Lob is a lovely tale of garden magic, mysterious mystical creatures, a wonderful bond between a grandad and his granddaughter and the joy of having an open mind.
Lob is the name of a Green Man who lives in Grandad's garden and helps him out in his vegetable patch. To most people, he is invisible but Grandad and Lucy sometimes catch a slight glimpse of him - a rustle in the bushes, a blur of green and brown, a smell of leaf mould and wet earth, a sound of almost-laughter or a pair of mischievous green eyes peeking out of the foliage. To everybody else, he's just an imaginary friend, a fairy story made up by Lucy's grandad. When Grandad dies and Grandma moves away to new house, Lucy fears she will never see Lob again. But the bonds of magic and friendship are strong and their paths are destined to cross again.
The lovely hardback book with large text and big double-page black-and-white illustrations is a lovely storybook to share with young readers. It's a great book to read together, as the text is easy to see but the language isn't "dumbed down" so you'll need to be on hand to help with difficult words.
The fairytalesque plotline will appeal to children but it also evokes some deeper issues - the loss of a loved one, trust and betrayal, friendship, learning to keep secrets and the importance of an open mind.
If your children have read and been captivated by the tale of Lob, I wholeheartedly recommend a trip to Hastings (my home town) for May Day weekend, where they will get to see a real life "Lob" at the Jack in the Green celebrations. You can find out more and see photos at the Hastings Jack website (here). It would be the perfect way to bring the book to life and add a whole new level to the magic !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £10.99 (but £7.14 on amazon - also available in paperback)
Hardcover: 217 pages
Publisher: David Fickling Books (4 Feb 2010)
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