Review Blog

Sep 09 2013

Lulu Bell and the Cubby Fort by Belinda Murrell

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Ill. by Serena Geddes. Random House Australia Children's, 2013. ISBN: 9781742758794.
Themes: Family Life, Farm Life, Holidays.
Lulu Bell and the Moon Dragon by Belinda Murrell
Ill. by Serena Geddes. Random House Australia Children's, 2013. ISBN: 9781742758817.
Themes: Vietnamese Moon Festival, Whale watching, School Life, Bullying, Conflict Resolution, Friendship.
(Age: 7-9) Highly recommended. Lulu Bell is a fun-loving, friendly eight-year-old girl with honey-blonde plaits. Her family lives next door to her dad Dr. Bell's vet hospital. Her Mum is an artist, her six year old sister Rosie wears angel wings and sparkly shoes and her three year old brother Gus loves to wear his superhero Bug Boy suit. Of course they have a large menagerie of animals, two dogs called Asha and Jessie, two ginger cats called Pickles and Pepper, some ducklings, and a rabbit. Lulu Bell and her family were introduced in Lulu Bell and the Birthday Unicorn where the family has trouble at Rosie's sixth birthday with a runaway pony. In Lulu Bell and the Fairy Penguin, the family is going for a swim when a runaway dog chases a little penguin down the beach and Lulu involved in the rescue.
The adventures continue in Lulu Bell and the Cubby Fort with her family spending an exciting Easter holiday at her Uncle's farm with lots of their cousins. They enjoy the freedom of the farm, building and setting up a cubby fort in the bush, swimming in the creek, riding horses and rescuing a calf stuck in the mud. Campfires and sleeping in tents add to the holiday excitement.
Lulu Bell and the Moon Dragon is another well written story celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar Festival with the Lulu's friends and family, making costumes, lanterns and moon cakes. Belinda Murrell portrays school life vividly from a class excursion to watching the whales migrating, to dealing with bullying and sharing cultural diversity.
This series is a great class read-aloud and I would highly recommend them for readers from 7-9 years. The quirky family are very relatable and funny. Serena Geddes black and white sketches support the narrative and add an exciting emotional quality to the novels.
Rhyllis Bignell

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