Book Title: Llama Out Loud (available here)
Author: Annabelle Sami
Illustrator: Allen Fatimaharan
Publication Date: July 2020
Reviewed By: Jane Evans
Yasmin Shah has not spoken for years, not since the ‘Purple/poo incident’. Her family on the other hand, all speak at the top of their voices all of the time. Yasmin wonders if her house could possibly get any louder, when she is joined by Levi – a madcap, well meaning but noisy and often rude Llama.
Annabelle Sami, author of the Agent Zaiba Investigates series, skilfully weaves a fun and silly llama adventure story with more serious themes including the impact of bullying, selective mutism, loneliness and old age. We shared this story as a family bedtime read with my 7-year-old, and once we got into the story we struggled to put it down, wanting to know just what Levi would get up to next and how Yasmin would react to the chaos unfurling around her. The illustrations pick up the characters and storyline perfectly and include short comic strip sections that added a further dimension to the story from Yasmin’s perspective. Further witty use of wordplay caused the adults sharing the bedtime read to laugh out loud at various points, making it a very enjoyable read all round.
I had intended to add this to the bookcase in class but I suspect that my daughter will put up a fight at home as she is now keen to read it again on her own! Fortunately, I like it enough to buy a second copy for school. The story would open up valuable discussions for PSHE, especially regarding how we treat someone we perceive as different and how a simple reaction towards someone can have far reaching effects on their lives.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Jane for reviewing it.
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