3 out of 4 stars
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Dynomike: Pay It Forward by Frankie B. Rabbit is an illustrated children’s book that focuses on the importance of helping others, without expecting anything in return. It is the latest installment in the Dynomike series about a dinosaur and his various animal friends. While on his way home, Dynomike helps his friend Spunky stop a banana cart from sliding downhill. When Spunky asks how he can repay the young dinosaur, Dynomike tells him to “pay it forward” and help someone else. This sets off a ripple effect among the various animal characters in the story.
I enjoyed this heartwarming book that highlights the concept of paying it forward in an entertaining way. It’s never too early to teach kids the importance of helping others while expecting nothing in return. Instead, you can repay someone’s kindness by helping another person in the near future.
There is a smooth flow to the storyline, with creative links between each part of the plot. For instance, after the banana cart incident, Spunky encounters a cat scrounging for food in a dumpster. Any guesses how Spunky might pay Dynomike’s assistance forward?
The story is told in rhyme and contains an ABCB rhyme scheme; basically, the second and fourth lines rhyme in each four-line stanza. The simple word choices would be easy for young children to understand. There are two exceptions - “hangry” (a slang word for “hungry”) and “schnarf” (a made-up word). I don’t think slang or made-up words are appropriate in books for the younger set, since children would get confused.
The illustrations are colorful and convey a fun, light-hearted feel to the story. There are good visual clues on each page, which also reinforce the meaning of the “pay it forward” phrase. I particularly appreciated that the characters’ facial expressions tied in well with each action. However, it’s not clear what type of animal a few of the characters are. In addition, the cat doesn’t have a proper name and is addressed only as “new friend.”
I would like to applaud the author for an excellent editing job. There are no spelling or grammatical errors, and the book is formatted well. I must say it is refreshing to read an error-free indie book.
This book has earned 3 out of 4 stars. It contains a nice blend of elements for a good children’s story – a clear plot, a relatable theme, likable characters, and appealing artwork. If not for the slang words and vague characterization in a few cases, the book would merit the highest rating. I would recommend it for children ages 3-8, due to the short sentences, simplistic plot, and basic word choices. Kids who like books featuring animal characters would surely enjoy this one. The book is a perfect choice for parents or teachers to read aloud, as it could spur a discussion about ways to help others and pay a kindness forward. This is the second book I've read about this cute dinosaur, and I highly recommend this series.
Dynomike: Pay It Forward
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