Wednesday, 5 October 2011

review: Llama Llama Home With Mama

by Anna Dewdney
Viking 2011
anthromorphism picture book
received from publisher (thank you!)

Llama Llama wakes up feeling under the weather. But staying home isn't fun for this young llama: his toys are too boring, the medicine is yucky. And when Mama starts sneezing too, the tissues really fly. Can Llama Llama and his mama turn this day around?
The cover:

These full-scene covers are always the best choices; the variety of colours catch the eye and acquaint the reader instantly with the illustration style.

The book:

This is the kind of picture book that makes every aspiring picture book author want to rhyme, in hopes of getting their opus magnus as readable as Llama Llama Home With Mama (man, it's way too difficult to type "llama"). While the meter isn't perfect -- I'm not sure there's any rhyme pattern out there that fits "medicine" -- it's bouncy and as imaginative as the simple vocabulary allows.

Dewdney takes her time setting up the sick, bored atmosphere in the first third of the book with whimsical illustrations alongside. Choice scenes are drawn fully, the paper's texture coming through the bold colours for a quirky added effect. The neat twist and shift of the plot perks up the reader and injects an "aww" factor that always makes a picture book a winner.

Parents and kids will recognize and identify with the reversed situation with humour. The scope of this picture book is narrow, but it satisfies with its bright illustrations, smooth rhyme and familiar topic.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5