Llama on a Mission - Annabelle Sami, ill. by Allen Fatimaharan
A hilariously observed and action-packed drama, with sassy heroine Yasmin aided (again) by magical guardian llama, Levi, as she sets out on another mission in this, the second book in the series from author Annabelle Sami.
Full of humour and the inevitable chaos caused by a sidekick llama, we follow the exploits of the pair, aided by new BFF Ezra, as they attempt to navigate the everyday challenges of school and persuade her parents to let her join art club rather than the Science club at school that her teacher has 'volunteered' her for.
Levi, too, is under pressure and needs Yasmin's help, threatened with being banished to Peru as a 'real' llama, no longer a part of 'Seen not Herd', the secret society of guardian llamas!
In this sequel, Yasmin has found her voice, and this adds lots of fun to various situations where opinions which were previously internal are voiced aloud, much to the shock of some other characters!
I loved the newfound confidence and attitude of Yasmin, and together with the friendship she shares with ADHD sufferer Ezra, they make a lovely pair of unusual and diverse protagonists, who we (I read this alongside 8yr-old Isla) loved to follow through the tale. I also loved the characters of Ammi, SHOUTINGINCAPITALSALLTHETIME, and the descriptions of the chaotic setting of Yasmin's house and the siblings she shares it with.
Alongside the fun and secret-agent style laughs, however, are messages/themes of friendship, loyalty, bravery, family and standing up for yourself, which were thoughtfully integrated into the story.
The fun and lively illustrations by Allen Fatimaharan also add enjoyment through the book...I'll never look at a llama the same way again after seeing spy-agency boss, mama llama in trenchcoat and lipstick!
These drawings, along with the snappy dialogue, easy to read font and layout, and 'Loudmouth' comic-book excerpts, made this a thoroughly engaging and highly enjoyable read, and I look forward to reading book 3 and seeing what adventures the trio face next!
'Llama on a mission' is published this month by Farshore. You can find out more from their website, https://www.farshore.co.uk/products/llama-on-a-mission-9781405297554/
Author Annabelle Sami is on Twitter as @annabellesami
Illustrator Allen Fatimaharan is on Twitter as @afatimaharan
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Thanks to Pippa, Ben and Farshore for including me in this blogtour, and for the review copy of the book (all opinions are honest and my own).
Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot on Twitter and Instagram) April 2021.