Dewdney’s newest Llama Llama picture book delivers a lesson in social skills to its camelid protagonist and its young readers, too.
When the brand-new (gnu) neighbors come to visit, Llama Llama’s mother prompts him to befriend Nelly Gnu while she serves up tea for Mrs. Gnu and her babe in arms. Seeming rather leery about his mother’s admonition, “…don’t forget to share,” Llama Llama leads his playmate over to his toys. All goes well enough until she starts playing with his prized Fuzzy Llama doll—without his permission. A tug of war ensues, and the doll ends up with a ripped-off appendage. Luckily, Mama Llama is not only a good hostess, she’s also handy with a needle and thread. Both mothers prompt their young ones to apologize to one another, and Fuzzy Llama is left on the step until they are ready to share. All’s well that ends well, and after playing happily with other toys, they do end up sharing Fuzzy Llama, and the visit ends with them as fast friends looking forward to their next play date. While the rhyming text comes across as rather forced or twee in places, bright, cheery illustrations match the positive, easy tone of the story with its easily resolved conflict.
A solid addition to the popular series for toddlers and preschoolers. (Picture book. 2-4)