Scarlet Ibis

by Gill Lewis, published 2014

“We don’t look much like brother and sister. Sometimes I reckon that might even be part of the problem. Maybe if we looked a little bit like each other, it might help”

Scarlet Ibis - Children's bookTo be honest, when I started this children’s book, I was a little depressed. I couldn’t bear reading about the traumatic difficulties of children – dealing with with dysfunctional parents, handling autism, racially mixed, etc. I don’t know what made me stay with the book, but when I reached the end, I was in tears, and happy that I had not given up on it. Perhaps that is really the message of this well-written children’s book: perseverance. Not giving up. At every turn, the young protagonist of the story keeps going, until she can find her brother, and be reunited.

There is a great deal of authenticity in the story, such as the tantrums of both the young girl and her brother. At the same time, some of it takes us out of the ordinary, into the world of imagination, especially when dealing with birds who come in and out of their lives.

The author, Gill Lewis, has a wonderful of bringing nature and animals into each children’s book she writes. I’ve reviewed several of her books, and they all show the power of animals to bring important lessons into the lives of children, and vice-versa: The power of children to protect the wild birds.

In the end, this is a powerful story about resilience, family, and nature. It doesn’t have a pat happy ending, though it does end well. Great for children 9 to 12, especially those who have an interest in birds.

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