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Reviewed by Natalie Soine for Readers' Favorite
The Tale Of Two Kingdoms by Zimei Gao is set in a small town and tells the story of all the rabbits who live in a garden owned by Lady Mei, a popular woman with a kind heart and a love of nature. Oliver was King of the Holland Lop rabbits and Jack was King of the Dwarf Hotot rabbits. Both kings fell in love with Nyla, a beautiful, friendly, caring, and gentle rabbit. King Jack married Nyla and enraged King Oliver. John served as the high general to protect King Oliver who commanded John to declare war on the Dwarf Hotot Kingdom so that he could take Nyla for his bride. King Oliver lost the battle and decided to kidnap Nyla just as she went into labor. One of her babies fell to the ground but was helped by Lady Mei who named the kit Lisa and took her to rabbit Lucy for fostering. Nyla had four more babies while King Oliver kept her prisoner until King Jack rescued Nyla and took her home. Shortly thereafter the Dwarf Hotot Kingdom was struck by tragedy. When Lisa finally met her father, King Jack, she was welcomed and loved but missed King Oliver and made it her mission to reconcile the two kings.
The Tale Of Two Kingdoms is a delightful story for children but can also be appreciated by adults. Author Zimei Gao captures the personalities and characteristics of the rabbits in the two different kingdoms, bringing them all to life. The garden is beautifully described, including the animals, plants, and kingdoms. The photos of the rabbits at the end of the book add a unique dimension to the story. I especially enjoyed the message of unconditional love, forgiveness, and reconciliation and commend the author for including these valuable life lessons in a children’s story. In addition, the author also teaches about adoption and foster care while sharing the importance of caring for animals. All round, a fantastic novel, well written, and an absolute pleasure to read. Highly recommended to children of all ages.