Clarence, the Littlest Stork by Edward Roh
A tale about a young stork named Clarence who is never chosen to perform the task of delivering babies due to his slight deformities, Clarence the Littles Stork, written by Edward Roh and illustrated by Lyle John Jakosalem is a children’s picture book that will keep you guessing. The story starts off by introducing us to Clarence who is on the smaller side for a stork. He has an overbite, a short left wing that causes him to fly to the left uncontrollably, and a short right leg that causes him to limp. Clarence dreams to deliver babies to happy couples like all of the other storks, but he is never called to perform this task due to his physical misgivings. On a cold winter night when all of the other storks have been called to duty, Clarence is the only stork left. The head stork calls him to deliver a baby, and Clarence cannot believe it! This will be his chance to prove himself. The baby boy looks lovingly at Clarence, as the stork realizes how perfect the baby appears to be. With the baby in tow, Clarence takes off, and while the flight is a bit hectic at first, he eventually makes his way to a manger where the baby is to be delivered. At first Clarence thinks that he has made a mistake, but as an angel appears after the delivery, it is clear that Clarence delivered the baby to the right place. It just so happens that this baby is the ‘Christmas Child,’ a gift from God, the Christ child to be exact. Even though Clarence hadn’t made any deliveries before this one, he ended up making the most important delivery of all.
This book is very well illustrated and the story moves along nicely. Some of the pages seem to have a large amount of text to get through for young readers, while other pages are on the shorter side. The story remains interesting from beginning to end, as the reveal at the end of Clarence delivering Jesus comes as a surprise. Tying in the idea of storks delivering babies to the deliverance of Jesus Christ is certainly a unique idea and one that is sure to make this book stand out. It can be read to children any time of the year, but will mostly appeal around the Christmas holiday. A twist on the traditional Christmas story, with tinges of elements from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Clarence the Littlest Stork is a story that is sure to entertain.
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