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Reviewed by Savannah Aldridge for Readers' Favorite
Finley Finds His Fortune by Maxine Rose Schur and Olga Alaimo is a heartwarming fable about which values endure in a world where everyone strives to “find their fortune.” In this story, we follow three brothers as they leave home to make successful lives for themselves. The elder two try to make their mark on the world through brute force and good looks but are quickly humbled by the long-term ineffectiveness of those methods. In contrast, when the youngest brother Finley approaches the world with humility and patience, he progresses much further and reaps more rewards than his siblings ever did.
Finley Finds His Fortune reads like a folk tale that will remain with children beyond the end of the book. Both the artwork and story, while remaining unique, reminded me of the coziness of the timeless books that I grew up with. Olga Alaimo’s illustrations are expressive and are sure to capture the eyes of little ones during story time. I also appreciate the re-readability that her attention to small details in the pictures brings. In Maxine Rose Schur’s writing, early readers will find language that is easy enough to practice and comprehend on their own and with clarity regarding some less familiar terms. For example, Finley becomes a miller. While the book does a wonderful job showing what a miller does, I imagine some children might still wonder about a trade that is not as visible today. However, the language is not too basic and is suitable for adults to enjoy as well. This story is well worth adding to your collection, especially if you are a fan of fables and fairy tales!