With friends like this who needs anemone? Boom tish!


Anemone is not the Enemy

Anna McGregor

2021 CBCA Honour Book: Early Childhood

Link to Catalogue record for Anemone is not the enemy

I’m trying to make friends, not enemies. So why do I always sting everyone?

Anemone is not the Enemy is an absolutely gorgeous picture book that tells the tale of a lonely anemone living in a tidal rock pool and its desire to make a friend.  Anemone feels all alone in the rock pool with no company beyond the boring barnacles. Not being able to move doesn’t help Anemone’s plight.

Even when the tide does bring other sea creatures into the rock pool, they do not want to be friends with Anemone.  Why? Because Anemone stings.  The sting is inadvertent; Anemone doesn’t want to hurt anyone.  The whole scenario leaves Anemone feeling lonely, isolated and guilty.  How can Anemone make a friend when no one wants to go near them?

Then the tide brings in Clownfish. An interesting and marvellous friendship ensues.

Anemone is not the Enemy is a quirky and humorous picture book that engages the reader from the first page.  McGregor’s illustrations are a feast for the eye.  The neon pink of Anemone and the cover draws the reader into the book.  The illustrations are digitally produced, simple but stunning at the same time.

The main themes that this book deals with are loneliness, friendship and compatibility.  It also introduces children to the concept of symbiosis.

There is a lovely comic like sub plot going on in the margins of the book about a hermit crab looking for a new home.  This is very cute and makes exploring each page all the more satisfying.

Anemone is not the Enemy is a bright, engaging and uplifting picture book that deserves the accolade of being announced an Honour Book in the category of Early Childhood Books for 2021.