Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms by Gloria D Gonsalves
|Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms by Gloria D Gonsalves|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Lovely picture book about a kingdom of mushrooms and how they try to take care of a human baby. Strong messages about diversity with winning, vivid illustrations and a nice text to read aloud. Gloria D Gonsalves popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 38||Date: July 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
Lamellia is a kingdom of mushrooms lying deep within a forest. It is ruled by Polipoli, its big brown king. One day, a group from his mushroom army finds a human baby abandoned in the forest. The baby is hungry and crying. What will the mushrooms do? Will they reject the baby as a member of a hostile species? Or will they take care of it and accept it as one of their own? They choose the latter option, but how will a kingdom of mushrooms take care of a human baby? By working together, of course!
This story is really about diversity and accepting - no, welcoming! - the other. Lamellia is a forest kingdom - the land of tall trees as Gonsalves calls it. The mushrooms who populate it look very different from one another. Its king, Polipoli, is huge and brown and, some might say, monstrous-looking. The Indigos are blue and they form a strong wall that guards Lamellia. The Honeys are orange and clump together so that they can protect someone or something vulnerable. The Lanterns glow green and smell nice but can poison an attacker. The Amanitas are red with white spots and they fascinate anyone who looks at them.
Together, these mushrooms sustain and protect Lamellia. Their differences are seen as positives, not negatives, and when they find a human baby alone and in need, they co-operate together to care for and protect the child even though this mushroom kingdom hasn't had the best experiences with humans. Wouldn't it be nice if the human world always acted like this? I can hear this question asked by many parents as they read Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms to their children.
The text is calm and rhythmic and easy to read aloud. The themes of diversity and inclusion are clear but subtle and not at all didactic or hectoring. The illustrations are lively and vivid but not too bright or garish. I particularly loved the baby's bright pink tongue popping out of its mouth as it cries as lustily as any baby ever has, and the exclamation marks and question marks shooting from the mushrooms as they ponder how on earth they will feed this newcomer.
Overall, Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms is a charming picture book with some righteous messages about accepting the other, working together and celebrating difference. I'd be glad to read it to any child.
You should also look at Gloria's other book for little ones, Danloria: The Secret Forest of Germania. The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water by Gemma Merino also celebrates diversity in a funny and subtle way. We also enjoyed Can I Join Your Club? by John Kelly and Steph Laberis.
Gloria D Gonsalves About Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms by Gloria D Gonsalves at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms by Gloria D Gonsalves at Amazon.com.
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