2 out of 4 stars
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Red Endures the Test of Time is a children’s story about an old stable named Red. The story is written by Thomas Fullmer, and the beautiful artwork is done by Stacey Barr White.
An old farmer named Ned built a strong stable with a granite foundation and oak walls to house his magnificent horses. He painted the stable in red color for a lovely reason and named his stable Red. Ned was sure his stable would stand the test of time, and it turned out to be true. Red stood proud and strong for generations. However, with the arrival of modern stables, Red lost his importance. Sheer negligence destroyed his beauty and turned him into a mere dilapidated barn. Instead of protecting and loving the majestic horses, Red turned into an old building where rodents and wild animals took shelter.
Red missed his former self and wished to return to his glory days. But who would understand the feelings of an old building? The new generation saw him as a crumbling building with no value. Will Red stand the test of time and prove his worth? Can he return to his glory days when he was considered a glorious stable? Read this book to see how the story turns out.
Red’s feelings are filled with deep emotions. The prose of this book is almost poetic. So, this book can be used to introduce children to poetry. This book is also great to be read aloud. Kids can dress up as Red and recite a few paragraphs from this book as a part of classroom activity. This book’s best aspect is the artwork. The details of the paintings were incredible. Kids will love identifying the little details like small animals, broken window panes, weather wane, etc.
Despite the wonderful story, I will rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. I deducted two stars mainly because of the changing font color and the overwhelming melancholy tone of the book. The formatting was clumsy, and words sometimes overlapped. I understand that this might have happened because converting an illustrated book into an e-book is tricky. However, the changing text color was jarring. For example, on page 17, page 21, and page 30, the text color clashed with the background art, making the words hard to read. Also, the first half of the book was filled with Red’s misery; his monologue became quite repetitive. I understand the intention, but given that this is a children’s book, the sadness was too much. The editing seemed professional, but I found a few errors. So, another round of professional editing will definitely help.
With a few tweaks, this book can teach us about the inherent beauty of old things. Children—even adults—can learn that the charm of old buildings is unmatched. We need to stop modernizing functional things simply because they are old. I will recommend this book to children above the age of 6. Since this book has numerous characters with different voices, parents who like to read aloud to their kids can have a blast during reading time. Educators can also use this book to encourage children to learn more about the old buildings surrounding them.
Red Endures the Test of Time
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