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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Finding a true friend is not always easy, especially if you have a special gift that sets you apart and makes you different. However, when you think of it, we’re all different, so it really shouldn’t matter; it shouldn’t affect potential friendships. Chloe and Zoey are having a difficult time making friends. Their uniquely different quality is that every time they speak, they talk in rhyming meter. Their classmates think it’s funny and they mock them. But one day while playing in the park, they share a rhyming story with a toddler and are surprised to notice that, when they finish their story, there’s a crowd of children gathered around listening intently. Some of the children are from their school and these children start seeking out Chloe and Zoey during recess to tell them stories and help them write their own stories. By sharing their gift of friendship and kindness, the girls attract more friends than they could imagine.
Etaine Raphael’s picture book story, Words Take Flight: The Rhyme-Time Twins, is a clever look at differences and how our special gifts can help us excel and attract others. The two main characters, Chloe and Zoey, have a special gift: they can tell the most engaging stories and every time they speak, their words come out in rhymes. The plot begins with what the girls fear most, being rejected because of their rhyming gift. But, by sharing their gift and reaching out to others in friendship and kindness, they receive the same in kind, tenfold and more. It’s a valuable lesson for young readers to learn how to use their gifts wisely and to remember the sage words that my grandmother always told me: to have a friend, you must be a friend first. I love the clever rhyming meter that carries this story forward with charm. Beautifully illustrated and told. There is great power in the magic of words, especially when they rhyme.