The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and The Present by Libby Gleeson and illustrated by Freya Blackwood, hardback chapter book, 57 pages, published by Allen & Unwin in 2014.
Cleo is an average six year old living with her parents, having fun with her friends and learning about her world. In the first story, several of her friends have pretty new necklaces, and she wants one too. In the second story, it is her mum’s birthday, and Cleo wants to get her a really great present.
This is the first book in The Cleo Stories series. It contains two fun short stories, and is illustrated throughout. The illustrations are very distinctive and just lovely. They feel soft and gentle, and complement the story well. The stories are simple yet engaging, which is brilliant for young readers.
Cleo is a sweet little girl. I like her imagination and her sense of style. I love that she often wears animal ear head bands, as it reminds me of my own little girl. I enjoyed reading about her everyday adventures, and so did my first grader. We already have the next Cleo book to read!
The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and The Present is suitable for preschool and lower primary school children. It is good for early independent readers, but is also lovely to share.
*The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and The Present was the winner of the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year in the Young Readers category.