Title: The Perfect Present
Author/Illustrator: Ruth Beifus
A slim hardcover with illustrations that tell the story as well as the words around them, The Perfect Present poses an interesting premise. An elderly aunt surprises a young girl with an heirloom, but the child’s candid “I have no use for this” response results in a painful quandary for both people.
Watch what happens when a mother’s effectiveness at instilling good values in her child turns the situation around. The little girl’s desire to repair the aunt’s unintentionally hurt feelings, coupled with the child’s fertile imagination, make things right in a realistic, completely plausible way.
The author lets her readers experience some raw emotions from the perspective of each person in the story. The vicarious experience makes an effective lead-in to the provocative “Ask and Listen” questions at the back of the book. Those questions are designed to help growing minds to consider, then to understand, the subtleties of responsible behavior.
Part of Feldheim’s “Shlavim: Growing Up ” series, The Perfect Present is a suitable book for any child’s bookshelf. Made with waterproof laminated pages, it might be snack-proof for readers who nosh over a good read.