Book Review: The Trotters of Tweeville: Zavis DaMavis by Shirin Zarqa-Lederman, MS, MA

The Trotters of Tweeville: Zavis DaMavis by Shirin Zarqa-Lederman, MS, MA is a children's book with a lesson about treating others the way you would want to be treated. Zavis DaMavis is a happy young boy and a proud resident of a whimsical town called Tweeville. He’s off to school one morning when his mom gives him an important reminder. Zavis must remember his mother’s words if he’s ever going to understand what they mean. But how can he think when he’s so busy being kind to his friends? 

The Trotters of Tweeville: Zavis DaMavis is a book about teaching the golden rule, and acting on it in everyday life. Zavis spends most of his day trying to remember his mother's words, but is distracted by those he meets along the way. The older gentleman he helps across the street, the crossing guard he gives his tissue to, his classmate who he shares his coat hook with, and so on. The images are bright and simple, and the text occasionally silly, but I think the lesson was a bit heavy handed. Perhaps that is what is need on some occasions, but I prefer a bit more subtlety. 

The Trotters of Tweeville: Zavis DaMavis is a book intended to inspire children to think about others, and treat them the way they want others they way they would like to be treated. While it certainly gets the message across, I found it a bit overbearing. I found myself as frustrated with it as I am the religious fiction that beat the readers over the head with the piety of their characters.

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