Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Lucinda Belinda Melinda McCool by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (Andersen Children's Books)

This pretty miss is actually quite vile, though she does have a modicum of fashionable style...
Meet Lucinda Belinda Melinda McCool, she's rather fantastic and nobody's fool. She bucks the school uniform, wears makeup and blusher. Her shoes are from Italy, her socks are from Russia.

But deep down in her heart she is not a nice person, so let's dive right in with the storybook version.

Jeanne Willis is a wordsmith whose rhymes are divine. And with Tony in tow, this new book's sure to shine.

As Lucinda Belinda Melinda McCool becomes the style guru, the doyen at school.

She's exceedingly quick to point out people's quirks. From spots to mad hair or quite terrible skirts.

Bottoms too big, pimples too visible, her cutting critique is really quite risible.

But the best of intentions can often go wrong. In Lucinda Belinda's case, it doesn't take long.

Pick on the wrong person (or monster) and look, your fate will be sealed, your goose will be cooked.

Sometimes you need beauty that comes from within. For Lucinda Belinda, vanity is her sin.

...and her ultimate undoing. Our lesson is complete. Step away from the selfie or you'll end up dead meat!

Forgive our rhyming review but Lucinda Belinda Melinda McCool is really quite infectious. We know that Jeanne Willis has a beautiful line in flowing rhymes and we love Tony Ross's anarchic and utterly perfect artwork. Lucinda is one of those characters that it's almost impossible to feel sorry for, even when she learns (far too late) that being a complete meany to the wrong monster (however unkempt they are) could have dire consequences.

We read this again and again, it's just one of those picture books that's an utter pleasure to read aloud. Quite dark and (sorry, spoilers) no happy ending here. Kids are going to absolutely eat this up!

Charlotte's favourite bit: Lucinda Belinda Melinda McCool's rather unflattering blackboard breakdown of her class's various foibles and faults.

Daddy's favourite bit: Oh it literally dances off the tongue this one, beautifully written with a dark heart, exquisitely illustrated in Tony's trademark scritchy scratchy style, it's a real belter of a book!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Andersen Children's Books)

"Lucinda Belinda Melinda McCool"

Written by Jeanne Willis

Illustrated by Tony Ross

Published by Andersen Children's Books

Publication Date: 16th March 2016

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