Friday 3 December 2021

Llamas in Pyjamas

Llamas in Pyjamas by Matt Cosgrove (Scholastic Australia) PB RRP $17.99 ISBN 978 1 760978457

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks 

Little Llama twins are notorious for not going to bed, so their tired parents call Dharma Llama, the bedtime extraordinaire babysitter to stop all the bedtime drama. Will she succeed?

Matt Cosgrove is a best-selling children’s author and illustrator who has had big success in children’s books. He understands children and how they see the world. The opening sentences Have you met Dharma? Dharma’s a llama! Engage and hook the reader. The sentences flow smoothly, easily and in rhyme. Humour plays a big role too. Cosgrove sequences the story well and builds the tension and anticipation. First, we meet Dharma and what she likes and loves. She’s the best in the biz- an absolute whiz! Once we know Llama is a babysitter, the story introduces the twins Tru and Tori.  The reader wants to know what will happen when they meet. New vocabulary is in just the right places and meaning is supported. ‘Good luck!’ their parents roar as they race out the door, leaving Dharma to care for the rambunctious pair. Cosgrove’s writing makes every word earn its place. Too chilly. Too frilly. Too baggy and silly! Too sweaty and tight. The text is well balanced with rhyme and rhythm.

Matt Cosgrove’s illustrations are cartoon-like, fun and highly entertaining. The endpapers have a Mexican feel. The patterning with the llamas, flowers and coloured stripes are eye catching and fun. The layout on each spread creates character movement and development. The eyes of the characters are expressive and large and engage the reader. I love the spread with Dharma’s babysitting advertisement on a tree with little tear off pieces at the bottom. It’s like the ones we see in real life. Dharma takes her business calls on her mobile phone and the antics of the twin’s amps up the hullabaloo they create at bedtime. Little sneaky smiles or surprised faces add layers of meaning to the text. I adore the spread with the twins in spotty pyjamas on a bright red background. The cover catches attention with a lilac background and Dharma with the twins sharing a book. It’s an invitation to dive into the book.

Llamas in Pyjamas is a fun read for children aged 3-8 years and one that parents will enjoy too. This book is a great read aloud. The message that reading books at bedtime is the best thing to do before you go to sleep is a winner. Macca the Alpaca picture book series is also created by Matt Cosgrove.








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