There’s something about llamas isn’t there? That kids seem to love, I think it’s probably the quiff, and perhaps the spit risk! But these personality filled creatures have really stood the set of time! You’ll not find much more personality in a llama than the one who lies between the covers of Llama Out Loud, written by Annabelle Sami, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan and published by Egmont. He’s obnoxious, annoying, ridiculous, but ultimately has the biggest of hearts. Welcome on my stop on the blog tour for this, frankly outrageously outgoing middle fiction story.
Yasmin doesn’t talk, at all. She takes quietness to the extreme by never opening her mouth, having decided, that in her big, loud family, there’s just no point, as she will never be heard. She gets accused of all sorts and bullied but never finds the voice to speak up and defend herself. That is until Levi the Llama rocks up in her life to speak for her. Levi creates all kinds of hilarious chaos in this story, and ultimately helps Yasmin find the strength to speak and finally, stand up for herself.
What a fabulous piece of illustrated fiction this is. For those children who love humour, ridiculous, suspend your disbelief craziness with an important underlying message, this is really quite perfect. It’s a lovely quick read which would work well read out loud to children, or for them to read themselves. The perfect story for reluctant readers as the language is not too taxing, flows really nicely and the illustrations help to break up the text and allow for bitesized digestion of the story.
Yasmin is such a wonderful character, her family are bold and bright and gregarious, while she sits on the sidelines and watches, clearly highly intelligent, but she struggles to fit in. She finds it easier to befriend older people than those of her own age. I’m sure many many children out there will identify with this feeling and with Yasmin, and those who have never been there can learn empathy through this lovely story. For although on the surface it’s bold and funny, there’s a very important message to be had about being yourself and standing up for yourself. Levi Llama might be massively annoying and more than a little disruptive, but it’s all for a very good cause!
Allen’s illustrations play a huge part to this story, bringing out the characters and fun from the story with great expression. I love the additions of little comic strips throughout telling funny stories within the story, showing Yasmin’s artistic flair and sense of cheeky humour. The illustrations are a joy and make this for an accessible read and also emphasising the diverse nature of the book.
Llama Out Loud is simply fabulous, it will tickle funny bones, entertain llama lovers, and reassure the quiet ones that we know, love and maybe even are.
Llama Out Loud will be released on July 9th, 2020 and be available from all good bookshops and libraries.
Thank you to Egmont for sending me a copy, and thank you for reading this Book Monster review.