4 out of 4 stars
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Mandy’s Pet Shop by Zack Shada and D.C. Cody is a colorful and engaging children’s book that teaches about uniqueness and being open-minded. Mandy is a confident little girl who runs an eccentric pet shop. As opposed to the norm, the pets in the shop are unusual and intriguing. Examples include a cat with nine eyes, a frog with three heads, and bear with two hats, among others of every shape, size, and color.
This proves to be an overwhelming experience for Decker, who goes to the shop in search of a pet that befits him. Accompanied by his mother, the boy begins looking around and interacting with the peculiar creatures as Mandy guides him. Initially, he finds the pets to be too different and even fears and dismisses them. However, as he goes on and Mandy persuades him, he starts to have a change in perspective. Decker soon finds his perfect monster pet that is both unique and friendly.
The book is lively, happy, and warm. The illustrations are vivid, fun, and colorful, each showing the distinct attributes of the characters. It is easy to get why the monsters have their specific names. For example, the Lippers have plump lips. The boy and Mandy are also very relatable and realistically depicted; Mandy even has a missing tooth, which is characteristic of a child in the age range of five to seven. The authors also use rhymes and clever repetition of words, making the read more engaging and memorable.
The aspect I love most is how the authors highlight critical words and phrases. For instance, as the book begins and Mandy explains what her shop offers, the phrase ‘and then a few more’ is in a distinct color and texture. This tells of a more intriguing set of pets, creating further interest. The monster’s names and features are equally in different colors, textures, and sizes. There is nothing to dislike about the read; it is pleasant and teaches essential life lessons. The most critical lesson the book teaches is accepting everyone as they are and seeing beyond the differences and the perceived normal or strangeness. However, I find it confusing to learn of Decker's name at the very conclusion of the book.
The book is professionally edited, and I found no errors. Additionally, the language used is simple, and the sentences are short and direct. The book is an amazing read for a child, and the learning opportunities are numerous, like learning about numbers, colors, sizes, and even primary human emotions. Mandy, Decker, and his mother’s state of emotions are easy to identify and see as the story unfolds. I, therefore, rightfully give the book a 4 out of 4 stars rating. I recommend Mandy’s Pet Shop to parents and guardians who want to instill lessons of diversity in their young ones. It is okay to be different.
Mandys Pet Shop
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