar was published by Faber in July 2022 - see this book on the publisher's website

Thanks so much to the lovely people in Faber for sharing this adorable book with us. All opinions expressed are our own.