Title: What a Bragger!
Author: Lee Ann Mancini
Illustrator: Dan Sharp
Publisher: GLM Publishing
“Melissa never bragged again, she was thankful for all her wonderful friends and they were better than all the toys in the sea!” states the ending in Lee Ann Mancini’s children’s book, What a Bragger!
Part of the Adventures of the Sea Kids series, this unnumbered thirty-two page oversized paperback targets children ages two to five years old who enjoy stories about fish and friendship. With no scary or violent scenes, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.
Author Mancini is an adjunct professor in Florida as well as a wife and mother of two who devotes her life to Christ. Illustrator Sharp has over thirty years’ experience illustrating children’s books and lives in Michigan. Part of the proceeds is donated to Christian charities involving children.
In this undersea tale with full-color, full-page expressive designs, Melissa Blowfish is playing with her classmates at the Beneath the Sea Play Park. She brags to Corey that she better at swinging, climbing, and blowing bubbles than the others. She mentions she has a special lunch box and personally knows the famous starfish depicted on it.
When Corey goes home, he tells his mother about Melissa’s bragging, and the parent suggests that Melissa may need a good friend. The next day, Corey finds Melissa crying, and she confesses she is not what she said she was. He follows her to her house and notices she is poor and has little.
Back home alone in his room, Corey prays to Jesus to show him a way to help Melissa. Later the fish learns from the teacher there will be a birthday party for Melissa, so he and friends buy her a special gift. At the party, they give her a nice card and present. Melissa is shocked and happy that someone loves and cares about her and writes thank-you notes. That night, she thanks God for her friends, realizing they are more important than toys.
This innocuous tale reminds children bragging is not healthy when making friends. It also shows how to love one another, pray to God for help, and share. The only issue noticed was a distinct chemical odor (perhaps from the ink or paper).
Thanks to the author for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.