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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
In The Stone Maker by Nancy Babicz, 9-year-old Max and his 12-year-old brother Eamon race each other through the woods to the Shadowy River that divides the Emerald Forest from the Dark Forest. Max loses the race, and the fun soon turns into an argument with Eamon. Suddenly, a mysterious boy across the river invites them to play on the other side. The boys know the danger of the Dark Forest－anyone who goes there "would either never come back or never come back the same". Max, who's still angry at Eamon, however, crosses the river despite his older brother's warning. Eamon follows him reluctantly. When Max's new friend loses interest in the arguing brothers and leaves, Max's anger gets the better of him and it costs him his sibling. What will Max tell their parents? Can he fix his mistake?
"Big brothers can be bossy" and "little brothers can surely be headstrong". As a middle child, I look back to my childhood and there's no arguing with these statements. Love, patience, tolerance, trust, and forgiveness are clear themes in Nancy Babicz's The Stone Maker. The earthy-toned illustrations are eye-catching and have a classic quality that brings back the nostalgia of the books that I read in my younger days. The narrative is to the point and engaging, perfect as a bedtime story for reading alone or as a group, and even perfect for young reluctant readers or the ones who can't sit still. All in all, it's a wonderful children's book from Babicz for kids to learn about the importance of sibling bonds.