Book review: Lenny the Lobster Can’t Stay for Dinner by Finn Buckley with Michael Buckley, illustrated by Catherine Meurisse

Baby librarian Tilly and her mum Jen review the choose-your-own-ending picture book, Lenny the Lobster Can’t Stay for Dinner by Fin Buckley with Michael Buckley, which is released today. Happy book birthday, Lenny the Lobster!

Tilly reviews Lenny the Lobster Can’t Stay for Dinner

This is a story about a lobster who gets invited to a dinner party. I’ve never met a lobster before and there aren’t any lobsters in my other books so I’m not sure if these are really real. Mummy says they are, and that sometimes people eat them. We don’t eat them at home because Daddy doesn’t like them but Mummy said maybe one day we’ll go to Maine and eat lobster rolls. I’m not sure what they are or where Maine is but I like eating so I’ll go. The book is fun! There are good pictures and adventures! There is fighting and a daring escape and lots of food, so basically all the components of a good book. Doesn’t rhyme, but that’s okay.

Jen reviews Lenny the Lobster Can’t Stay for Dinner

I know we’re only in March, but this is one of my favourite books of 2019 — and one of my favourite picture books ever. As Tilly explained, it’s about a lobster who has been invited to a dinner party. But is he a mere guest or is he the actual dinner? The book is written in the style of a choose-your-own-ending book and there are different outcomes depending on what decision you make at a critical point in the story. This is one of the reasons I love this book; choose-your-own-ending is not common in picture books (I don’t actually know of any others) so this was something a bit fun.

I also loved the packaging of the book. The jacket cover is fantastic, and when you take off the jacket cover, the cover underneath is a very neat little nod to one of the plot points in the book. The jacket cover is also reversible, so you can have two different books depending on the ending you choose.

Fun fact: the author, Finn Buckley, wrote this book (with his dad) when he was seven-years-old. I feel unaccomplished.

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