The tale of a high achiever

The tale of a high achiever

Margaret Anne Suggs is a professional illustrator. Some readers will already be familiar with her work as the illustrator of the ‘Pigín of Howth’ stories by Kathleen Watkins, and also Holy Shocking Saints with Sine Quinn.

However, this new book seems to be a very personal project. She tells us that she has long held a curious affection for moths, “the butterflies of the night”.

As most children, and indeed adults, are on the contrary fascinated by butterflies, this is an unusual kind of affection. But it is this affection that illuminates this little lovely story, aimed at younger readers of all ages.

The tale’s gallant little heroine Rose the Moth is infatuated with the moon – as folklore and legend have related for ages.

It was love at first sight, for as she wriggled from her chrysalis to get closer to the radiant glow. Night after night she attempts to fly to the moon, but failed or was thwarted and had many curious misadventures with other bright objects on the way.

The telling little details in the pictures relating to the street lamps and lanterns make it clear that these misadventures took place in and around Dublin.

She is not alone for she has the faithful support of her friend Gary. When she becomes upset that the moon is slowly vanishing and then disappears, he explains to her what is happening and that is nothing to be afraid of. But all turns out well in the end.

Rosie and Gary in a few dexterous lines and muted colours become very much alive. This is a book to be warmly recommended. It is not only well designed and carried out, it is good fun – which these days is an achievement. It also shows just what female pluck and daring can achieve.