Russell and the Lost Treasure

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
Russell and the Lost Treasure Book Poster Image
Zany picture book for pre-K and big kids, too!

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's nothing to be concerned about here. Older siblings might be just as interested as little ones. There's a nice message about what's really worth treasuring. This is Russell the Sheep's second picture book appearance but the book isn't a sequel -- kids won't have to have read the first one, although they'll probably want to.

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What's the story?

Russell, a clumsy but imaginative sheep, goes on a treasure hunting expedition but is disappointed by what he finds. Will his treasure be worth keeping? He invites his family to help him find out.

Is it any good?

As a stand-alone story, a sheep's treasure-seeking adventure is amusing enough, but it's the pictures that really make this picture book shine. Author-illustrator Rob Scotton is one of Great Britain's most popular commercial artists; his images of round-eyed fluffy animals can be found on posters, mugs, and even salt & pepper shakers. In Scotton's second picture book, his humorous, larger-than-life characters jump, twist, and twirl their way against busy backgrounds with enough detail to keep kids' interest.

Scotton manages to pack a lot of plot into a fairly short book, making for an easy read that has a lot of bang for its buck. The ending is heartwarming without being preachy or maudlin, and the comforting final page makes this an appropriate bedtime book.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Russell's first reaction to his treasure and compare it to the last page. What did the treasure turn out to be? After reading the book, parents and kids can take out their own photo albums and see if they find any treasure there.

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