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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
The Talented Pretzel is a children's book by Megan Morales. Pretzel Peyton is concerned when her teacher, Mr. Macaroni, assigns a project for the talent show and encourages Peyton and her classmates to reveal their special talents. As a linear, lightly salted snack, Peyton doesn't believe she possesses a unique skill, so she worries about her presentation. On her way home, though, she encounters friends who need assistance, and she helps them cross rivers, retrieve balls from inside logs, and get down from trees. When Mr. Macaroni calls her to the front of the class, Peyton is ready to hang her head in shame as she talks about her lack of skills, but her classmates have something to say about her that makes Peyton's presentation different.
Megan Morales delivers thoughtful and relatable characters who she calls "snackies". The fun illustrations are paired perfectly with the text, and the characters handle Peyton's unease with kindness. Children who may be lacking self-confidence can gain an alternate perspective by reading this story. Educators can share the story in classrooms to motivate classmates to bolster one another the same way Peyton's peers supported her; caregivers can read the book with the confidence that it is a wholesome story that promotes compassion. Peyton shows humility, and it's a desirable trait. Her character inspires children to do things for others without a thought to how they might benefit from it. The Talented Pretzel is a great selection for youngsters who may need their self-esteem boosted.