It’s all about me in Limelight Larry

There’s no doubt as to who’s the star of this book. Or is there?

Limelight Larry is, like most peacocks, proud and a big show-off. Larry finds himself in an empty book and assumes that the book will be all about him. Naturally it will be a brilliant book. In fact, the book will be so fantastic that there won’t be any room on the pages for anyone but him.

Then, much to Larry’s annoyance, a host of storybook characters arrive and Larry is pushed out of the limelight. There’s a mouse who is eager to please, a bird who thinks he’s a comedian, an elephant with big ideas, a wolf with a sense of drama and a bear who wants a tea party.

“”In my opinion,” booms Elephant, “the thing that makes a book interesting is a BIG surprise right at the end.”

“Maybe Elephant is the big surprise,” suggests Mouse helpfully.

Larry isn’t the type of peacock who makes a habit of listening to the opinions of mice or elephants. He secretly decodes there will be no BIG surprises in THIS book.”

That’s lots to say about author and illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson’s style – I like the visually busy pages, the mixed-up fonts, the bright colours and the switch between single and double-page spreads. I also like Hodgkinson’s writing style – it comes across as banter and cheeky asides. For example, we see Wolf wheeling in a “scary wood” from the props department and Hodgkinson writes “Larry also doesn’t think the wood is the least bit scary. In fact, Larry thinks it’s a RUBBISH wood.”

This story is made to be read aloud – theatrically. Save your very best story-telling efforts for the marvellous characters in Limelight Larry. If you are not sure, take your dramatic lead from the changes in font – they very cleverly emphasise certain words and set the scene.

Find Limelight Larry at Fishpond for $10.21 including shipping. It’s suitable for children aged four and over.


Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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