Mr. Lemoncello's Very First Game is a prequel/flashback to the popular Mr. Lemoncello middle grade reader series by Chris Grabenstein. Due out 3rd May 2022 from Random House on their Children's imprint, it's 304 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately; it makes it so easy to find information with the search function.
This is such a richly imagined world with a cast of colorful and engaging characters. Despite the fun and fast paced action, the author manages to convey some really important points about honesty, loyalty, integrity, family, friendship and warmth without ever once sacrificing fun or being preachy.
The writing is accessible and warm with a lot of humor and carefully engineered plot arc. The resolution and denouement were satisfying and well done. It's enhanced by the inclusion of puzzles and rebus illustrations which are integral to the plot and move the story along.
This would be a good selection for public or school library acquisition as well as for the home library. It would also make a fun choice for book club discussion or buddy read.
Four and a half stars. Definitely one for fans of the series and can be read as a standalone.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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