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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The childhood rhyme, "Give me give me never gets; don't you know your manners yet," rattles through my mind as I read this charming story, Treasures in the Winter Vault by Debbie Bertram and Lisa Detanna. It's a lesson that children and adults alike need to learn and re-learn over and over again. Bobby wants a tablet. He wants it more than anything else in the world. His parents won't buy him a tablet and Bobby is very upset. All of his friends at school have their own tablets. Why can't he? Grandma and Grandpa come for a visit and set about explaining to Bobby the importance of working for what you want in life. When asked if he had saved any of his own money to buy a tablet, Bobby confesses to having spent his allowance on candy. Grandma tells him a story that her mother once told her - a story about a dancing elephant and the busy squirrels, and how the dancing elephant had to learn the importance of saving, not just playing and having fun. Bobby brightens at the idea of saving his allowance until he has enough to buy his own tablet. He appears to have learned a valuable lesson. As his grandparents leave his room, they drop some coins in his piggy bank to get him started.
Debbie Bertram and Lisa Detanna have created a charming picture book story in Treasures in the Winter Vault. The illustrations are colorful and complement the story with action scenes of Bobby, of the squirrels saving their nuts for winter, and the elephant who only wants to dance. Through this clever little story, the author and illustrator have provided parents, caregivers, and teachers with a valuable teaching tool. There is an excellent lesson for young children to be learned in this story, a lesson about being greedy and demanding too many 'give-me's.'