The Society of Distinguished Lemmings is a social group of creatures that enjoys the finer things in life, like sophisticated literature, music, sports, and the occasional elaborate dinner party. The lemmings live by a strict set of rules: no rolling, no climbing, no mud…and no questioning the rules. But Bertie is tired of the noisy, busy life of the Society and ventures outside the underground burrow for some peace and quiet. There, he meets a very undistinguished bear who has little interest in art, chess, or any activities the lemmings enjoy. They become fast friends, and Bertie discovers that he rather likes rolling in flowers, climbing trees, and splashing in mud.
When the other lemmings meet the bear, Bertie hopes they will welcome him into the Society, but there’s far too much to change for the bear to fit in. Bertie realizes the bear is “distinguished, just in a different way,” but will the Society ever accept the bear just the way he is?
This charming debut by author-illustrator Julie Colombet is a celebration of individuality and friendship in the face of pressure to keep the status quo. The laugh-out-loud illustrations are full of hidden details, and witty, sophisticated speech bubbles make each reading experience a unique one for children and adults alike. The Society of Distinguished Lemmings is a treasure, perfect for a memorable and interactive storytime.
Are you a lemming or a bear? Take the personality quiz to see if your tastes are refined enough for admittance into the Society of Distinguished Lemmings!
Sneak a peek into the Society’s underground burrow in this excerpt!
“Colombet’s creatures have the look of those that appeared in the marginalia of old illuminated manuscripts, but in this book—to readers’ benefit—they take up just about every inch of the page. A surprisingly large percentage of the jokes actually work, and the lemmings in the pictures are delightfully wide-eyed and shaggy. Even the most rule-bound reader will be cheered up by these stodgy lemmings.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“Colombet’s story of friendship and embracing differences shines most in its endearing pencil illustrations, digitally colored in rustic tones. Speech bubbles scatter across scenes crowded with lemmings, resulting in an adorable and hilarious peanut gallery guaranteed to elicit giggles from little readers.” —Booklist
“Colombet packs her story with vivid personalities (the earnest, wide-eyed lemmings are a collective hoot)…There is much to linger over and return to in these pages.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Start with end pages depicting nearly 300 individual cartoon lemmings and you may commiserate with Bertie who is fed up with all the noise and high-brow social activities in the burrow… This debut picture book requires multiple reads to absorb all of the humor in the various lemmings’ conversations and activities like dressing and packing. A quirky addition.” —School Library Journal
Get ready to laugh and learn with Bertie and Bear in The Society of Distinguished Lemmings, available now at your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble, and be on the lookout for the rest of our brand-new Spring 2020 titles as well as our picture books and middle grade titles coming to Peachtree this season in paperback!