Allium, by Lisa G. Gabory, is an adventurous tale about a young, free-spirited garlic clove who has to learn to survive in a garden, among the good and evil of Mother Nature. After confronting numerous insects and encountering evil, a coming of age story transpires. In a well thought out plot, humourous insects and plants need to learn to live together in a harmonious garden.
Lisa G. Gabory along with Lisa M. Gabory did all the interior illustrations in the book. The illustrations are not as accurate as the descriptions. They seem amateurish and not too detailed. The abundance of new characters introduced in every chapter may be confusing for certain younger readers. However, there were many delightful aspects of Allium that more than made up for its few flaws.
Allium portrays the yin and yang of Mother Nature, but at the same time, using the characters as allegory, there is a descriptive element of how life is mimicked in nature. Each insect has a unique voice; one has a French accent, another has a Jamaican acccent, each a quirk that sets them apart from the rest. Gabory portrays the characters in a fun light, yet they each have an important message to convey. The parts of the book that stood out the most were the philosophical ones, as well as the humorous ones. The Queen Lasius Ant was a strong female leader that gave Allium great advice. “All you have to do is try. That is how I got to be where I am today.” The play on words, names, and titles all added a certain originality to the book. The lesson learned is that “bad things happen and life gives us pain.” Mother Nature’s circle of life is part of our humanity.
Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.