Thursday 9 July 2020

Poo! Is That You? by Clare Helen Welsh and Nicola O'Byrne

                                                                    Link to publisher
                                                          Published: Macmillan, July 2020

           It was only last month that Clare Helen Welsh shared with us her beautifully written and emotionally driven tale The Perfect Shelter. Yet, here we are a few weeks later celebrating the launch of another Clare Helen Welsh text, which couldn't be more different but is equally brilliant.
           Lemmy the Lemur is trying to catch forty winks whilst on holiday in the South American rainforest. But a 'nasty niff' is preventing him from napping in peace. Who could possibly be responsible for such a whiffy pong? Is it millipede? Or maybe sloth? Surely, it can't be anteater, can it? Or maybe it's not an animal at all? Whatever the cause, Lemmy better get to the BOTTOM of it, if he wants a scent-free snooze. But...maybe no one is completely innocent when it comes to the sniff test...
           This brilliantly presented picture book falls into the category of  'Narrative Non-Fiction' - factual information wrapped up in the context of a story. Lemmy the Lemur's cuteness captured our hearts from the second we saw the cover and our love for him continued right until we came out the other side. He is the perfect main character to lead us through the tale; confused, curious and totally endearing. Plus, through him we meet a whole rainforest full of interesting and engaging creatures... and even a rotten meat-smelling plant!
          The language that Clare Helen Welsh weaves is joyous, humorous and very, very satisfying. The repetition, rhythm and alliteration instantly draws the reader in and invites them to interact with the text. Who can shout 'Poo! Is that You?' the loudest? What is that whiff he can sniff? And will Lemmy ever get his sunny, summer snooze? Plus, the fun doesn't end with the story! At the back is a host of funky facts on the foulest of foulers...and you may even spot someone familiar.
          This doesn't feel like a typical toilet humour story. It's fun, delightful, informative and tasteful with the perfect combination of fact and fiction. It's warmth and wit will bring a smile to young and old and make education wildly entertaining. The illustrations by Nicola O'Byrne bring the whole animal world to life and Lemmy's expressions are just hilarious! Quite simply, this is a stonking, scorcher of a summer release and I think everyone needs Lemmy in their home...minus the accompanying stink, of course!

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