Friday 2 February 2024

Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library

Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Douglas Holgate (Penguin Random House) PB RRP $24.99 ISBN: 9781761345685

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

The world’s most famous game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, has designed the new library, and Kyle is desperate to be one of the twelve kids invited to the opening-night lock-in. Little does he know that the whole library is a game! To win, the kids must find clues and solve riddles to locate the special exit by the 12pm deadline. They soon figure out that they need to work together to triumph over Lemoncello’s literary escape room.

This action-packed graphic novel brings to life the bestselling middle-grade book of the same name. Chris Grabenstein’s story is clever and captivating, as it encourages readers to have a go at cracking the challenging brainteasers in company with the characters. Along the way, they’ll learn a bounty of brilliant bookish facts and discover the unique power that comes from thoughtful teamwork.

Douglas Holgate’s colourful illustrations are energetic and engaging, ensuring that readers’ attention is carried from one vibrant panel to the next. The overall palette is warm, with the predominance of pale yellow adding a cheery tone to the pages. Distinctive depictions help young eyes distinguish each child in the book.

Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library is a perfect introduction to the wonders within literature for hesitant readers. By the end, they’ll be eager to roll the dice and jump three squares straight into their nearest library.

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