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Reviewed by Lois Henderson for Readers' Favorite
Estonian-born children’s author Marina Donovan has produced an entrancing tale of two mouse brothers, Alex and Ozzy, who set out for the biggest adventure of their lives one day when they leave their forest home behind to visit the farm. Along the way, they meet a friendly snake named Fred and a caring sheepdog named Barry, who lets them ride on his back to the farmhouse. Trying to forage for cheese, they encounter a fearsome cat, from whose paws and maw they get rescued in the nick of time. Delightfully told, Alex and Ozzy’s Farm Adventure is quaintly told in Old World style, with hand-painted old-time watercolor illustrations throughout. A comforting tale for toddlers, the work is grounded in the animal fables of Donovan’s heritage, which abound in talking animals and epic journeys undertaken in search of treasure (think of a gift for their parents, rather than a golden sword this time around!).
Marina Donovan’s affection for, and warmth towards, animals radiates from the pages of Alex and Ozzy’s Farm Adventure. I especially enjoyed the fact that Donovan appears to have more such books in mind so that those childminders and children who enjoy this book can look forward to plenty more. Also, as a fun add-on, Donovan includes a number of activities at the end of the story, including a maze, a shape recognition game, find-an-object, spot-the-difference, a basic word search, and instructions for how to make Alex and Ozzy from paper. In short, an enjoyable adventure awaits any child who accesses this book and its winsome and wholesome pictures drawn by Alena Amanbueva.