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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Introducing Sai the Peacock: The Unique Beak, written by Estani Frizzell and illustrated by Sophia Frizzell, is a children's picture book that revolves around the rejection of a peacock named Sai in his colony of wild peafowl. There isn't a single peacock that wants to hear Sai sing despite his love for it, and his significantly larger-than-normal beak makes him further stand out within the group. In fact, his big beak is ridiculed and viewed with disgust, and even Sai's mother has difficulty seeing beyond her son's perceived fault. Sai leaves the group so that he can sing out of hearing range and avoid annoying his fellow peacocks, but when a cricket hears the bird's song, Sai's life as an outcast begins to change.
The illustrations by Sophia Frizzell are easily among the best I've seen and are, hands down, the genuine star of Introducing Sai the Peacock. They are presented in full spread and vibrant jewel tones that sing off the page. Simply put, they are absolutely stunning. My youngest reader's tiny fingers would linger on the page in a silent request to allow her some extra time to take in the artwork. That is how brilliant an artist Sophia Frizzell is. The story itself is a good one and the lyrical method of storytelling makes for a fun read. There was some confusion on why Sai's mother and the other female peafowl had the same royal blue plumage and body as her son, given that peahens have dusty, earth-toned bodies in real life. I really liked the metaphor employed after Sai reaches celebrity status where his beak appeared smaller and its link to how a mindset that only sees the negative will shift when they learn to appreciate the positive even if nothing physical about Sai changed. Overall, this is an excellent little book with a wonderful message and we are pleased to add it to our bedtime routine. Very highly recommended.