Review Blog

May 01 2014

Lulu Bell series by Belinda Murrell

cover image

Ill. by Belinda Murrell. Random House, 2014.
Lulu Bell and the Sea Turtle. ISBN 9780857982018
Lulu Bell and the Circus Pup. ISBN 9780857981998
These are the two latest additions to the new series by Belinda Murrell for young girls who are verging on being independent readers and looking for a novel which features a young heroine just like them. Lulu Bell is just eight, the practical one in a family that includes her six-year-old sister Rosie, who loves wearing angel wings and sparkly shoes; her three-year-old brother Gus who always wears his superhero suit; her dad, a busy vet and her mum, an artist- not to mention a menagerie of pets.
Lulu Bell and the Sea Turtle is set on the Dampier Peninsula, which stretches 220 kilometres north of Brome in Western Australia and is based on the adventures that the author's family had when they were there. This time Lulu's mother has been invited to visit an Aboriginal community to choose paintings for an art show and so the family accompanies her to this remote place. From camping out, visiting the famous reef which flows like a waterfall as the tide recedes, making spears in the traditional way and learning to use them, this is a story packed with both adventure and authenticity that is characteristic of Murrell's writing.
Lulu Bell and the Circus Pup is set much closer to home and involves all the fun of the circus when Spangles the performing dog goes missing, although Lulu finds out it is not all glamour when she finds her new friend shovelling horse poo! Her willingness to help with the tasks leads to all sorts of new opportunities that will be the envy of many a young lady!
This is a refreshing series of stories about characters the readers can relate to, particularly Lulu as the strong, sensible level-headed lead. Each story is well-written, based on everyday events that only the most accomplished can turn into an engaging story and accompanied by charming illustrations by Serena Geddes who had six years' experience with Walt Disney Studios in Sydney before turning to book illustrating. Miss 7 has been eyeing these on my to-read pile for a few weeks now, impatiently wanting to get her hands on them since we read the first episodes together last year and Santa left some too. (Now she can read them for herself!) Add these to you collection and look out for two new titles in June and you will find that your younger girls will be queuing up for them.
Barbara Braxton

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