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Denver is a very rich man but he isn't mean. He likes to use his wealth in order to help others, particularly the villagers of Berton which is where he lives. Unfortunately, somebody is jealous and is out to cause trouble. He thinks that Denver should share all of his money but is that really the best solution?
Denver, who was extremely rich, lived in Berton Manor. He was so rich that he was able to employ a chauffeur, a cook and some gardeners. When he invited friends to dinner he was able to employ more people to serve all of the food. This was very good for the village of Berton as he was paying the people who live there. Not only that, he always did his shopping in Berton, presented prizes at the local school and, at Christmas, dressed up as Santa and handed out presents. It seems quite obvious that many people in the village were able to benefit from his wealth.
Unfortunately, one day a stranger came to the village and started stirring up trouble. He started to say that it wasn't right that Denver had so much money and that everyone else had so little. Soon the villagers were agreeing with this strange man and soon Denver got to hear what people were saying about him. He called a meeting and offered to share all of his money. All the villagers readily agreed and enjoyed going off on holidays and buying new cars. But what would happen when all the money is spent and what would become of Denver? I'm sure that small children and their parents will be captivated by this delightful yet thought-provoking tale.
This is a very enjoyable story from David McKee, the creator of Elmer and 'Not Now, Bernard'. It's a very simple story with a strong message all about being content with what you have and the fact that money won't necessarily bring you happiness. When I read this book with my daughter, she said 'In some ways, it does not seem fair that Denver had so much money but he did spend it wisely in order to help others'. She also pointed out that most of the villagers wasted their money and that was very silly. I hope that she will remember these thoughts in the future when she is handling her own money.
The language used is very accessible which would make this an ideal book for emergent readers to attempt and to share with their parents. There is much to talk about through the story and to enjoy in the illustrations which are colourful and bold with lots to enjoy on each page. There is also only a small amount of text on each page which makes this a quick read, again making it ideal for beginner readers.
This is a thoroughly entertaining book and David McKee has created a wonderful new character in the shape of Denver. My daughters and I definitely recommend it.
This review has previously appeared under my name at www.thebookbag.co.uk