Pablo’s Pelican
by Vincent Marotta
Trafford Publishing

"Pablo's father stood up, walked to Pablo, put his hand on Pablo's shoulder and thanked him for being the man of the house."

Filled with appealing illustrations, Pablo's Pelican is a sweet story about a boy, Pablo who relishes being the man of the house while his father is away. Pablo quickly realizes that with his father away, it is his responsibility to bring food for his mother and younger brother, Juan. When he decides to fish in the ocean, he comes to grips with the difficulty in catching even a single fish. The hours he waits before catching his lone fish, however, only serve to strengthen his resolve. Soon enough, Pablo is offered a job—to capture and bring fish—by a ship captain. With the assistance of his pelican friend, Miguel, Pablo surprises the captain with boatloads of fish.

Although the book has only eight pages, it is more appropriate for an upper-grade elementary student due to its multiple paragraph allotments and vocabulary. Additionally, fourth through sixth graders can better grasp the concept of working hard and responsibility. Digging deeper, the take-home message of this story is to simply seize the moment. Opportunity doesn't come knocking often, and when it does, it is crucial to not let it pass.

Parents could read Pablo’s Pelican to younger children as a heartwarming bedtime story while educators can use the story as a quick and efficient way to convey the values one should nurture within. Ultimately, very little happens with regard to plot. Pablo's character is undoubtedly interesting, and young readers would likely appreciate a few more scenes with Pablo. Despite its length, this book has strong characters and key lessons for younger audiences, which can make it a fun and worthwhile read.

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