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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In Ned and Rosco by Robin Robinson, Ned is a young turtle and Rosco is a puppy. Both youngsters have a lot of learning to do in order to survive in the beautiful world around them. They need to understand life before they can properly live it. Ned was particularly interested in butterflies. His Insectopedia mentioned that butterflies could carry a hundred times their body weight. He wanted to find out how butterflies could be so strong. Ned leaves his home to find a distant meadow full of butterflies. He sits quietly to observe them and take notes, but he really doesn't find his answers.
In bounds Rosco, a puppy with so much energy, scattering the butterflies everywhere and disturbing Ned's observations. All Rosco wants to do is play, particularly with Ned, whom he claims as his new friend. And, of course, Rosco wants to have a picnic on a lily pad. Even though Ned keeps telling Rosco that puppies can't sit on a lily pad, Rosco is determined to find a way. Off he bounds, leaving Ned to his studies. Only, there are no longer any butterflies around Ned to study.
Ned finds another meadow and discovers Rosco talking to lots of butterflies. He has discovered the answers that Ned was looking for, all through conversation instead of observation. Ned reluctantly agrees to go play with Rosco and have a picnic on a lily pad, still unconvinced that Rosco understands what will happen when a puppy tries to sit on a lily pad. And what does happen? It is an amazing lesson in communication and observation. Even Ned has to admit, “I guess sometimes you just need to live life in order to understand it.”
Robin Robinson has written a beautiful story, with lots of colorful illustrations to teach young people about enjoying the wonders of the world around us. Not everything can be learned in a book, although this book certainly taught me something amazing.