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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Monty’s skin is a mocha color. He’s very proud of how he looks and all he can do. He has a great singing voice and he loves dancing to the beat. He’s just a really fun-loving, happy little boy, like any other boy. Differences are what make us all unique and Monty is quite comfortable with his uniqueness. He can do so many things with his ears, his mouth, his hands, and his feet. Even his eyes are full of wonder. Holland Jordan’s picture book story, Magnificent Mocha Monty, is a heartwarming story of a little boy with mocha-colored skin. I love the author’s use of the word "mocha" to describe the boy’s skin color.
The alliteration in this story is addictive and with all the repetitive phrases, it will help young readers improve their reading skills. The story is told in the first person, from Monty’s point of view, and it’s told in rhyming verse that almost sings along with the little boy’s exuberance. The colorful illustrations help carry this story forward and make it into a fun read. At the end of the story, Monty repeats all his rhyming likes about himself, each line repeating the words “magnificent” and “mocha”. The repetition is catchy and fun.
I think it’s important for young people (in fact, for people of all ages) to feel good about themselves and their appearance. Holland Jordan has created a lovely story that addresses this issue of self-respect, highlighting all the wonderful things about one little boy, Monty, so that young readers can compare their own unique qualities and feel good about themselves as well. In the closing words, the author promotes self-awareness and the power of reading as a place for children of all ages to escape, for children are the treasures of our future as well as theirs. Magnificent Mocha Monty is an endearing story that will appeal to all ages.