• Gemma

'What About Me?' said the Flea by Lily Murray Illustrated by Richard Merritt.



When a little girl sits down at her desk one day to write a story, she struggles to find her inspiration ...

Luckily for her there's a whole host of potential picture-book characters who want to be the star of her story and make their cases convincingly.

There's the magical, proud unicorn with sparkly hooves and a glittery horn. There are the big, burly bears hosting a picnic, the loveable llamas in pyjamas, the stylish sloth, the lion, the penguins, and even a roar-some, claw-some dinosaur ... But, unnoticed by the little girl, an even littler flea is hopping and jumping around, hoping to be the one she chooses to write a story about. "What about me?" it cries. With all the big characters and commotion, will the flea ever be noticed?

Set in fun, rhyming couplets, What About Me? Said the Flea celebrates the power of imagination, determination, and the good things that come in teeny tiny packages.



I read this story to my class with half of them over zoom and they loved it. They had fun guessing which character was coming up next and there was so much laughter from the children and the parents too. We discussed our favourite characters from the book and identified the rhyming words, which added to the pace and enjoyment of the story. The illustrations are bold and bright adding to the richness of the text. The children are looking forward to coming back to school so they can explore all the tiny details in the illustrations which they couldn't do so well via zoom. I know this will be a firm favourite in the classroom encouraging plenty of discussion and experimenting using different voices for each character.

An absolute beautiful book with an important message that everyone is important and deserves to be heard. In every class you have a mixture of personalities; those that are more confident than others; those that shout the loudest and those that are shyer more reserved. As a child and an adult who always takes a step back and lets others voice their opinions first this book was a breath of fresh air and the message very close to my heart. I always seek out the shyer children and make sure their voices are heard, trying to give them the confidence to speak out. This book highlights this in such a beautiful way and allows the more confident children to understand how the flea felt, always being overlooked by the other animals. A real gem of a book and one that will remain a personal favourite on my shelf.

Many thanks to @buster_books @omarabooks @lovebookstours for my #gifted copy, truly a privilege to read.



Lily Murray (Author) Lily grew up in the wilds of snowy nowhere, spending much of her time talking to animals and making up stories. She has continued to do this in her adult life, and now writes both fiction and non-fiction books for children. Her titles include big books about dinosaurs (Dinosaurium), rhyming books about dinosaurs (The Dinosaur Department Store) and stories about escapee hot dogs (Hello, Hot Dog!). Her latest title for Buster Books (Calm Down, Cooper!) features a very naughty parrot and a conscientious puppy. Follow Lily on Instagram and Twitter @lilymurraybooks.

Richard Merritt (Author) Born and bred in North London, Richard Merritt has been an illustrator for 15 years after graduating from Central Saint Martin's college of Art and Kingston University. Richard has worked with many book and editorial publishing houses, design groups, advertising agencies and more, on lots of varied projects, from children's books and packaging to magazines and costume illustration for film. He now illustrates children's picture books, including the hugely successful The Dinosaur Department Store.

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