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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Three lords live in a sumptuous palace. They are Fame, Fortune and Power. These lords bestow gifts upon newborns, babies whom they decide will benefit from their gifts that befit the lord's name of Fame, Fortune or Power. It sounds a little confusing and it can be until the reader gets into the story. Boy is born. Yes, that's what he's called. He's a foundling and not very attractive, so the lords overlook him. Boy becomes a slave to a farmer and the story evolves into a Cinderella type plot. Boy befriends the animals that he cares for, the animals that the farmer also abuses. Finally, having had enough abuse, Boy takes the animals and flees the farm, seeking refuge far away in an isolated valley. Boy and his animal friends hope to stay safe as long as no one knows of their existence.
The three lords, however, have other plans. Challenged to prove the importance of each of their individual gifts of Fame, Fortune and Power, the lords seek one who has none of these gifts. They are led to Boy. Each of the lords try to offer Boy the greatest of their gifts. Boy refuses them all, only wishing for all people to live in harmony with each other and with the animals. Boy gets his wish and the lords learn a valuable lesson: that the importance of life is not gifts of Fame, Fortune or Power, but in sharing all that is good in the world with one another.
Mark Isaacs has written an inspirational story with a poignant and powerful message. Fame, Fortune and Power may seem like gifts, but in reality the gifts are merely superficial compared to the real gift of life. The true gift is enjoying the world, all of nature, all of the animals, and working/living in harmony with everyone. The message is that we are all created equal and no gift, no matter how great it seems, can outdo the true beauty of equality. The book is colorfully illustrated and the easy-to-read story makes it a suitable early reader.