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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In Callen Kropp’s book, Ozzy Ox: Candy Stash, Ozzy Ox is helping Mom Ox put the groceries away. He discovers a bag of candy he didn’t know they’d bought at the store. Thinking he’s found a real treasure, he sneaks it up to his room, tells Mom Ox he’s going to bed early, and devours the contents of the candy stash. Once finished, his room’s a mess of candy wrappers. He cleans it up and finishes his bedtime chores. Mom Ox comes in to say goodnight and mentions the candy bag was meant to make his father’s special cake. Now, Ozzy Ox is feeling really bad. Not only is he sick from eating too much candy, but he’s also sick about spoiling the special surprise Mom Ox had planned. Should he confess to his error?
Callen Kropp’s picture book story, Ozzy Ox: Candy Stash, is a great way to teach young readers about responsibility, making good choices, and owning up to mistakes made. Told in rhyming verse, this lyrical treasure will inspire young readers to follow Ozzy Ox’s example and admit to their errors. The language is simple, so young readers can easily follow along. The bright, bold, and colorful illustrations help move the story along. The end of the book has some interesting facts about oxen, so young readers can also learn simple tidbits about oxen such as that they’re part of the bovine (cattle) family. Young readers will enjoy the story as much as the lessons learned.