Nelican’s Lemons by Riya Aarini

Nelican’s Lemons by Riya Aarini
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Nelican is a happy island pelican. One morning, he stumbles upon a crate of lemons. He tries to share, but none of his neighbors want his bitter fruit! Will Nelican find a clever solution for his sour lemons? Find out in this charmingly illustrated picture book featuring rollicking rhymes that are sure to entertain!

Sharing isn’t always as easy as it may seem.

I’ve been a fan of Ms. Aarini’s work for a few years now. One of the things I’ve consistently enjoyed about it the most was how whimsical it is. This tale continued that trend in all sorts of delightful ways. It amazes me how the author can consistently create such playful and creative characters no matter which age group she’s writing for or what’s happening in her settings. This sort of storytelling works well for kids of all ages, and many of us adults love it, too! I couldn’t stop smiling as Nelican tried to figure out how to use up the lemons he discovered, especially once he came up with an idea that seemed like it might be a winner.

There was one thing that I wish had been described in better detail, and it had to do with how the other pelicans responded to Nelican when he first offered them some of his lemons. They all said no without giving a reason why or a chance to try the fruit. It would have been nice for them to explain their decisions, especially since I was never quite clear as to whether these animals had previous exposure to lemons. This is a minor criticism of something I otherwise thought was well done.

Generosity was woven into every scene of this short story. The narrator didn’t need to directly tell the audience about why Nelican was behaving this way or why it’s a kind thing to do. Instead, we were left to come up with our own theories about these topics which made their conclusions even more powerful. It makes me happy to see storytellers trust their audiences like this, and it’s yet another reason why Ms. Aarini is on my must-read list!

Nelican’s Lemons was a sweet and thoughtful read.

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