book cover Great Big Animal Ask
by Libby Hathorn, Illustrated by Anna Pignataro

Picture book | 30 pp | Years 2-4

Getting Started

Purchase Book
Please visit our new
online bookshop
to place order!


[ Developing values | Overview | Author and illustrator profiles | Useful websites | Focus questions]

Developing values

  • We have more similarities than differences but it is the differences which make each of us unique.
  • Differences are an opportunity for understanding, not a cause for conflict.
  • Our lives can be enriched by having friends who are different from us.
  • By understanding the reasons for differences, we can respect those who are different.
  • We all belong to the human family and deserve to be accepted and treated without prejudice or discrimination.
  • We can take responsibility for ourselves by learning how to solve problems without conflict.


Are we too big?
Are we too tall?
Are we too thin?
Are we too small?

These are just some of the questions being asked by a variety of animals in what seems like a simple picture book for very young children.

However, when the reader discovers who they are asking and why, and the response the animals get, the richness of the story becomes apparent and its potential as a platform for exploring prejudice is exposed.

The Great Big Animal Ask is a gentle but powerful way of introducing young children to the concepts of discrimination in al its forms and help then to develop attitudes of tolerance, acceptance and inclusion.

Author and illustrator profiles

Over the last 20 years, Libby Hathorn has written many books for children and young adults and won awards and honours for these.

Her stories have been translated into many languages and also into plays, movies and even opera.

You can find out lots more about her at her website

Anna Pignataro has illustrated many children's books since studying Design and Fine Art in Melbourne. Her work is exhibited in galleries and she has won a number of awards.

As well as illustrating the works of authors such as Libby Hathorn and Colin Thompson, she also writes and illustrates her own stories. One of her latest is Mama, How Long Will You Love Me?

Useful websites

Focus questions

Before reading the book

Looking at the book cover and title, who appear to be the main characters in the story? What might the animals be asking?

During and after reading the book

Why are they asking these questions? Who are the animals asking? Could the person they are asking be the main character? Why are they going onto the ark?

© Curriculum Corporation 2006