Review Blog

Dec 07 2015

The Cleo stories: A friend and a pet by Libby Gleeson

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Ill. by Freya Blackwood. Allen and Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743315286
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Chapter book. Family. Friendship. Pets. Two more enchanting stories from the award winning duo, Gleeson and Blackwood, will be certain winners with the newly emerging independent reader who wants something a little more than a picture book.
In Cleo makes a friend, Cleo is very bored. It is raining outside, her friends are away and her mother wants her to tidy her room. All the scenes are very familiar, and will resonate with young readers who will be able to identify with Cleo, whose friend Isabella has told everyone that Nick was her boyfriend when he is only a friend. Eventually after making Mum cross about using her make-up Cleo goes to the garden and there she discovers a friend.
In Cleo wants a pet, Cleo is desperate to have a puppy like Nick's but Dad comes up with lots of reasons why a puppy would be too much work. Cleo finally comes up with a satisfactory solution to her problem.
Beautifully illustrated by Blackwood, this is the second book featuring Cleo, following The necklace and The present and is outstanding both in the narratives and in the delightful pictures that bring the little girl and her family alive.
Pat Pledger

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