4 out of 4 stars
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Robinetta Redbreast and the PEPPER Flake Escape by Barbara Matthews Benge is the charming story of a busy bird with a penchant for decorating who is preparing her nest for the arrival of her babies. In the children's picture book, Robinetta has discovered the perfect garden sanctuary to create a nest for the eggs she will lay. She busies herself decorating her new home and creatively repurposes doilies from spiderwebs, curtains from cabbage leaves, and cradles from walnut shells to furnish it. The only thing missing is a picture to hide an ugly exposed twig. Wearing her pretty travel hat, Robinetta sets out to find the perfect art, but she accidentally lands in a dangerous situation with a hungry cat. How will she escape?
I am sometimes hesitant to select a book that doesn't have the option to preview it. However, there are times when I am pleasantly surprised by making a selection sight unseen, as is the case with this delightful children's picture book. It emphasizes the value of creativity, repurposing, problem-solving, adventure, and safety. The book is fun to read, and children who are drawn to details will pore over the lovely illustrations, noticing something different each time.
I find it hard to define what I like most about this charmer of a children's book, but it's a toss-up between the gorgeous illustrations by Jo Beth Vigil-Price and Benge's creative attention to detail. As I wasn't able to view a sample from the book before selecting it, I chose it based on the synopsis. However, had I been able to peek at the stunning illustrations, they most definitely would have sealed the deal; the cover doesn't do justice to the rest of the book's exceptional artwork. Likewise, Benge doesn't disappoint, whether she is describing Robinetta's flair for decorating by gathering finds from the garden or depicting the robin wearing one of her fashionable hats. Suffice it to say that both the illustrator and the author nailed the details that will amuse young readers.
There isn't one thing I dislike about the book or anything I can highlight for improvement. It is exceptionally edited, and I will also note that the book is "designed to be DYSLEXIC FRIENDLY," by selecting specific fonts/sizes, paper, and tinted backgrounds to reduce glare and other negative distractions for challenged readers.
It is my pleasure to rate this entertaining and beautifully illustrated book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to young readers through the age of 9, and to parents, grandparents, and teachers. As noted above, it may hold special appeal for readers with dyslexia.
Robinetta Redbreast and the PEPPER Flake Escape
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