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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Do you know what a toucan is? Well, it’s a beautiful bird with lots of bright colors. But it’s not supposed to sneeze. A young boy, looking for the perfect pet, explores the local pet store and finds a toucan tucked in the rear of the store. When the owner explains the toucan emits a very loud sneeze every hour, the boy doesn’t believe it. He hears it sneeze twice, but he’s convinced he can fix the problem. Besides, he really wants that toucan as his pet. When he takes the toucan home, his mother gives him an ultimatum. “I’ll give you three days, and if he can quit sneezing, then I’ll let him stay.” Can the boy help the toucan quit sneezing?
Jim Munroe’s picture book story, The Sneezing Toucan, is a funny, nonsense type of story that encourages young readers to think creatively, especially when problem-solving. The plot follows the boy’s journey to the pet store, finding the toucan and taking him home, sneezes and all. As the plot thickens, the young reader will chuckle at the boy’s antics and creative ideas for solving the sneezing problem. The bright, colorful illustrations help move this story along, and the rhyming verse makes it almost lyrical. The language is simple, the concept is uncomplicated, but the message is essential for readers of all ages: creative problem solving can be an effective tool. Delivered in rhyming verse, the story is elegantly told and beautifully presented.