Strawberry Surprise by Hilary Hawkes
Strawberry Surprise is a short children’s novel written by Hilary Hawkes that tells the story of a young boy named Alfie who has dyslexia. His parents own the Cuckoo Lane Restaurant, where his big sister Lily works as a waitress, and is considered to be the best worker there. Alfie’s Grandad is an inventor, and has invented wonderful gadgets, and even robots! Alfie feels like everyone is succeeding around him, everyone has talents and passions, and he feels lost in the world, and overshadowed by his family’s accomplishments. Alfie decides to change this by entering the Yummy Pudding Contest, so that he can gain some recognition for himself. He also tries his best to help out when the restaurant inspector visits Cuckoo Lane, but things go terribly wrong in a rather comical manner. Through all of the chaos, Alfie finds out he has a wonderful and impressive talent of his own, causing him to feel as if he matters, and that he belongs.
All children want to feel as if they are special, and if one is surrounded by others who are talented and are succeeding in life, it makes them feel as if they need to try even harder to shine. Alfie suffers from dyslexia, but that does not stop his urge to make a difference in the world. Hawkes has written another interesting tale that shows children that differences do not have to set you back if you search for something that will help you stand out. Her writing encourages kids to never give up, even if hard times come around.
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