Stripes! No, Spots! from award-winning Auckland author-illustrator Vasanti Unka is a zany tale about competition. Tiger and Leopard are fighting – who has the most beautiful coat? The Jungle Council call a fashion parade and complement all the animals on their unique beauty, however they do decide an ultimate winner – Flamingo. This at least puts paid to Tiger and Leopards squabbles, albeit temporarily.
It would be easy for the plot of this story to fall into the overly moralistic – all animals are unique and special – but the racy humour and snazzy illustrations (not to mention the lack of a totally happy-ever-after ending) lift it above the saccharine. Rather Stripes! No, Spots! is a gorgeous and fun race through the jungle with all the animals fashionistas.