Lloyd Llama

Sarah Jones. Blue Manatee (IPG, dist.), $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-936669-32-5
Jones (Orange, Triangle, Fox) uses alliteration and words with double Ls to spin a playful story about two animals who find common ground. Lloyd, a pink and fluffy llama, loves all things ll, from roller-coasters and lollipops to his buddies Stella Gazelle, Billy Bullfrog, and Willow Armadillo. (Jones highlights these and other double Ls with pink type.) An equally fluffy alpaca named Al is obsessed with A activities, “like apples, art, and air guitar./ and his fur is azure blue.” Initially indifferent to each other (one funny scene shows the animals standing at opposite sides of a spread, frowning in mutual indignation), they eventually bond over allergies, allspice cake, and alligator shows—things that appeal to both of their proclivities. The inherent similarities between these two camelid species—which Jones’s humorous gouache-and-pencil illustrations make very clear—are a big part of the book’s fun, but the sometimes bumpy rhyming (“When choosing between action or thriller,/ they simply could not agree./ While Al enjoyed toast with apricot jam,/ Lloyd preferred grape jelly”) keeps it from fully hitting its mark. Ages 5–7. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/20/2015
Release date: 06/01/2015
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