Review Blog

Jan 08 2018

Hark, it's me, Ruby Lee by Lisa Shanahan

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Ill. by Binny. Lothian, 2017. ISBN 9780734416568
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Humour, Responsibility. When the teacher, Mrs Majestic-Jones hands out the tasks or the week, Ruby longs to be the messenger, after all she can say Hark, it's me, Ruby Lee, very well, and often. But she is always overlooked, getting the task of being the rubbish monitor instead. One day the messenger is away and so Ruby gets the job, but in taking what appears to be a simple message to the front office, Ruby gets waylaid by her incredible imagination.
Avoiding the speckled forcklewockle, she forgets the message. So Mrs Majestic-Jones, gives the message on a piece of paper, but Lucy loses this too when she and George meet the Squinker, then the teacher gives the message to George who accompanies Lucy but still it gets waylaid when they run into the shlurgle. Lucy has the position taken away.
But that very afternoon, a pigeon flies into the classroom, and Lucy uses her skills to save the day, with funny results.
A warm hearted look at a child's eagerness to help, Lucy's attempts to do the work stipulated by the teacher seem to end in disaster, but in the end her skills are used to advantage. Readers will love the way she uses her skills to save the day, and the position her teacher gives her as a result will make the readers laugh out loud.
The irrepressible Ruby will worm her way into readers' hearts as she tries so hard to be useful. They will readily recognise the school setting and the pitfalls of an overexcited imagination causing lapses in concentration, but even this flaw in Ruby's world makes her a necessary part of the class makeup.
Fran Knight

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