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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne begins with Charlene preparing for a big jumping competition in a few weeks. She loves jumping, but has become a bit flabby from not practicing enough during the vacation. Last year she had won the Green Jumper Championship at the Sterling Horse Show, and this year she wants to win the award for being the best jumper in the whole state of Kentucky. Bentley is a handsome dog and he is watching Charlene and Mary jump. Both Hattie the Chicken and Charlene are excited to learn more about Bentley, the new dog, but Bentley is arrogant and sarcastic. The story beautifully knits together friendship, teamwork, hard work, and bullying, and children will learn life lessons from these animals.
Bentley, Elliot, Charlene, and Hattie are adorable and lovable each in their own way and they teach young readers good lessons. Bentley shows readers how encouraging and helping others is better than bullying. Fifth in the Charlene the Star series, this a lovely book to have in one’s personal collection because of the good lessons it conveys to young readers. It is a good story for read aloud sessions in classrooms because of the excellent messages. I like the thought of having a little quiz at the end of the story as it will help children find out how much they remember about the story, and how they can accomplish amazing things by working together. The author speaks about the challenges children face every day through this delightful story.