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Lemon Bird Can Help!

by Paulina Ganucheau
2022 / 112 pages

Lemon Bird is a lemon who is also a bird, and if you think that’s odd, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Her adventure really begins when she comes to the aid of a “pupkin” – a puppy pumpkin – who needs some looking after. This is a wonderfully bizarre book, with all sorts of fruit critters, some of which are “people” in that they can talk like Lemon Bird, and some of which are just yipping animals like the pupkin, and like the pair of cherry mice he chases.

The few humans that show up are of mostly peculiar hues – purple, green, and blue. While the rainbow hues, and blue hair, had me wondering if there was going to be something LGBT-themed dropped on readers, nothing like that happens.  This is just good, clean, incredibly-colorful fun. While the humans talk, they do so in a language that Lemon Bird can’t understand….which does actually make sense, since animals don’t much understand us either.

The main theme of the story is about how Lemon Bird helps out another citrus bird, Keylime, even though Keylime had just been making fun of her. It’s an example of how kindness can sometimes turn a bully into a friend. A valuable moral, for a unique book, though parents may also want to discuss with their kids what to do with bullies that don’t respond to kindness. Ideal for ages 5 to 10.

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Book Reviews, Graphic novels

Poppy & Sam and the mole mystery

by Cathon 2019 / 42 pages A little girl Poppy and her talking panda friend Sam are either very tiny, or they live in a land of giant people-sized mushrooms and strawberries. Whatever the answer, this is a charming book, with the twosome setting out to find their friend mole’s lost glasses. Along the way they discover all sorts of other lost treasures, start a “lost and found” and provide a happy ending for mole and the many others who now have what they were missing. It is a kind, whimsical, story. There have been three sequels so far. In Poppy & Sam and the search for sleep (2020, 42 pages) little Poppy and her panda friend settle down to hibernate for the winter. But she can’t fall asleep, and so goes off to gather advice from the animals all around on how they get to sleep. It’d make for a fun bedtime read. Poppy & Sam and the hunt for jam (2023. 44 pages) sees Sam wake up early from hibernation with an urge for some rosehip jam. But the ingredients are still hiding under the snow, so this is going to be more difficult than he first thought. Still, with a little help from some friends, including a full size bear – why is the bear the right size, and panda Sam the size of a mouse? I don't get it, but it's fun – a yummy result is had. Only caution: Sam use one mildly problematic word, wondering  "where did that darn pot get to." Another sequel, Poppy & Sam and the leaf thief is a bit too peculiar for me – the twosome are trying to track down which animal is eating leaves from their friend, Basil, a basil plant. It didn't strike my wife as quite as odd, since Basil was actually happy to give away his leaves to any who asked, rather than just took. But I am still stuck thinking friends really shouldn’t eat friends....