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Reviewed by A. L. Peevey for Readers' Favorite
Alan J. Paul calls his children’s book, Confuchsia: An Early Bird’s Tale, a fable, and it is, but it is based in prehistoric fact and the fossil record of long ago China. It tells us the story of Confuchsia, the last hatchling born one day in the last clan of Arkies, a kind of earth-bound dinosaur. Confuchsia is quite different from her fellow Arkies, even though she is still loved by her mother and at least one of her brothers. Facing exile from the clan, Confuchsia leaves her family and begins a journey of discovery across a dangerous landscape. She meets several unfriendly dinosaurs along the way, dinosaurs that readers will recognize. There are others she meets who may have the answer to her most urgent question: what is she? But, will she survive the danger surrounding her to find her answer?
Confuchsia: An Early Bird’s Tale is Alan J. Paul’s first children’s book. Despite being a seasoned sports writer, he is also a talented storyteller, and this tale of a young dinosaur’s search for her identity and purpose in the world is sure to connect with young readers. A big bonus to his debut children’s book is the gorgeous artwork, portraying in wonderfully colorful detail not only the main character and the other creatures she meets, but the long ago landscape through which she travels. Paul also gently tells us that we can learn from the experience and wisdom of those who are older than us and that they can guide us on our own journeys. This is a gentle tale that has some scary moments but nothing that will cause nightmares, and its pictures are sure to charm.