Home » Children and Young Adult Novel Reviews » A look at the Serendipity books

A look at the Serendipity books

We probably saw these things books in elementary school, they were usually in the library or even in the school counselor’s office at some point. The fancy writing, the big soulful eyes of the animals featured in the books.

The fantastical names.

These are the Serendipity books, written by Stephen Cosgrove, are a series of books that mostly center around both real-life animals and imaginary ones that get involved in adventures that reflect real-life situations that children have faced or will end up facing in their lifetime with assuring lessons depending on the outcome. You always expect the stories to have a moral in them anyway, but it didn’t stop you from reading them because at times they never really took away from the fantasy or adventurous element in the book that the characters were on.

The book series was named for the pink dragon character he created called Serendipity who became sort of the titular mascot of the series.

One of the stories I remembered fondly was the Leo the Lop ones.

Leo hop hop

About a Lop-Eared rabbit who felt like an outsider among the other rabbits. It was mostly the standard “be yourself and don’t let others make you feel different” kind of lesson. It’s a good story and something children can relate to feeling maybe self-conscious about their appearance or skills compared to that of their peers, it’s a light-hearted story and you can’t really hate on the other baby bunnies because they’re not spiteful just that they really don’t know any better. And it is cute seeing the baby bunnies trying to flatten their ears around the end of the book until they all learned a lesson.

However there was one I recalled that I was surprised they added in, but I do give them respect for attempting to considering they were marketing it to young children and that was “Squabbles”, seen here.

Raccoon domestic abuse

in which a little bunny called Buttermilk (not sure if its the same bunny from the book “Buttermilk” or her random clone) has a feeling that something is wrong with her friend Squabbles when he and his mother start developing bruises on them but making up excuses why, right away, you see that it deals with an abusive father and the book handles it well with implications and subtle references that don’t overly frighten the child-reader. However, for a adult I can see how this particular book in the “Serendipity” series would handle this with metal thongs like it was someone’s raunchy gym sock. It is a shock at first to read a book about as gritty and real as domestic abuse in the midst of more of the fluffier and innocent storylines of the other books. However, it does have a good use as it helps children face these kinds of situations that other books would do in mind to shelter, and what better way to teach children about being a good friend to someone than to show how important it is to help them out if they are in a dangeorus circumstance and HOW to inform the adult in taking care of the matter. You don’t have to come from a family background of abuse to see the importance of this particular book as part of the Serenpidity series when giving children valuable lessons in a frank and honest matter.

As much as I joke about finding these books in a child’s psychologist office, they are good stories to read to your children when they are starting out young, with important life affirming lessons about being a good civil member of society.

And don’t we all need more kids like that?
I would recommend these as a nice gift for a baby shower, Christmas, and/or Easter as they are bright and colorful with beautiful illustrations.

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