Making New Animal Friends
By Eileen Wacker, Illustrated by Alan M. Low
Once Kids, $11.48, 32 pages
Silent Samurai and the Magnificent Rescue by Eileen Wacker, allows young readers to travel back to Fujimini Island and reunite with their favorite animal friends. At the daily meeting under the bonsai tree, Purple Penguin excitedly announces that Samurai the tortoise and his friends are headed for the island. Is he coming to have fun or to wage a battle? Will there be a party or a sword fight? Some of the animals are scared, others are excited, and the rest are confused. Green Hamster just wants to hold one of Samurai’s shiny swords! Orange Bunny, the island’s taekwondo instructor, reminds her friends that they fight only when there is no other option. But they do practice their taekwondo exercises all morning just in case. Purple Penguin is convinced that preparing for a fight is not honorable and instead they should be planning a welcome party for their guests. Before anyone can figure out what is happening, the raft with the unexpected visitors is sinking after being hit by a storm. The island friends band together to help rescue the tortoises and their special cargo. What is inside the big boxes? What is their special mission?
Alan M. Lowf’s illustrations add a bold brightness to the story. Kids will enjoy the book’s message that new friends sometimes appear at the strangest times. The island animals learn that you can’t judge someone before meeting them and getting to know them.
Reviewed By Kathryn Franklin