Monday, 9 April 2018

Review – AdoraBULL – Alison Donald & Alex Willmore

Tom and Alfred are inseparable, they are as close as a boy and bull can be, spending all their waking hours together. However all things must end and when Tom has to go to school Alfred pines for his friend. Alfred’s loneliness is made worse when he hears Tom ask his parents for an adorable pet. 

Envious and lonelier then ever Alfred uses Tom’s Dad’s phone to look up the meaning of adorable, and upon finding oodles of images of tea-cup dogs, and cute cats, tries his hand at being adorable too. However no matter what Alfred tries his efforts are met with ridicule and laughter, as he faces the fact that bulls just aren’t adorable. Just as Alfred has given up, Tom swoops in with a surprise, one adorable pet, to keep his best-bull-friend company when he’s away at school.

AdoraBULL is funny, charming and crammed full of lovely messages about loneliness, friendship and faith. It is also beautifully illustrated by Alex Willmore’s earthy soft images which really work exquisitely with Alison Donald’s text. 

But what really makes AdoraBULL stand out is that it has had the courage to do something that is truly rare in picture books, by including modern technology. Most picture books are free of new-fangled tech, staying firmly in a nostalgic pre-internet world. But with AdoraBULL, we see Alfred actually using a smartphone, and the internet. But far from detracting from the story, this little snippet of the 21st century sets up the jokes and laughter, as well as mirroring the readers own world, (when was the last time you looked up a word in a dictionary?)

AdoraBULL, is a funny, relevant and charming books, a future classic.

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