Fans of the Llama Llama series can rejoice—best-selling author Dewdney is back with another one, this time featuring Nelly Gnu and her ever helpful daddy.
Having made her first appearance in Llama Llama, Time to Share (2012), Nelly is back and quite industrious as she and her father work together to build a playhouse. Rhyming couplets cheerily describe the activity: “A great big box, some tape and string— / Daddy can make anything! // First they measure. Then they draw. / Nelly tapes, and Daddy saws.” As the project takes shape, Nelly decides that the playhouse needs some decorating. Off the pair goes to get paint and brushes at the store. Nelly laughs as she rides high on Daddy’s shoulders, and she is amazed at all the colors of paint she sees on the shelves. Amid the hustle and bustle, Nelly suddenly loses sight of her father and has a moment of panic. The full-bleed spread of Nelly alone in a sea of shoppers, viewed from above, brings emotional heft to the otherwise innocuous preschool story. But the page turn reveals Nelly in close-up, being embraced by the two strong arms of her dad. All ends well as they complete their special day painting “the house with brick designs. / Big bright flowers, climbing vines.” Dewdney clearly knows her audience and delivers an engaging story illustrated with a rainbow of vibrant hues that preschoolers will love.
Here’s hoping there will be more adventures with Nelly and her family. (Picture book. 3-6)