I really like Lottie Luna who is the star of a new series by Vivian French and illustrated in a gorgeously playful and kooky style by Nathan Reed well known as the illustrator of the Sam Wu series by Katie & Kevin Tsang.
Lottie Luna with her values of friendship, courage and determination is ideal for fans of Isadora Moon looking for something a little longer and challenging but still with lots of warmth and kindness.
Lottie Luna is a werewolf, a special type of werewolf born during a full moon lunar eclipse which means she has additional powers of speed, strength, hearing and more. Lottie is also a Princess, well she didn’t use to be but her father inherited the kingdom from a distant uncle, uprooted the family from their small but happy home to a crumbly tumble-down castle meaning Lottie and her brother Boris have to switch schools mid year too.
But she doesn’t want anyone to know she’s special at her new school she just wants to be everyday Lottie Luna, but when the Bloom Garden the school is trying to build is threatened by Road developers, she must do everything it takes to do the right thing.
It’s a lovely tale that will appeal to children on many levels from the spooky but cute werewolf theme to resonating with children who struggle in new social situations, Lottie navigates a new school experience with its ups and downs of a scary teacher, a snooty girl, mean boy and still finding kind people who she gets on with.
Children will also root for Lottie as she feels despair at the hard work of the students vandalised but keeps on trying, she is a role model for resilience and rising to each challenge.
The illustrations are adorable with a cute not scary werewolves but still Wonderlandish feel from the plants curling and swaying, spiders webs stretching around the page Nathan Reed has done fantastically well to draw us into the world that Vivian French weaves for us on paper.
Both my girls have been enraptured by Lottie Luna, my 6 year old has loved exploring the book independently and my 3 year old had it read aloud when she was feeling a little fractious, she found it soothing and she loved Lottie in the Bloom Garden and joining in the howling!
I would say these would appeal to children with a taste for the fantastical are moving on to slightly longer texts still wanting illustrations but don’t want to be scared or grossed out by what’s on offer. These are tales of friendship with a Werewolf twist and I cannot wait to read more of these with the girls, this is a series I want to do well.
Lottie Luna and the Bloom Garden by Vivian French illustrated by Nathan Reed