Tuesday, 27 March 2018

AdoraBULL written by Alison Donald, illustrated by Alex Willmore, reviewed by Dawn Finch

Image copyright Maverick Children's Books

Alfred is a bull. Bulls are big, and solid and dependable. One day his best friend, Tom, wants to bring home a new pet, and he makes it clear that it must be "adorable". Alfred overhears Tom asking his parents for a pet and he is very upset. He's been worried about losing his best friend ever since Tom started school, and now it seems that he's going to be replaced by something "adorable".

What can a bull do to make sure that he's adorable, and that he's not replaced?

Alfred formulates a plan to make himself look adorable too so that Tom does not get a new pet and replace him. He searches the internet for the word "adorable" and finds endless pictures of kittens and marshmallows, hamsters on swings, and puppies in teacups. He can't do any of those things, and so he tries other things to be cute.
Image copyright Maverick, Willmore, and Donald

This is a completely charming picture book that takes a look at what it means to be adorable, and to be adored. It explores in subtle ways the nature of friendship, and loneliness, and being unique and proud of who you are. Donald's gentle story unfolds around Willmore's bright and bold illustrations. I love Willmore's illustrations and am so pleased to see these two talents working together again. Their previous collaboration - The New LiBEARian is a great favourite of mine. AdoraBULL is another gem for the stable (pun intended!).

It is worth mentioning that this is a new one from indie publisher, Maverick. Launched in 2009 by Steve Bicknell. As you know, I am a bit of a fan of indie presses and this one is growing fast and is supporting some really exciting new writers and illustrators. They are well worth keeping an eye on! If you are a teacher or librarian, their resources page is well worth a visit too.

AdoraBULL by Alison Donald and Alex Willmore is published by Maverick Children's Books on March 28th 2018
ISBN 978-1-84886-322-4
RRP £7.99

Reviewed by Dawn Finch, children's author and librarian


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