Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Far From The Madding Crowd! Leyla by Galia Bernstein

Leyla had nine aunts and twenty-three cousins.

They are always busy, always fussy, always noisy.

They always want to groom her. She's not even dirty!

Leyla's family is a HOOT!

It's hard being a young member of a close-knit baboon troop. Someone is always wanting to kiss her and hold her, and they never stop yakking and squabbling, especially when she needs a nap. She wants to be where she can't see, or hear, or even smell her family.
So Leyla ran away.

Suddenly she is all alone. The quiet is amazing. She stumps her toe and the only sound is her own voice, yelling... OUCH! Wow!

Then Leyla spots a little lizard and tries to be friendly.
"Shhh! I'm very busy doing nothing."

Nobody in Leyla's family knows how to do nothing. The lizard shows her how to sit and listen to the breezes and think of -- nothing.

Leyla sits, eyes closed, and does nothing--all day long.

It's nice, but strangely, doing nothing makes Leyla miss her family. She runs back the way she came until... she can see and smell her family. They all sit quietly and listened to her adventures, even how she hurt her toe! And...
They ALL wanted to kiss it better!

There's no place like home and family, in Galia Bernstein's Leyla (Abrams Books, 2019). Leyla is a charming little character who returns after her a pilgrimage of self-discovery both appreciating her big, noisy family and knowing how to find her inner quiet when she needs it, in this sweet little exploration of the oft-used "little runaway" theme. Bernstein's illustrations of Leyla and her rowdy troop are humorous, charming, and endearingly winsome, set in an engaging variations of page design and deftly extending the text to keep young readers involved to the last scene.

Galia Bernstein is also the author of I Am a Cat.

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