Published October 1st 2020 by Mirror World Publishing. Co-written with Kevin Risk. Illustrations by Gordon Bagshaw. Libby is a lonely cactus plant who has trouble believing in herself. However, when lovely, confident Violet moves in next to her on the windowsill, Libby learns that the things that make her different also make her special.
Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana
Libby is a lonely cactus plant who has trouble believing in herself. However, when lovely, confident Violet moves in next to her on the windowsill, Libby learns that the things that make her different also make her special.
This charming picture book by Regan W.H. Macaulay and Kevin Risk serves as an early lesson in self-realization, acceptance, and individualism. Doubtful and lonely, Libby, a cactus plant, looks at blooming flowers in Abigail’s garden from her spot on the windowsill and wonders why Abigail doesn’t caress her the way she does those blooms. When confident and pretty Violet moves next to Libby, the latter loses whatever little confidence she possesses. But an alarming incident forces Libby to embrace her uniqueness. The authors portray Libby’s anguish over her spikes and lack of blooms with skill and perception, and Gordon Bagshaw’s charming, eye-catching illustrations both mirror and deepen the text. Libby, with her vulnerabilities and gentle nature makes for a memorable protagonist. Told in a gentle tone and illustrated with energetic, colorful images, this engaging picture book is ideal for brand-new readers. Young readers will welcome this tender celebration of individuality and self-discovery.
-- The Prairies Book Review
Dr. Ruth E. Clark - HIBISCUS PUBLISHING . Naples, FL www.hibiscuspublishing.com ...Lobivia Jajoiana — your LIBBY is an eye-pleasing and delightful treasure! Gordon’s talent is obvious to this publisher’s eye – the detailing clearly emphasizes the drama and message of the story. I especially enjoyed the night scenes. Books for children are first a visual input, catching the eye and captivating the curiosity of the listener/reader to learn more. Writers/storytellers of books for children must submit “my” story to the dreadful, ego-deflating reality of compliance with the publisher’s rule of thumb: “cut your words to a minimum and let the illustrations tell your story.” LIBBY is alive with stimulating, impact-filled images complementing selected, descriptive text — a skillful combination of talents bringing the clear message that differences don’t define; but rather, enhance the richness of individuality I know LIBBY THE LOBIVIA JAJOIANA will serve as a “support bloom” for many children who yearn to be recognized as special, beautiful friends.
'An important message of self-worth and self-acceptance all wrapped up in a sweet picture book. Highly recommended!'
A lot of people think that writing a picture book is simple compared to, say, writing a novel. But, trust me, it's not; and I would know as I have written a few myself. You see,with a picture book, every word is important. And not only that, the rhythm of the words, how they flow on the page, is vital if it's to be successful. Thankfully, the two authors of Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana seemed to get this as, not only is the message perfect for younger children - parents will love it too - the rhythm of the writing and the vocab is, for the most part, spot on.
So, it's probably best if I tell you what the story is about. Well, in a nutshell, the story follows a little cactus and how she feels when the very pretty Violet is placed on the shelf next to her. Sitting next to such a pretty flower is not very good for Libby's self-confidence. But, in the end, after a short adventure involving a naughty cat, Libby discovers she has self-worth too.
I must also devote a little ink to discussing the drawings. Wow! They are, in every way,wonderful. There is a sort of 'warm' feel to them. Charming, wonderfully colorful, the characters simply jump off the page. Gordon Bagshaw, the illustrator, is a very talented fellow. For my two daughters - they enjoyed this book with me - they were the best part of the book. Yes, they enjoyed the plot, the characters, and the setting, but it was the colorful drawings that had them enthralled. There are plenty too, and they, along with the cleverly plotted story, kept them enthralled for the evening ...
So, would I recommend this book? Totally. Who to? I think it's perfect for 6 - 8 year olds.There will be a few words the children won't know, but that's okay. With the help of thefabulous illustrations, the adult can explain it to them. And, let's face it, that's what agood picture book is all about.
-- A 'Wishing Shelf' Book Review, thewsa.co.uk
Debra Allard 5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book for Teaching Diversity to Little Ones Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2020 * What a sweet book for teaching children that what makes us different, also makes us very special. Poor Libby, the Lobivia Jajoiana, sits on a windowsill overlooking a garden full of beautiful flowers. She longs to resemble them instead of having spiky spines which make her weird-looking. After a new, velvety potted plant is placed on the windowsill., a predator attacks. Libby has the opportunity to put her spikey spines to good use. We all might be different, but we all have a unique purpose in life. Little ones will absorb the message as they enjoy the colorful illustrations. Well-done Regan, Kevin, and Gordon!! This book should be on every preschool and elementary shelf! I was given an ARC for an honest review.
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Heartwarming Tale about Friendship and Self-acceptance Reviewed in Canada on September 24, 2020 * (spoiler alert) Lobivia Jajoiana likes that Abigail calls her Libby because she doesn’t want to attract more attention than she already does for being a weird looking plant with spiky spines. Libby wishes that Abigail would touch her the way she touches the other pretty and colourful plants in her garden. One day, Abigail brings home a beautiful African violet plant which she names Violet and sets it on the window sill next to Libby. Violet asks if Libby is a “porcupine” and brags about her “colourful flowers and big soft leaves” and how everyone stops to admire her. Libby replies, “No one looks at me, not even the house cat." Eventually, Libby begins to grow a huge crimson flower. When Prea the house cat tries to bite Libby’s red blossom, her nose is pricked by Libby’s spines and she scurries off. Violet realizes how lucky and special Libby is to have a beautiful flower and needles for protection. “A special plant deserves a special name,” Violet says. When Libby tells Violet her real name, Lobivia Jajoiana, Violet says, “a special proper name for a special beautiful friend.” This charmingly illustrated, heartwarming story would be a great educational resource for home and school libraries to show young readers self-acceptance, friendship and respect for others.
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