Lionel and Me

When Lionel arrives, Maverick is unimpressed. Is there enough love to go round for the two of them? A delightful book that celebrates inclusion and friendship.

Judges Comments

The theme of the younger/new addition to the family is highly relatable to the age level of this audience, adding the themes of an animal protagonist/antagonist and animal angst. The title and imprint pages cleverly set up the conflict and tension before the narrative begins. Narrated by the dog Maverick, the language is simple and clear, with lovely pauses and bold words for directed emphasis and expression.

Many young children may be able to identify with Maverick’s emotions, allowing them tor self-reflect and connect. Whilst this book is about a pet dog learning to accept a new puppy into the household, it would also provide a very useful tool in supporting discussions about a new family member, and the mixed feelings that come with this. The narrative arch is well-sustained and draws the reader in, leading to a perfectly pitched and delightfully surprising resolution.
The pencil and watercolour illustrations are beautiful, full of movement, and perfectly convey the mood and emotions.

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