Lionel the Lonely Monster

Lionel the Lonely Monster
Fred Blunt
Oxford University Press

It will come as no surprise that despite his sign offering free hugs, with his dragon-like tail and large curly horns making him look like a cross between an overweight dragon and a jolly sheep that’s fallen in a vat of blackberry juice, monster Lionel alarms children. They flee in terror at the mere sight of him though grownups seem not to notice him at all.

Consequently, poor Lionel feels downcast and lonely; so lonely in fact that noticing his tears, a kindly dog stops and having bestowed upon him a friendly lick, brings a stick.

A game of fetch ensues with both characters having a whale (or monster) of a time. So much so that they proceed to play hide-and-seek and end up chasing one another all the way to a playground which, pretty soon they have all to themselves.

As they relax after a hugely enjoyable time, Lionel is concerned to see that his new friend has lost his earlier zippiness. And then he notices a poster pinned to the tree …

Now Lionel has a dilemma but he chooses to do the right thing. A joyful reunion ensues followed swiftly by …

Is it all over for Lionel’s new friendship?

The story demonstrates so well both the power of kindness, and that actions are key; you should never judge anyone (or any monster) by appearances.

Lionel is such an adorable monster, he’ll immediately endear himself to young children when you share this book: ensure you leave plenty of time to have a close look at the wonderful details in the illustrations. Fred’s distinctive style is as always, playful, and his wicked sense of humour shines out from every spread.

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