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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Meet Sylvander, the wealthy and highly respected fox in Foxville in the story Sylvander Finds A Gift of True Happiness by Rispba McCray-Garrison. Sylvander is handsome and strong and is on the lookout for happiness. Sylvander feels empty deep inside and he does not see himself as loved or important. He wants to be happy all the time instead of being unhappy. Everyone greets him daily when he walks to his company and he responds with a 'Hello'. One day he runs into a homeless fox who shouts at him. Sylvander is upset and he runs out of his office and reaches the green forest that surrounds Foxville. That encounter with the homeless fox, a rabbit he meets in the forest, and his time in the woods change Sylvander's perception about happiness and life. Will he be able to get rid of his unhappiness and be happy always?
The story conveys some powerful messages to young readers and stresses the importance of friendship, kindness, and gratitude instead of placing too much value on money and material goods. The illustrations by Marvin Alonso capture the author's concept and words and bring the characters and the scenes alive for readers. Sylvander's and the rabbit's characters are well portrayed and make the bond of friendship and kindness tangible. With all the good messages, this book is a must-have in school libraries so that tutors can use it for storytelling sessions and help children realize how important it is to be kind. It is a good bedtime storytelling book and parents and grandparents can teach their kids and grandkids good values with the help of Sylvander and the rabbit.