The Lotterys More or Less is Donoghue’s second book about the four-parent, seven-kid modern family, also known as the Lotterys. Donoghue returns to visit nine-year-old Sumac and her eclectic mix of ‘sibs’, parents, rescued pets and grumpy old Grumps, who has settled in nicely.
It’s now Christmas time, and Sumac has prepared a list of family activities to do over the holidays. Unfortunately, not everything goes to plan. Thanks to a heavy snowfall, Sumac’s PapaDum and big brother are unable to make their way back from India, and their visiting Brazilian couch-surfer can’t leave. Chaos and drama ensue.
At times, this quirky family story can almost venture into self-righteous territory, however Donoghue makes the characters more entertaining and somewhat less know-it-all in this second novel. While Donoghue has created a family that can live and lead by example – and hopefully inspire young readers to become more aware of the way we treat people, animals, and the planet – she still seems to be missing an element of fun or excitement that could help give this story an extra boost.
It’s still well worth the read, particularly if you enjoyed the first book. The mix of characters are delightful and the family drama is oftentimes comical and absurd. And it was great to see Caroline Hadilaksono continue on with the gorgeous illustrations.