Hello, friends! Our book today is Tip & Lulu: A Tale Of Two Friends by Lauren Isabelle Pierre, a story of unlikely friends who decide to take a stand against bullying.
Lulu is a leopard, and a rather lonely one. She tried to be friendly to the other animals, but no one wants to play with her – most are too scared. One day, after being teased by a group a meerkats, she follows them to find the larger three of the group picking on the smallest. She decides to step in, scaring off the bullies and showing kindness to the littlest meerkat, Tip. The two become fast friends, but are soon confronted with a tough choice. Happening upon their former bullies being bullied themselves, Tip and Lulu must decide if they should do what’s easy, or do what’s right.
This one got a number of things right. First, while I had a small issue with how the bullies are dispatched both times (using fear), the story is otherwise solid. It hit a number of points that many books on the subject don’t, such as that most bullies have bullies of their own. It also struck a chord with its bittersweet ending: despite being saved by Tip and Lulu, the meerkats still have no interest in being friends with a leopard. Tip assures Lulu that they will come around, but that’s less important than the fact that she did the right thing, not for a reward, but simply for the sake of doing it. It’s refreshingly honest, and all the more poignant for being so. The rhyming text is ambitious, and while it stumbles occasionally, it flows nicely otherwise. The illustrations are a standout here, and Pierre clearly put a lot of love and care into them; a shame then that formatting errors cause many of them to be grainy and pixelated. But overall, the story is great, the length is fine, and JJ loved it. This one has a great deal of potential, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)