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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
In the children's picture book story Twice as Worsa! by J.R. Poulter, Albert’s Aunt Kate comes to visit. She is accompanied by her son, Lionel, Albert’s cousin. Unfortunately, Albert does not seem to be cheerful about the visit. He tries to get away, but his watchful mother is too keen, which forces him to stick around and endure his cousin’s presence. Albert’s mum comes to realize too that Lionel is not an ordinary boy. He seems to bite anything and everything around him and his FANGS have to be constantly engaged. Albert is soon faced with a challenging task; to keep Albert’s teeth busy or become a victim himself. Albert’s life turns upside down as he constantly runs from Lionel. From biting arms, chair legs, and strange ropes, Lionel seems to spare nothing. It is only when the strange rope starts roaring that Albert realizes he has to save the day. Regrettably, recognition and heroism do not always come easy ... as he soon finds out.
J.R. Poulter presents important themes in the story, Twice as Worsa!, wrapped up in well-incorporated humor. The story touches on bullying and complicated family relationships. In many instances, Albert seems to be misunderstood. His mother does not seem to comprehend why Albert may not want to be around his cousin. Further, Albert saves the day, but his well-deserved recognition is given to Lionel, who had caused the fuss in the first place. J.R. Poulter crafts an interesting plot packed with important lessons while still maintaining a dollop of hilarity, solidly backed up by illustrator Rico Schacherl’s hilarious images.