Ploofers by Claire Alexander – A Little Bit Different and More

Have you met the Ploofers? If not, you’re missing out. We loved reviewing A Little Bit Different and A Little Bit of Courage back in 2021 and now in 2022 We’re reviewing A Little Bit of Respect. Read on to see what we thought of all three Ploofer adventures.

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A Little Bit Different

A Little Bit Different is an enchanting picture book that celebrates differences. One little Ploofer doesn’t make the same ploof as everybody else, he makes a shoof.

Some Ploofers are troubled by this difference. It’s so sad that often differences can be seen negatively rather than being celebrated. This book poses excellent points to discuss and reflect with children on how situations have been dealt with. You could pick a Ploofer and think together about how that Ploofer may be feeling and why.

One little friend sees the magic in difference and delights in it. Will the others see the value in uniqueness?

There’s a very funny little bit in an illustration at the end of the book, I won’t spoil it for you, but make sure you turn to the end pages!

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Discussion Opportunities with Ploofers

My daughter and I loved the name Ploofers. There are so many opportunities to talk about how characters are feeling in the story from their facial expressions, body language and what the characters say.

Floss (4 years old) – I want to buy this book because I liked the rainbow bit. I love the rainbows when it turns into a heart shape. It’s a bit sad when they don’t like his shoof, but one little friend does.

A Little Bit of Courage

Oh gosh are we going to be getting more in this super cute little Ploofers series? We’ve thoroughly enjoyed A Little Bit Different and this one just warms the heart just as much.

We particularly liked that the little one didn’t just get courage straight away and that it took a few tries, much more realistic to how it can take our little ones time and encouragement to have a go at something new. Especially when that something new can make them feel a bit like wobbly jelly! A great one for nursery and school starters.

Floss (aged 4) I liked the bit where he was a little be scared, but then he was brave because he had courage in him from his friend.

A Little Bit of Respect

This is the first of the series that we have had a physical copy of. Thank you Quarto for sending it through for review. What I hadn’t realised when I reviewed the prior two titles in electronic form is that the front cover has a gorgeous cut out design.

The word ‘different’, ‘courage’ and in the case of this book ‘respect’ is cut out to show a beautiful ‘shoof’ rainbow. It’s a lovely tactile addition.

A Little Bit of Respect Synopsis

In the latest installment the Ploofers are off to explore a new island they find and are excited to meet new people. However, when the islanders single out Little One and say things and do things he doesn’t like he gets very upset. Thankfully, he finds another friend who helps him have the courage to let his new friends know how he feels.

I did wonder at the start of the book whether the book was going to be about respecting someone else’s body or the words we use as one of the islanders grabs hold of Little One’s Cheeks and calls him cutie pie. This might be a point to discuss further when you read to children. How would they feel if someone they didn’t know came over and touched their cheek?

Ploofer Discussion Points

There’s several points in this book that are good for discussing respect and consent. They’re important topics to discuss and this book would be a great way to be able to approach this subject in a gentle way but still convey an important message.

I particularly liked the message of sharing a problem with someone and them coming with you for support when you want to tackle the thing that’s upsetting you.

The illustrations of Little One when he’s angry and upset are superb. The violent, red fuzz that bursts from him is such a powerful picture against what is usually a pastel palette. Cleverly done and gives you a real feel for the intensity of the emotion felt by Little One. Again, another great discussion point opportunity around what can make you feel ‘red’.

I’d want to discuss the ending with children where the little pebble friend is called cute by another islander. I’d use the ending as a teaching point to ask children how they would have continued the story. You could ‘hot seat’ as either the islander, Little One or pebble and talk about how each one might be feeling and what they could have done differently.

Thanks so much to #QuartoKids and #NetGalley for our eARC for review – we’ve fallen hard for the Ploofers! Some images belong to the publisher.

You can order The Ploofer series from Waterstones, Amazon and lots of fab indie booksellers.

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