Rocco The Buffalo And The Lost Toothbrush (Liz Somerville)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Rocco The Buffalo And The Lost Toothbrush, written by Liz Somerville and illustrated by Yoko Matsuoka, the story of a young buffalo and a morning search, plus a few other lessons he learns along the way.

After breakfast, Rocco’s morning routine includes brushing his teeth. He heads to the bathroom and finds his toothpaste, but oh no! His toothbrush has gone missing. With help and guidance from his mother, Rocco sets out to find the toothbrush. First, he uses his memory to try and remember where he had it last. Then, he believes he remembers his baby brother taking it, and momentarily loses his temper. Mama Buffalo encourages him to calm down, however, and eventually Rocco finds his toothbrush in his room, then helps teach his brother how to brush his own teeth as well.

To be honest, this one has a lot of issues. The story is a bit unfocused and often without clear direction; it ends up taking on too many themes and then rushing through them without fully exploring any. The rhyming text is also a bit of an issue here, as the meter lacks consistency and the rhymes often feel clunky and forced. The illustrations have ambitious character design, but have a glassy, dull overall look that some digital art tends to suffer from. The length isn’t objectionable, but JJ lost interest pretty quickly, as did I. The creators were clearly trying for something here – a unique look, a layered story – and the intention is commendable, but it ultimately fell short for us.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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