Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Splendor the Magnificent by Rebecca Bielawski is a sweet and quirky tale of a bird that lets his popularity go to his head. A baby bird hatches with stunning blue feathers and is so beautiful that his mother names him Splendor. Everyone flocks to see him, to take pictures with him, and to praise his lovely appearance. All the compliments go to Splendor’s head and he grows and grows until one day he can’t grow anymore. Then a little sparrow asks him a question that makes him very angry and teaches him a valuable lesson.
The story has a fun rhyme scheme that kids will enjoy with illustrations that are stunning and full of color. The images have details with plenty of humor that is sure to make kids laugh. The story is in the style of a fable with a life lesson woven throughout and the fun image of Splendor growing and growing with every compliment he receives. The story focuses on Splendor’s pride and ego, with all the words of praise about his lovely appearance and all the attention he receives. This makes him more and more superficial. Then when Splendor loses his temper at a question from a little sparrow, a delightful scene ensues that will be a great discussion starter with kids about Splendor’s attitude and what he eventually learns.
By the end, he befriends the sparrow, which sparks some kindness in him. He learns that a true friend will appreciate you for who you are and this teaches Splendor kindness over vanity. Splendor the Magnificent is a delightful story that children will love, and parents will enjoy the meaningful lesson with stunning illustrations.