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Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.

Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#1 by peprica21
» 20 Sep 2016, 18:16

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama" by Linda Andrusko.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by peprica21
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Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama by Linda Andrusko is a children’s book about a unique llama and her adventures on the farm. Lilly was born with one leg shorter than the other three, giving her a different perspective in life. In this four chapter book, Lilly shares her everyday life, allowing her to teach the reader lessons on bullying, friendship and self-respect.

In one chapter of the book, Lilly was bullied by the other animals on the farm. Just like Rudolph was not allowed to play reindeer games, Lilly was not allowed to play with the other animals. However, lucky for Lilly, one night of bravery changed the animals’ perspective of the little llama. From then on, they showed Lilly the love and respect she deserved. Another chapter tells the story of Lilly volunteering at a children’s hospital. Lilly quickly bonds with the sick children by showing off her short leg. The story emphasizes the power of confidence.

After reading about Lilly, I notice that the structure of the book by chapters is geared towards upper elementary students who can read independently. However, the way the story is written is very lower elementary. At some points I would even compare the sentence structure to a picture book. These two elements clash and I suggest the author decides which age group the book will be market to and then write at that reading level. I also felt the subject matter in later chapters skewed towards middle school age but was written for a lower reading level. Again, a clash presents itself and the author needs to rework so the reading level and material connect.

The writing itself is descriptive and helps the reader easily create a flow of the story inside the mind. However, there are grammar errors, spelling mistakes and run on sentences that can hinder this flow. The writing also repeats sections of the story and I believe parts can be cut to be more simplified for a younger age group. A few illustrations of Lilly and her farm friends are carefully placed throughout the book. These illustrations are lively, colorful and stand out. I think they help the child connect to the storyline.

I rate this story a 2 out of 4 stars. I chose this rating because I think the lessons the author is trying to teach children are great but, there is a lot of clean up the author needs to work on regarding grammar and writing style for a specific age group. I think after some rework this storyline could be good for children who cannot read yet or are in the early stages of learning to read and their families.

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Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#2 by kimmyschemy06
» 27 Oct 2016, 05:54

That was a very honest review. The premise sounds very promising and the books seems to teach valuable lessons. Too bad, though, about the flaws. Great job on the review.
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#3 by peprica21
» 27 Oct 2016, 06:06

Thank you!
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#4 by klbradley
» 27 Oct 2016, 07:54

Thank you for sharing your honest review with us!
She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live. -Annie Dillard
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#5 by peprica21
» 27 Oct 2016, 08:22

@klbradley Thank you!
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#6 by Wasif Ahmed
» 07 Nov 2016, 10:17

Great review. I recently read this book and totally agree with you. :)
When people say you've changed, it just means that you have stopped living your life, their way.
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#7 by peprica21
» 07 Nov 2016, 10:49

Thank you Wasif Ahmen!
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#8 by Wasif Ahmed
» 09 Nov 2016, 03:22

peprica21 wrote:Thank you Wasif Ahmen!

You are welcome @peprica21. :)
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#9 by Elaine5
» 09 Nov 2016, 06:41

Thanks for your review. I'm don't like to read books with grammatical errors at any time, but when it comes to children's books it is even more important for them to be carefully edited. These young readers are still learning about structure and conventions. It's disappointing.
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#10 by hsimone
» 04 Dec 2016, 07:46

Thank you for your honest review, peprica21. It's tough when the target audience isn't clear, and when there are grammatical errors, especially in a children's book. Children pick up on a lot of things, and as adults, we should be trying to model good writing in hopes they would mimic it. These are great points, and I hope the author fixes these errors to produce an even better story.
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#11 by peprica21
» 06 Dec 2016, 15:24

Thank you @Elaine5 I agree editing is a must for books focused on young ones.

Thank you @hsimone once again I agree its disappointing when adults do not model good writing skills we pass on to children.
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#12 by LivreAmour217
» 06 Dec 2016, 17:17

Great review! This sounds like a promising children's story. I hope that the author takes your advice!
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#13 by Guppy
» 30 Dec 2016, 00:26

Sounds like a cute story that could be great with some author tidy up. Great review!
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#14 by peprica21
» 30 Dec 2016, 06:24

Thank you both @livreamour217 and @guppy for your feedback!
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Re: Official Review: Lessons in Life from Lilly the Llama

Post Number:#15 by greenstripedgiraffe
» 05 Jan 2017, 08:23

Thanks for the review! We need more children's books that are good, cute, and teach good lessons like this. Kids deal with so much these days. I hope the author reworks this in a way that it will reach one specific age-group (or maybe rework it into a couple different books, one for the littles, and one for the older group that can read independently.)
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