The Country Bake-Off by Riya Aarini

From page one, the cheery, warm  illustrations of a mouse village captured my attention, and I wanted to love this book, but I feel torn. The concept of anthropomorphic mice entering a bake-off and the illustrations are absolutely delightful, but as the book continued, I had more issues with the story.

This book presents two characters: a poor, good mouse named Jazella, and a rich, selfish mouse Pazenna. I don’t want my children or students to have the idea that poverty is good and wealth is bad, because poverty and wealth don’t have moral value. People aren’t poor because they’re good or wealthy because they’re bad. There are loving, caring rich people and selfish poor people, too. 

I give this book three stars. This book would be a five-star for me if Jazella and Pazenna were loving/caring or selfish unconnected from their economic status. I received an advance copy of this book for free from BookSirens, and I’m leaving this review voluntarily.

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