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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Alfredo is a small bird, a parrot to be more precise, who’s afraid of water. Nothing unusual in that except Alfredo is convinced he’s a dog, a Rottweiler, a superhero dog who will defend his turf. He even barks and eats like a dog. He refuses to use his wings, preferring to walk and run on his two short legs. When he’s kidnapped and taken on a long journey far from his home, Alfredo isn’t amused when his kidnappers want to call him Polly. It isn’t a suitable name for a Rottweiler superhero. He manages to escape more than once and meets some unexpected friends along the way who help him. All he wants is to return to his home, but when one of his new friends insists he uses his wings, he realizes he must either try to fly or face capture – again.
Chrissie Junge’s early chapter book, Alfredo, is a fun read for young readers. It’s not unusual for young people to want desperately to be something they aren’t and to try in every way possible to be that something else. So, they will definitely relate to a bird who thinks he’s a dog. The plot has some interesting twists and turns and a lot of humor along the way. Alfredo’s quest to return home is a compelling adventure in itself, but it’s also a quest of self-discovery, Alfredo’s quest to find himself, his true self, and to learn to love himself for who, and what he is – a parrot. The animal characters are well developed and it’s interesting that the humans (other than Alfredo’s human parents) are cast in a somewhat ridiculous light. Sweet and funny and full of adventure. Loved it!