Life is Magic by Meg McLaren

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Life is Magic by Meg McLaren

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Join Monsieur Lapin and his army of rabbits as they explore the world of magic and friendship in this beautifully illustrated book for children.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: March 2016
Publisher: Andersen
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781783443383

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Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017: illustrated Books

It is not often that you pick up a book and feel the warmth and magic come of it. It is extremely rare in adult fiction, but in children's books, you find it more often if you only look. Great illustrations and wonderful stories can combine to make a book that will entrance both a youngster and adult as they read together. When you find one of these books you should treasure it as it is something that may be read to your grandchildren in the future.

Monsieur Lapin is a renowned magician and he specialises in using rabbits in his act, but a special type of creature is required. This comes in the form of a little fluffy friend call Houdini who loves magic himself and is great at organising his rabbit pals. The double act between Lapin and Houdini goes swimmingly until one fateful day when a trick goes wrong. Suddenly up is down and everything has changed. Can true friendship last through adversity?

Life is Magic by Meg McLaren is that rare beast of a children's book that not only marries story and illustration perfectly but is a book that will appeal on many levels. For the baby, there is so much to look at and the story itself is a simple one told with a sentence or so on each page. The toddler will gain even more as they start to notice all the activity that is happening on the page. Each double spread is full of bunny rabbits getting up to hijinks and you can spend time just asking what they are doing, rather than reading the story. Finally, the adult will appreciate the time and effort made by McLaren to make her book look so wonderful; it is a treat to the eye.

The separate elements of Life, in of themselves, are cracking. The story is one of friendship; can Lapin and Houdini get along when their relationship changes? There is a moral and the end of the story that leaves you with a warm feeling as you discover that everything is better when shared with friends.

This sense of warmth is only developed further by the illustrations. The lined drawings evoke a forgotten era and the use of colour gives the book a soft feel. What really makes the drawings stand out is McLaren's use of the page. Some are the traditional double spread, but she will also use frames to show action, or have a big set-piece. You never know what you are going to get overleaf, but you know there will be something interesting to look at.

Life if Magic has gone down extremely well in my household for all ages, the book just oozes quality. The addition of a magic trick on the inside jacket just attests to this. This is a book that feels like a lot of time, attention and love have gone into its creation. McLaren should be commended on her work as it will be a magical book for many children.

Other recent books that have managed to excel include Nibbles: The Book Monster by Emma Yarlett and Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology by Jonathan Tennant, Vladamir Nikolov and Charlie Simpson. You might also appreciate Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk. We also have a review of Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren.

Booklists.jpg Life is Magic by Meg McLaren is in the Top Ten Children's Picture Books 2016.

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Buy Life is Magic by Meg McLaren at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Life is Magic by Meg McLaren at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Life is Magic by Meg McLaren at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Life is Magic by Meg McLaren at


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