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Reviewed by Trisha Dawn for Readers' Favorite
Marina Stephens’ Phillip M. Feelgood and His Circle of Friends is a compilation of stories with moral lessons to be learned. There are six stories which feature animal friends and the challenges they overcame. The first story is about Hippopotamus Peter and how his views about himself made him feel each day. Second is Franklin the Skunk who had to deal with everyone’s criticisms about his smell. Baby Elephant Rose’s story is the third and in it, she deals with her dislike for her own ears and nose. The fourth story is about Brown Bear Masha and how the animals around her judged her too quickly all because she acted differently. Then, there’s Giant Python Jerome and how he dealt with himself to gain more friends. Lastly is Ferret Brother Dan who is a great friend to all but his own.
I had the pleasure of reading Phillip M. Feelgood and His Circle of Friends twice. The rhymes were such fun, I went through the stories fast the first time. Reading it a second time, I found the book still interesting! Marina Stephens is definitely a skilled writer. The idea of using animals while incorporating valuable lessons is surely effective when a young audience is involved. They are at a stage where they are fascinated with animals. It is also noticeable that the author included some difficult words – which is brilliant for vocabulary build up - but she made sure that the context will easily be understood by the readers. It’s clever! Going deeper, these stories are appropriate for today’s time and age. The issues presented are common among everyone recently and children can really learn a lesson or two. These are serious lessons but are made understandable by Stephens. Phillip M. Feelgood and His Circle of Friends is a must-have.