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Reviewed by Samantha Coville for Readers' Favorite
It is little Gellini's birthday and she's getting one of the best gifts of them all: her very own big black clown shoes with a polka dot bow on top. Now she can perform in the Big Top with her parents! But it turns out those shoes with the polka dot bows are not as easy to walk in as her parents make it look. Gellini struggles and flounders, but her parents' love and patience and careful instruction will get her in top clown shape in no time. Gellini's Special Gift is all about determination, never giving up, and having family to help you. And Colleen Whalen Johnson has delivered in every way.
The story itself is very simple and it doesn't take many pages to finish it all up. But I definitely think Gellini's Special Gift is one to include in the bed time routine. What really shines here is the art work. You only ever see the legs and feet of little Gellini and somehow there is still personality there. And the same goes for the clown parents. And there is also a detailed border that you can spend quite some time inspecting to see all the animals. Not to mention an elephant and a hedgehog that populate every scene in comical ways. The lesson learned within these pages from author Colleen Whalen Johnson is valuable. And I think kids will enjoy this book immensely. Johnson has an incredible talent for articulating humorous scenes and that talent will undoubtedly continue to flourish in the picture book category.