Lemmings all look alike, sound alike and act alike...don't they? Well, not this little lemming. He's off sledding with the puffins, dressing up and demanding that the others call him Larry.
Larry knows he doesn't fit in so he tries some other options, but when his fellow lemmings need him most, he is there to save the day.
This is a story about being an individual, about thinking for yourself and not being afraid to stand out from the crowd.
Lemmings are small rodents, living in tundras in or near the Artic. Apparently, they do not all leap off cliffs in mass suicide attempts, they are herbivores and they reproduce very quickly. The book led me to want to find out more about these little creatures- and there will be children out there who will need to do the same!
In this tale, all the lemmings are conforming perfectly, doing what lemmings do, but Larry (or was it Mary?) is a free spirit who wants to live life differently. The story offers many possibilites for discussion- who is doing the 'right' thing? Are there times when we should conform? Why do some people feel 'safer' being part of a crowd? Is it 'wrong' to stand out? Why is it important to think for yourself?
The story could also lead to discussions about leadership and helping others. Larry managed to lead his friends to safety, feed them pizza, inspire them to challenge the 'norm'- and to react accordingly if that puts them in danger!
Bursting with humour, the illustrations are charming. Larry and his fellow lemmings are full of character- the placing of a pupil, the wave of a whisker or the action of an arm conveys so much. Larry- whether in a Hawaiian grass skirt, a Brunel style top hat, or a Cossack hat- stands out in each spread, waiting to be found!
A lovely book which encourages us to think for ourselves and reminds us that we are all individuals!
Leaping Lemmings by John Briggs, illustrated by Nicola Slater
Stirling Children's Books ISBN: 978-1454918196