Review Detail

Kids Fiction 197
sweet picture book about community
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
THE NEIGHBORHOOD SURPRISE is a sweet picture book about community coming together. Mrs. Fig is one of the favorite neighbors of Koya and her friends, Hassan and Alex. They love to hear her stories and eat cookies with her. When they hear she is moving, they ask their parents to help plan a goodbye party for her. They each bake something with their neighbors in mind, making them vegetarian or vegan. The day of the party, many people from the neighborhood come with different dishes, and it is a wonderful surprise for Mrs. Fig.

What I loved: This was a very sweet story about a neighborhood coming together in celebration. The consideration that the neighbors have in making something special that others can also enjoy (vegetarian and vegan) is also lovely. The messaging is fairly simple here, and it's really just a happy, lovely story. The illustrations add some nice touches with fun details and many colors. This would be a great choice for toddlers through elementary school aged readers.

What left me wanting more: As a small note, there is an end note about vegetarianism and veganism, to explain what they are and why people would choose those diets in simple and non-comprehensive terms. This information would have been better contained within the story, so that children can learn as they read. The reasons why are not really comprehensive with just not wanting to hurt animals and the environmental impact of animal farming, so it also could have been included in the story or expanded upon in the backmatter.

Final verdict: With a sweet story about community, THE NEIGHBORHOOD SURPRISE is a delightful picture book read about coming together with food.
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