Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lulu Bell and the Birthday Unicorn by Belinda Murrell illustrated by Serena Geddes

Perhaps you have wondered from time to time how I come to select books to talk about in my blog.  Well this book has come to me in an interesting way. The Deputy Principal of my school has a friend who works for a publishing company. The author (via the publisher) has offered to visit our school to talk with the students.  As a bonus the illustrator - Serena Geddes will come too. This means I have had the chance to read the first two books in the Lulu Bell series before they are released.

Lulu Bell is a lucky girl because, just like the author Belinda Murrell, Lulu's dad is a vet.  This means their home is filled with animals.  It also means dad can help with any animal emergency and this is exactly what he does in in both books firstly with a horse that is on the run and then with a little penguin that is attacked by a dog.  This second book is set in our local area - near Manly Wharf.

I did enjoy Lulu Bell and the Birthday Unicorn more than Lulu Bell and the Fairy Penguin.  This was because in the Birthday Unicorn there were some good "oh no" moments.  I knew right from the beginning there would be a disaster with the fabulous mermaid birthday cake mum has made for Lulu's younger sister Rosie.  What I did not know was exactly how the cake would be wrecked.  I predicted trouble with the little brother Gus but I was wrong.  I certainly did not predict how a unicorn might attend the birthday party.

These books will appeal to little girls who are just starting to gain confidence with reading.  They might not stand the test of time but these two stories have enough warmth and humour to make a young reader smile.

Some questions we will ask Belinda when she visits our school -

1.  Which book did she write first?  The Birthday Unicorn or the The Fairy Penguin.
2.  Why does the illustrator always have a smaller font on the front cover of books?
3.  What is the name of the font you used for the chapter headings - we really like it?
4.  Did your dad really catch a horse as you described in the story?
5.  We imagined the horse running down The Wakehurst Parkway were you thinking of this too?

If you like the idea of living with a vet you will also enjoy Welcome to the bed and Biscuit and many of the animal books by Dick King Smith.

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