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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“For when you can’t be there for your buddy or friend, this high-five machine does the best job it can.” In Jaylen and the High Five Machine by Jennifer Pierre, young Jaylen is in a dilemma as he has to skip his friend Marcus’s poetry slam because he needs to be at his mom’s award ceremony, even though he had promised Marcus for months. Marcus is fine with it, but Jaylen still feels awful. Can he be at two places at the same time? The entertaining, rhyming text narrates how Jaylen thinks of a way to solve this quandary.
The bright, colourful, and digitally enhanced illustrations by Meimo Siwaporn are undeniably eye-catching and will definitely make reading much more fun for kids and their parents, guardians and teachers. They portray the details and magnify Pierre’s vital messages to kids of familial bonds, friendship, the importance of keeping promises, as well as thinking about and finding a solution to a problem, while adding fun and encouraging creativity at the same time.
All in all, Jaylen and the High Five Machine is no doubt an entertaining read and splendid material for young first-time readers. It will encourage kids to foster their love and enjoyment of books, and is a great way to inspire young inventors everywhere. I’m also glad that there’s a more diverse representation of characters in kids’ books nowadays. Kudos to Jennifer Pierre and illustrator Meimo Siwaporn for a commendable work. I hope this is the first of many more to come from their collaboration.