The Pepperstorm – written by Rafael Ordoñez, illustrated by Marisa Morea, NubeOcho, 9788417673802, 2021
Tormenta de Pimienta – written by Rafael Ordoñez, illustrated by Marisa Morea, NubeOcho, 9788417673796, 2021
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
What did you like about the book? This story is a clever and imaginative explanation behind the classic urban legend of elephants fearing mice.
It all starts when the mice of the jungle are fed up with elephants never looking down to watch where they’re going, or even listening to those who are on the ground, causing havoc in the lives of little creatures everywhere! The mice hatch a plan with the help of their cousins the bats to rain pepper down upon the pachyderms, causing them to sneeze; the important connection is that sneezing makes you drop your head and look down. After the titular pepperstorm and a stern talking-to from the mice, the elephants scamper away promising to be more careful and, to this day, live in fear of the mice and another pepperstorm. Morea’s illustrations are charming and convey the story and emotions of characters well in natural tones that will remind readers of classic jungle settings.
Overall, this is a cute modern fable that combines a lesson in problem solving with a reminder to be compassionate to others.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The entire premise of the book is very roundabout and isn’t particularly inspiring as the author and characters only make very loose connections between their actions and the consequences experienced. In addition, the writing is flat and reads more like an early reader or chapter book as the composition features simple sentences that are staccato in rhythm.
To whom would you recommend this book? Recommended for ages 3 – 5. This story would be a fair addition to a lesson on fables.
Who should buy this book? An additional purchase for libraries with a fairytale/folktale/fable collection.
Where would you shelve it ? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA
Date of review: June 1, 2021