It’s the summer holidays. Which means that the words “I’m – bor-ed” are often ringing around houses, usually emanating from little voices belonging to youngsters flopped on the sofa.
Do not despair. There’s hope yet. Next time your seven-year-old gives you the “I-have-nothing-to-do” spiel, just hand out Lupu Lupettu Jdur id-Dinja.
At the start of the story, Lupu Lupettu, with his long snout, cocked ears and pointy teeth, is equally bored. But he is a bit more proactive than our kids and books himself a trip around the world. He takes us all on a whirlwind tour of France, England, Italy, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal, China, Sydney, Brazil, the United States and Canada. He climbs the Eiffel Tower, has tea with the Queen, writes a love letter on a gondola, is nearly eaten by a crocodile, and jigs and dances on a carnival float. It is the perfect manner to get children to explore the world without even touching an atlas.
Of course, what makes him a loveable character with children all over the world is the fact that Lupu’s trials and tribulations are the same as most children’s: he is easily bored, easily scared, is a very picky eater, enjoys complaining, and above all, gets homesick after a while.
Lupu is the creation of young French author Orianne Lallemand – and the character was tried and tested on her five children before it went on to become a publishing phenomenon.
Together with illustrator Eléonore Thuillier, stories of Le Loup, with his trademark amusing eyes and bush tail, sprang to life.
Merlin Publishers, always on the lookout for books that capture the imagination of children, brought him to Malta in 2014 and engaged award-winning Maltese author Clare Azzopardi as translator. “Lupu is too cute. The stories are wonderfully written and when I’m translating, I always feel I learn so much from the experience,” said Azzopardi.
Maltese children have endeared themselves to the hapless, funny wolf and they adopted him as their own. In a short period of time, Lupu Lupettu has become possibly children’s favourite Maltese book character, as each new Lupu title hits the bestseller charts. Each year, Merlin Publishers bring in new titles, adding to the collection of the series in Maltese.
The Lupu Lupettu series has no fixed age, in that it can also be read to children of a young age by parents. Children aged six and older will be able to read the book by themselves.
Other titles in the series include: Lupu Lupettu Kull Kulur, Lupu Lupettu ma Jridx Jimxi; Lupu Lupettu Jibża’ Minn Dellu; Lupu Lupettu Jinvestiga l-Mużew; Lupu Lupettu Jaħseb li Hu Xi Ħaġa; and Lupu Lupettu Jżur il-Foresta tal-Ħrejjef.
All Lupu Lupettu books are available for sale from all bookshops and online.
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