Review: What's Next?

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations

Book Title: What's Next? (available here)

Author: Timothy Knapman

Illustrator: Jane McGuiness

Publisher: Walker Books

Publication Date: March 2019

Most Suitable For: KS1

Reviewed By: Chris Whitney, Literacy Consultant

This is the most beautiful story of an inquisitive baby badger’s exploration of the world outside his den. The moment the reader meets Baby Badger, he draws us into his world - a world where Daddy Badger encourages, teaches and protects him as he wonders about the world around him.

Eager to know more, questioning relentlessly, Baby Badger’s father takes him on a moonlight tour showing him the creatures of the night forest, the softness of the moss to roll in and where to go to snuffle for bluebell bulbs. Each picture reflects the badger’s world - at this point in the story richly illustrated in black and white and shades of grey. The repetitive “What’s next?” of Baby Badger leads the reader back to the comfort of the badgers’ den and to sleep.

But the inquisitive Baby Badger can’t sleep knowing that there is something called “day” and he steps out of his burrow and into a colour rich forest above his den. The illustrations, now rich and vibrant, tell the reader what Baby Badger can now see as he investigates the day-time world; “Green grasses and orange flowers, red berries, brown birds and purple butterflies!”

But badgers are nocturnal, and Baby Badger's curiosity to explore is followed by a desire to go home without knowing his way back. Has his fixation on “What’s next?” lead him so far from home that fear sets in? The reader need not worry as his father is close at hand ready to guide him to the dark of his underground home.

This is an excellent father-and-son story with illustrations that reflect the story path and show the reader the beauty of Baby Badger’s natural world.

Curriculum links: Science - habitats, nocturnal animals, day and night


You can order What's Next? online or from your local bookshop or library.

Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Chris for reviewing it.


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