For a few months now, I’ve been receiving free books in exchange for reviews from Pegasus Publishers and I’m steadily going through my requests. One of my more recent ones was The Enchanted Oasis, which I picked out because it was written by an 8 year old.
It might not seem like a great reason to request a book but I was really curious what the book would be like and I recently got it in the mail! While watching over our water pump at home I ended up reading this 35 page chapter book.
The Enchanted Oasis is about a family of fennecs called The Fennec family, which consist of Mrs. and Mr. Fennec, Francine, and Flora, all of whom are adventurous and stubborn. One day, after they’ve finished their hibernation period, they go out and find themselves befriending a scorpion called Mr. Spike who has magically and mysteriously lost his home called The Enchanted Oasis. He tells the family about having eaten a date without washing it, which was advised against, and the next thing he knew he was in the middle of the Arabian Desert! Feeling bad for the creature, the Fennec family embark on a journey to help Mr. Spike find his home
I haven’t read too many children’s books in my life, considering I only started reading books regularly in eighth grade, but I felt there was something lacking in this book. It had a clear beginning, middle, end, characters, problem, and resolution, and everything was told clearly but it didn’t have anything that made it stand out. There were moments where I chuckled slightly or thought something was cute but nothing that really grabbed me.
I mention this because reading is something younger people don’t do and having a younger brother, it’s always hard to find books for him to read. A lot of the kids I know tend to gravitate towards humorous books because it entertains them so I wouldn’t really recommend this book to older children.
I would say this book would be best for a child who is having an adult read this to them or just someone who likes to read just because it has that magical element that smaller kids might really like.
There were also moments in the book where I really wanted more. For example, at the end of the journey, it’s mentioned that the characters have “taught each other what it is to show kindheartedness, compassion and love for others,” which I clearly saw in the Fennec family as they helped Mr. Spike but not the other way around. I wish that could have been developed more, possibly by showing us how Mr. Spike got them all a hotel, a limo, and transportation to their destination (otherwise all of this feels too convenient).
Overall I give this book an OK rating (3✩)