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Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
“Nimpentoad” is a cooperative effort by Henry, Joshua, and Harrison Herz. It is a somewhat interactive storybook for children, set in an alternate world. The main character is Nimpentoad, who happens to be a Nibling, but not just an ordinary Nibling. Nimpentoad is smarter than the average Nibling, and uses his greater intelligence to protect the entire Nibling population from a variety of dangers, leading them to an ultimate state of permanent safety. With Forest Goblins, Neebels, Forest Orcs, Giant Scorpions, Rhinotaurs, Giant Wolves, and Forest Trolls standing between them and safety, how did Nimpentoad manage to save his people? Nimpentoad thought Goofus the Giant would help protect them, but he was putting all his faith in an untested guess. What if he was wrong, and Goofus decided to eat the Niblings, instead of helping them? Even before they got to Goofus, how did Nimpentoad intend to get the Niblings safely past all the other creatures who would love nothing better than a good Nibling sandwich?
This is a cute story. It is interactive, insofar as there are a number of places where the adult reader can pause to involve the child in an “oh no, what will they do now?” manner. Nimpentoad comes up with some clever ways to trick each gang of creatures who present a challenge to their safety at the moment. At these times, the adult reader could ask the child, “how do you think they will get past the (xyz’s) without being eaten?”, thus stimulating the child to think about possible solutions. I recommend this book to anyone – parent, grand-parent, baby-sitter, or God-parent – who might be in a position to read a story to younger children. “Nimpentoad” is pretty ideal for that purpose, and helps the child learn to think about actions and consequences.