Llamas in Pajamas by Russell Punter

*This photo was taken from m4128.myubam.com
*This photo was taken from m4128.myubam.com

Title: Llamas in Pajamas
Authors: Russell Punter
Illustrator: David Semple
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Toddlers, Preschool, and Early Elementary
Part of a Series?: Yes (Usborne Phonics Readers; a 16-book series based on the language rather than the characters)

*I received a copy of this book in the consultant’s kit I received when I became and Independent Consultant for Usborne Books & More

Summary:
This book tells the story of four llamas having a Halloween sleepover. Since this is part of the Usborne Phonics Readers line of books, there is a focus on rhyming and–as indicated by the title–a repetition of the words “llamas” and “pajamas”. The story covers the invitations, the choosing of which pajamas the llamas want to wear, arrival to the party, scary stories, the llamas being scared, and Grandma Llama bringing a snack.

Overall Impression:
This is a cute story, with cute photos, and it really caught the attention of the 4-6 year old girls in my daughter’s ballet class. I started reading it to my daughter and was soon surrounded by several pink tutu’ed, beribboned little girls. Needless to say, it was a big hit.

The Nitty Gritty:
This is a very short book (it is only twenty pages long) and is aimed at ages 4 and up. The pictures are cute and, despite being depictions of a “Halloween” and “spooky” sleepover. The book feels good in the hand and has both a sturdy (but flexible) cover and sturdy pages). The rhyming and rhythm of the story is nice and consistent throughout the book and there is a nice little twist at the end of the book.

One of the standout features of this book is the “About Phonics” pages (aimed at parents) at the end of the book. It explains what phonics is, gives a brief explanation of how to begin the reading process for kids, explains the importance of phonemic awareness, and covers how to listen to your child reading in a supportive manner. There is also a website where you can find out more.

Book Club Chatter:
This book is rather short, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to talk about with your child. The more you talk to them (making connections between the book and themselves, guessing what will happen next, etc), the better they will understand–and ENJOY–reading! Here are a few questions you can ask during and/or after reading this book:

  • What do you think they will do at the sleepover? (Or, after you have read the book: What would you do if you had your own sleepover?)
  • What would you pack for a sleepover?
  • What do your pajamas look like? Which pajamas would you want to wear?
  • What games do you like to play with your friends?
  • Have you ever heard a spooky story? Did you like it?
  • What do you think is coming down the hall and making the floorboards quake?
  • Were you surprised to find out who came to the party?
  • What is your favorite snack?
  • Have you ever been to a sleepover? What was your favorite thing about it?

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars (4 Ratings)
Amazon Rating: None. This book is not available on their website; it must be bought through an Usborne Consultant.
Usborne Books & More Rating: 4 stars (approximately)
Other Ballet Dancer’s Thoughts:
I liked when the grandma brought a snack. I liked ALL the pictures!
My Daughter’s Rating: 30 hundred stars
The creepy stuff was my favorite part. My favorite picture was the one where the girl llama was picking out her pajamas.
My Rating: 4 Stars
There is nothing wrong with this book, and the quality is good, but there is nothing unique, really, about the rhyming or drawings. The extra section for parents saved it from an “average” 3 star rating; this information in the back is the true “gem” of this book. Despite not giving it a 5 star rating, however, I do feel that it is worth the money. It is a quality product and captured the attention of the girls around me.

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