Lulu and Lainey A French Yarn – children's book review


Lulu and Lainey A French Yarn – children's book review

Author Lois Petren and illustrator Tanja Russita take children on the magical little adventure of a little girl who loves to knit.

Lulu and Lainey French Yarn Cover

As soon as I saw the cover for Lulu and Lainey … a French Yarn, I knew I was in for a treat. Then I saw the opening dedication. “For every child who has lost a favourite object. May it always find its way back home…” It sums up the heart of this sweet tale. It’s the first book in a series - which also now includes Lulu and Lainey … A Christmas Yarn - and the first tale from author Lois Petren. What a great start!

Lulu and Lainey … a French Yarn Review

A little girl, Lulu, sets off one day to meet her grandmother so they can knit together. Lulu loves to knit! She carries with her a basket that, amongst other things, holds her favourite ball of green yarn. So favourite, in fact, she’s named it Lainey. However, on her way across the park she gets distracted by some friends. She stops to play some football and before long she is running late. In her haste to get to her grandmother, she grabs her basket and dashes off, failing to notice that Lainey has rolled out onto the grass.

The opening to this little adventure starts off with a carefree, child-like love for a bright, sunny new day. Petren paints an atmosphere that makes you breathe the air and smell the baguettes of Paris, without specifically depicting the famous city. I did like the poetry in Petren’s word choice in depicting this opening act. However, some of the sentences are a tad long for younger children, so parents might want to break it up a little in their reading.

Upon the big reveal that Lulu has lost Lainey, the perspective changes. We begin discovering the adventure the ball of yarn went on while out of LuLu’s possession. It’s a nice little twist that really captures the children’s imaginations. The “what if” of such a relatable experience works a treat and helps turn an everyday experience into something a little magical.

Lulu and Lainey French Yarn Image

Delightful Illustrations

Artist Tanja Russita has opted for a minimalist, hand-crafted style that fits snugly against Petren’s story. Void of detailed backdrops, instead we get a companion to each stanza of text that sums up the scene. I love it; the art is glorious. And it does a good job of controlling the scope of the story, keeping the children’s focused on the tale.

I did feel that the design of the book was print focused. It has a classic look and feel for a physical book that can sit in your library. However, the Kindle version does feature some pages without any art and just text as a result. There’s not enough text on these pages for the children to get bored, but I think a digital-specific version would benefit the experience.

But perhaps that is just knit picking (ha!).

Essential Info:

  • Author: Lois Petren
  • Illustrator: Tanja Russita
  • Suitable for: Ages 2-6
  • Where to Buy: Paperback | Digital

Where to Next?

Are you looking for more great children’s books? Then visit the Old Mate Media library. If you are an author or illustrator looking to make their own children’s book, then look through our services in the main menu, or read our step-by-step guide. For authors and illustrators already published who would like to have their book reviewed, then head here to learn more.

Chris Stead

Chris Stead is an award-winning author and editor with over 26-years of experience in the publishing industry. After publishing over 1000 magazines and launching a dozen commercial websites, fatherhood saw him turn his attention to the world of children's picture books and self-publishing. He now makes books for himself and countless indie authors around the globe.

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