Alouicious: Protector of the Weak
by Melba Peña
Trafford Publishing

"He decided he would be like a shining knight and help the least fortunate. There would be no more gnawing rats terrorizing the helpless."

This story tells the fantastic tale of a teddy bear who, after being left outside, transforms into a real bear who swears to protect lesser creatures. Picking up a blade to help him defend himself and smaller creatures, he sets out on an adventure despite missing his fellow teddy bear friends. The first creature he has the opportunity to protect is a small frog that lives in a pond terrorized by an eagle. The only reason the frog is still alive when all of his family has been taken is because he is too small for the eagle to be satisfied eating. Alouicious follows in his mission by standing up to the bully of an eagle and in the process, earns the trust and respect of the creatures he has defended.

Based on a poem previously written by the same author, this book includes and begins with that poem to give some perspective and fill in the complete story. Nearly every page is accompanied by an illustration depicting the action in the story, done in several mediums including photographs, markers, pen, and paint. The story itself is simple and playful, with a strong sense of morals throughout. Some of the words may be difficult for younger readers, making it an excellent book to share and read aloud with children. The story teaches children to be responsible and fair to others, treating them the way they would also like to be treated. In addition, the author convinces us to show courage and bravery in the face of adversity.

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