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The Last Storyteller: Book Four in the Pearls of Wisdom Series by Catherine Ann Russell is a wonderful fantasy tale that will draw you into a world of wonder and awe. Weaving a compelling story is a powerful skill; pre-teens will be introduced to a beautiful kingdom led by the Great Mouse King. Rock hyraxes, alien bats, mice, horses, frogs, owls, eagles, and many other creatures appear. Throw into the mix, elves, and you have a complete tale that will entertain and teach. Providing for the kingdom is a magical tree called the Zoe-Chai Tree. You will learn about its magical powers and what powers it bestows on animals. But, of course, what story of magic would be complete without a battle? The author does not disappoint as the alien bats battle against all the kingdom’s animals, joined by the elves. Which magical power would you like? What are magical powers based on?
Catherine Ann Russell is a master storyteller, and her skill is seen in The Last Storyteller. Catherine drops gems of wisdom throughout the pages for young readers to find and contemplate. For example, what is the foundation of peace? Is it true that kindness will get you nowhere? One bit of wisdom is that “no two creatures are exactly alike because God designs each a special way.” Victory belongs to the combined efforts of the collective many. God gave work to help us. Without understanding the value of work, people tend to become lazy. The great lessons taught in this book include the value of work, friendship, commitment, loyalty, and truth. After reading it with your child, spend time communicating what values are worth developing and how they help in life.
Reviewed by Philip Van Heusen for Readers’ Favorite, 2023