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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
The Seventh Birthday Wish is a children’s picture book written by Bruce E. Arrington and illustrated by Florence Jayne. Wesley was incredibly excited about waking up that morning. He was finally seven years old, and the magic door would open for him at last. He had wondered what was on the other side of that door ever since it first appeared when he turned four. Now, he could see the handle; it was golden and, when he turned the knob, the door opened with a rush and a sound that seemed like a roar. His mom knew that Wesley would be having a special adventure, and she had his pillow and a packaged lunch all ready and waiting for him. And while she would have preferred that he sit and have some breakfast before his day began, she understood that her young man had an important day ahead of him.
Bruce E. Arrington’s children’s picture book, The Seventh Birthday Wish, is a moving fantasy story about a small boy’s rite of passage as he turns seven, and one can’t help but get excited for him as he surveys the new and limitless world that awaits him. I especially liked the choices Arrington gives young Wesley, and the boy’s subsequent decision to interact freely with the wild and flying horses he discovers. Florence Jayne’s illustrations are marvelous! Each panel is brightly colored, and her use of watercolor washes gives dimension and vitality to the scenes she creates. The expressions on the faces of the flying horses are wonderful, and the open vistas that unroll before Wesley’s eyes are memorable indeed. This tale celebrates a child’s first rite of passage and illustrates most eloquently why force is never the solution, even when you really desire something. The Seventh Birthday Wish is most highly recommended.
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite
The Eighth Birthday Wish by Bruce E. Arrington is about a girl named Sophia who lives in the country of Narthland. Sophia cannot sing, though all her brothers and sisters can sing very well. Her grandparents and parents also sing like sweet angels. Her birthday comes and she decides to ask the Great Rock Faery to grant her wish. Sophia knows she has to take her parents with to reach the magical hill as that region is known to be wild. Will Sophia’s wish be granted? Will she be able to sing like her siblings, parents, and grandparents? Read the story to find out.
The book is enchanting and every line is filled with magic. Written in rhyming verses, the story is lyrical and the watercolor sketches bring the story to life and give it a good pace and movement. The way Sophia meets the challenges is encouraging and the adventure, her bravery, determination, perseverance, and compassion are all good messages and lessons for readers. The unexpected challenges and the not-so-friendly faery give a twist to the plot. In a story woven with whimsy, the author conveys good messages and thoughts to readers, making these magical and charming. Books like this are delightful and adorable as children learn a lot of new things through the story. It is a fun read for all, and tutors and educators can use it in classrooms to introduce children to new concepts, good messages, and life lessons. There is whimsy, there is magic, there is enchantment, there is a good message and that is what makes this story a must-read.
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
The Ninth Birthday Wish is a children’s picture book written by Bruce E Arrington and illustrated by Florence Jayne. Bril and Arisa were twins, but they could hardly be more different than each other if they tried. Bril was a dreamer who liked to read, while his sister, Arisa, craved action and adventure. They did find common ground when it came to the family sand box where their creativity had Bril designing skyscrapers and Arisa modeling action figurines. When their ninth birthday arrived, the family went on a tropical vacation where a magical pond was known for granting birthday wishes. Bril, being the older twin, was to go first with his wish, but Arisa was too excited to wait and blurted out her wish first. Would their wishes be reversed?
Bruce Arrington’s children’s picture book, The Ninth Birthday Wish, explores the stresses and strains that are a part of living with siblings — especially if that sibling is a twin. In this exciting and action-packed tale, Bril and Arisa end up living each other’s wishes and learning more about themselves and each other in the process. Florence Jayne’s illustrations are inspired. Each panel is suitable for framing for a child’s room, especially the beach and pirate ship scenes. This book is especially suited for twins, who may feel isolated from and different than most of the kids in their neighborhoods, but its message is also perfect for families where siblings have markedly different interests and personalities. Arrington’s choice of language makes this a grand primer for young readers as well as a perfect storytime selection. The Ninth Birthday Wish is most highly recommended.
Each of the Birthday Wish books has received a Five Star Rating from Reader’s Favorite (www.readersfavorite.com) .