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Saturday, 3 September 2011

Lob by Linda Newbery

He's older than anyone can tell. Older than the trees. Older than anybody. For as long as she can remember, Lucy has wanted to catch a glimpse of the mysterious green man who lives in Grandpa Will's garden: Lob. You have to be very special to see him; that's what Grandpa says. Lucy's parents think Lob's just imaginary, but Lucy knows he exists. And she can't believe it when she finally spots Lob in the gooseberry bushes. But Lucy's world is about to be shattered by a terrible event. What will happen to Lob now - and will she ever see him again? Linda Newbury, with the vivid embroidery of Pam Smy's illustrations, has conjured a real green man right out of the woods and stories of legend.

This book is a children's book, however, myself as an adult thought that this was a beautiful story. A story about a young girl, Lucy, having a close relationship with her grandfather, enjoying spending time with him gardening, a hobby that they both enjoy. Her grandfather tells her about Lob, a  green man who helps with the gardening, but who can only be seen by chosen people. However, the grandfather dies and his wife moves out of their home to a smaller cottage, where Lob is not needed anymore.  Lucy is upset about her grandfather's death, however she also worried about what will happen to Lob. The remainder of the story is about a man searching for the right person to help, a young girl believing in Lob but everyone round her telling her he didn't exist and the perseverance and belief of that young girl and also how different people relate to situations differently and how people are scared of the unknown or unconventional.

However, this book is not only about the words of the story, I don't think I would be raving so much about it, without the pencil drawing illustrations that are throughout the book. There are pictures sharing the page with the text, but also full double page spreads of Pam Smy, which depict the story beautifully. They are simple, black and white illustrations, however there are so many messages and emotions included within the pictures and without these illustrations, I am sure the story would not of stayed with me. I know that I will be looking out for the Green Man when I am out and about.

I also believe that this is a book that anyone who reads it will take something away from it as there are many messages within the book. It is not the typical children's story but a true to life tale. It is a book that could be given to anyone to read and I am sure it will be enjoyed by all,

Thank you to David Fickling Books and Random House Children's Books for sending me the book to review.

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