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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Ronaldo: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher (Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer Book 2) by Maxine Sylvester is an exciting storybook for children that highlights friendship and sacrifice through the story of Ronaldo, a young reindeer who came first at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He wears his uniform jacket which has two snowflakes on top of each sleeve to show his rank as a second year flying cadet. It is a perfect day and Ronaldo is flying over the village of Beresford. He reaches the Forest of Doom, which is a renowned wolf territory. Ronaldo and his friend, Rudi, are planning to find a way to catch the carrot thieves who are stealing their stash of carrots from Ronaldo’s backpack. As Ronaldo is walking back home, he sees a wolf cub, Ernie, behind the trees, and she is howling because she has lost her family. Ronaldo is not sure whether he can take Ernie to his house. He tells Ernie to stay close to the house at night.
The story has many dimensions and the author weaves them seamlessly into the main plot. It is a beautiful tale of friendship, bravery, and sacrifice. All the characters, Ronaldo, Rudi, Blitsen, Dasher, Comet, Prancer, and Ernie, are well portrayed and they are memorable. The illustrations give the characters personality and the scary Forest of Doom, the lost wolf cub, personal sacrifice, the bond of friendship, and the Reindeer Flying Academy are memorable to young readers. Readers are taught life lessons through this delightful story. The author builds up the story well and the acts of friendship, sacrifice, and kindness are tangible. It is a good story for read aloud and interactive sessions in classrooms because of the life lessons and messages it conveys, and is a perfect book for the festive season.