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My favorite things about Naomi Howarth's Tug of War are the really lovely illustrations, depicting intricate patterns of jungle foliage, bright birds and butterflies, and visually appealing use of colors in general, with the brighter colors standing out against the earth tones and greens of plants, as well as the green of a tortoise who is the main character.

Tortoise wants to make some new friends, but unfortunately the elephant and hippopotamus look down on him because he's slow and wrinkly and not as big and impressive as they are. He finds a way to use their pride against them with a little trick though, and demonstrates that being smaller in size does not mean inferior. 

I do appreciate the message of the book, though perhaps it's a tad too simplistic in the way it wraps up. I would also hope that even though children will probably enjoy this story, they will learn to recognize that in real life not every insult should compel you to have to "prove" your abilities to others. 

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Naomi Howarth
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: Some unkind name-calling, like "stupid."

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