Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review of The Labyrinth, a Lima Bear book

The Labyrinth is the latest in the Lima Bear series of books by the father-son team of Thomas and Peter Weck. From the very beginning, this book is quite different from their other ones. It opens with a poem and has more verse spread throughout. Good rhymes are lacking in modern children's literature. Rhyming is so important to help with their phonemic awareness and reading skills. Also, the print is different, actually looking like the words. For example, "twists and turns" is printed in squiggly letters. "Cheered" is printed in an arch. I like how it is adding a visual component, to help the children better understand the feelings implied by those words.

In this story, King Limalot is getting too old to continue ruling his kingdom. He has no sons, so he decides to crown his daughter, Belinda Bean, Queen of Beandom. Mean ol' Bean isn't happy, though, because he wants to be king. So, he quickly hatches a plan to lure Queen Belinda into the nearby labyrinth to see the magic flower garden at its center. Once there, he would quickly flee, and leave her behind to be lost forever.

Unfortunately for him, our hero from other books, L. Joe Bean, uncovers the dastardly plot and flips the tables on Mean ol' Bean. Belinda is saved from the labyrinth, but Mean ol' Bean gets stuck there. After a few days, L. Joe Bean takes pity on him and promises to rescue him if he can promise to be good again.

This book is cute, as are all of the other ones in the series. I love the illustrations. Everything shows a great deal of imagination, which children will love. One particular aspect I like about this book is that L. Joe Bean is nice to Mean ol' Bean, even though he is a despicable creature. It shows that you still need to be kind to those who are awful. Sometimes they just need a little kindness to help them remember how to be kind, themselves.

I haven't yet had a chance to share this with my students. Unfortunately, my complimentary review copy appeared on my porch on our last day of school. I know, however, that when we reconvene in the fall, they will love this one as much as the first three in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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