Author: Linda Newbery
Illustrator: Pam Smy
Publisher: Random House
Suggested Year Group: Four
Lucy longs to see the mysterious Lob, a legendary green man who lives in Grandpa Will’s garden. Her belief eventually pays off and she is rewarded by a glimpse of him, proving that he does exist. Then her world is shattered by a terrible event. We follow Lucy on her quest to find Lob and to learn to live with loss.
Rationale for selection
Linda Newbery has created a magical tale which offers much to discuss in its themes of belief, loss and nature. The lyrical language makes it an ideal reading aloud, but is also suited to guided reading.
Points for Discussion
- what does ‘Lob' means to you.
- What kind of person do you think would would have this name?
- Read the poem at the start of the book.
- What kind of writing is this?
- Why might Linda Newbery have chosen to begin the story in this way?
- The chapters are named with months of the year rather than Chapter One etc.
- What reason could there be for this?
- What do you learn about Lob?
- How is Grandpa’s opinion of Lob different from other grown ups?
- What do you think about Lob?
- Is he real?
Read the second chapter, August.
- Have you ever heard any stories about a Green Man? Share any that you know.
- Do some research using the internet to find out more about the legend.
- Discuss the way Lucy goes into the woods on her own.
- Why do you think she does that? Is it the right thing to do.
- Also focus on the description of Lob on page 40 and the way he moves; “He darted and scurried and skittered ahead, he chivvied her from behind.” What impression do these words give of Lob?
End of November:
- In this chapter where Lucy discovers that Grandpa has died. Children may want to talk about the impact this has on them as a reader and may wish to relate it to personal experience.
- Lob’s voice is introduced and we follow him on his journey away from Clunny Cottage. Children could track his progress by drawing maps or keeping diaries of his movements.
- Why does Lob react differently to Gilbert than to Grandpa?
- What differences are there in the way they are treated?
- What do you think has happened to Lob at the end of this chapter (has he really died)?
- Why does Manda react in such a hostile way to Lob?
- How do you think you would react if you saw him?
- Discuss the ending of the novel. It seems as if Lob has two endings, one about Lucy and one where the author talks directly to the reader.
- Why do you think this is?
- Do you like the endings?
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