Book Review: Raymond the Buffalo by Lou Beauchesne

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre: Juvenile fiction picture book
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Publication Date: May 11th, 2021
Pages: 48, hardcover
Source: NetGalley

Raymond is a brave, strong and hairy buffalo. Gilbert is a quiet, growing and not-at-all hairy boy. Raymond is the hero of Gilbert’s favorite book, and Gilbert brings his favorite book everywhere. When an unfortunate incident separates the two, Raymond finds himself in a very unusual situation–outside of his book and loose in the local library! There’s nothing for Raymond to do but wait for Gilbert to come find him. But as the days turn into months and months into years, Raymond has to be brave and make a new home in the library shelves and a new friend in the librarian, Nicole.

This adorably illustrated picture book celebrates the love we have for books and the strength of friendship.

Pickles with lemon, anyone? That’s the favorite snack of Raymond, the titular character in Lou Beauchesne’s Raymond the Buffalo. Gilbert adores Raymond, and carries the well-loved book everywhere, until one day, dinosaurs catch his eye. Raymond’s book is accidentally scooped up by Gilbert’s mother when she gathers his library books, and Raymond is sent through the book drop at the library. Raymond escapes the book drop, but will he be reunited with Gilbert?

The illustrations by Kate Chappell are adorable. Raymond is fluffy and brown and you really do want him to leap from the page so you can cuddle him (assuming he doesn’t really smell like a buffalo, that is). This is a great book for children who are beginning to read independently. The chapters are short and easily read in one sitting.

The book explores Raymond’s relationship with Gilbert, and also with the librarian. There’s sadness and a search to belong, but also friendship. One important takeaway might be to always stay put if you get lost, so your loved ones can find you quickly.

Children will enjoy the illustrations and Raymond’s adventures as he explores the library and tries to find his way home.

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