Review Blog

Nov 18 2019

Lottie Luna and the Bloom Garden by Vivian French

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Illus. by Nathan Read. HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780008342982.
(Age: 7+). Highly recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Werewolves, Friendship, Gardens. In this very enjoyable and easy read junior fiction novel, the story begins in the crumbling Dracon Castle where a werewolf family have recently moved to. Lottie Luna, her older brother Boris and their parents have become the local royalty and Lottie Luna is about to begin at a new school in the middle of term. She decides to be ordinary and not tell her classmates she is a princess. Lottie Luna has another secret though. She was born when there was a full moon and lunar eclipse and has special powers. She is able to run and swim very quickly, is very strong and has astounding hearing. After rescuing Bernie, a werewolf cub, she is unavoidably thrust into the limelight. Lottie Luna then discovers her school Principal, Madame Grubeloff, was born on this special day and also has the same special powers. The Principal encourages Lottie Luna to use her special powers only when absolutely necessary.
On the first day at her new school, Lottie Luna wins a competition to design a school garden on a derelict plot of land behind the school which may otherwise be sold for a toll road. Her garden is called the Bloom Garden and the school students set about landscaping and planting the flowers. Sadly it is destroyed two nights in a row and Lottie Luna's suspicions fall on Aggie who is not a kind classmate and who thought she would win the competition. The new Deputy Principal and his sneaky son Bruno are unpleasant characters who also come under suspicion. With the help of Lottie Luna's new friends, Marjory and Wilf, the problem is solved and the Bloom Garden eventually survives.
The black and white illustrations by Nathan Read complement the text brilliantly and draw the reader in. They are both detailed and entertaining and help to set the visual imagery throughout the novel. Lottie Luna and the Bloom Garde is the first in a series with the second titled Lottie Luna and the Twilight party.
Kathryn Beilby

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