I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
I love lemurs. They are the most entertaining little creatures and they have gotten only more popular through their appearances in the MADAGASCAR movies. But they don't often make appearances in children's books. Lemurs take center stage in this charming new picture book by Frann Preston-Gannon.
(this review contains spoilers)
In the book, we learn that a little known fact about lemurs is that once one takes a liking to you, there isn't much you can do about it. This is how the book begins. A little boy becomes a source of fascination for a lemur. The boy isn't sure he likes this attention and tries to find ways of losing the lemur. As the book continues, several of the lemur's friends join in following the little boy. No matter what the boy does or where he goes, the lemurs follow. In the end, the boy discovers that it can be really useful to have friends because friends tend to look out for one another. The book ends with the boy having a delightful tickle fight with his five lemur friends.
Children will laugh at the various strategies the boy uses to try and lose the lemurs. My son especially liked how the lemurs followed the boy when he escaped in a boat across the lake.
While there isn't any rhythm, repetition, or rhyme in this particular book, there is plenty to keep little ones interested. In the tradition of stories like WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT, children get to revisit all the places the little boy went in reverse at the end of the story. And the book has a nice message about friendship and embracing others' differences.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. A charming book that has lots of possibilities for read-aloud interaction.
IDEAS FOR READING WITH CHILDREN:
1. Count the lemurs. The lemurs gradually multiply in the story until there are five of them. After all the lemurs have been identified, it can be fun to locate them in each illustration.
2. Discuss other methods of escape. I asked my son where HE would have gone to try and escape the lemurs. He said he would have taken a rocket ship. This can be taken one step further by having children illustrate their methods of escape after reading time is done.
3. Talk about differences and friendship. Even though the lemurs came on a bit strong in the beginning, they proved to be wonderful friends.
4. Older children may enjoy looking up more about lemurs and identifying the different types present in the story. Find Madagascar on a map or globe!
THE WINNER IS CARRIE! A new giveaway will be coming soon!