3 out of 4 stars
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The Magnificent Adventures of Folotjing the Brave and Kindhearted by Rio N. Cortez is a fun children’s book about the mythical Dwendi, Folotjing. He’s a clever creature who lives in the forest. Although some of the other animals try to pick on little Folotjing, he shows that kindness is the best way to get out of trouble and make a new friend at the same time.
This story is both adorable and original, which makes it a refreshing change from other children’s books. The author has created a fun, likeable protagonist but doesn’t spend too much time trying to describe him or introduce him to the reader. Instead, he allows Folotjing’s actions to speak for him, and the reader comes to know him through his kindness and willingness to help others. The charm of this book is only increased by the illustrations included, which look like line drawings from older children’s books and evoked a sense of nostalgia when I saw them.
Although I really enjoyed seeing the drawings, I wish that they had been arranged differently in the book. Generally, a page of text would alternate with a page of illustrations, and the illustration for a scene would often come before the text describing that scene. I would have preferred for the story to come first or at least to be included on the same page as the picture showing that story playing out.
Another issue I found with the book involves the rhyming lines. Although I didn’t find any mistakes in the writing, the rhyme and rhythm of the lines often felt forced, and I think it could be difficult to read this book out loud to a child.
Based on the considerations above, I chose to give this book 3 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed the cute, original character of Folotjing, but some rhyming lines detracted from his fun instead of adding to it. I would recommend this book to parents of children ages four to eight, although younger children will need help with some difficult words, not least of which is the protagonist’s name.
The Magnificent Adventures of Folotjing - The Brave and Kindhearted
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