The Gift

Eerdmans. Feb. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780802855831.
K-Gr 3–Leo, a young cheetah cub, is given a red pen for his birthday by his father. His father shares with Leo that there are many beautiful things inside of the pen, but he will have to wait until his father returns from the market to discover them. As one might expect a young cub to be, he grows impatient and tries to bring the beautiful things out of the pen with the help of others. The text moves along at a good pace, revealing just enough, and Renon remarkably illustrates the colorful characters who try to help Leo. The lush, green jungle glistens in the background as Leo makes his way from one character to the next, until eventually he asks for help from his mother. As she places her paw over Leo’s, she is able to help him, too. Ever so slowly, they move the pen across the paper until he discovers that they have written his name. Eventually he uses the pen on his own to create extraordinary illustrations across several pages of paper. His father returns and praises Leo’s illustrations, telling him that he is a natural.
VERDICT A wonderful title to include in collections, teaching children to find the gifts they hold inside.

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