​Lil' Ben

​​​Rooty Le' Boar has been named among the best in family-friendly media, products and services by the Mom's Choice Awards!​

Imaginatively written by Mary Ann D. Cogliano and colorfully illustrated by Phil Wilson, "Rooty Le' Boar" is a wonderfully presented picture book story about bullying. Young readers will enjoy the adventure meet some pretty cool characters with hooves and feet. But they must beware, because there's a shady character coming to Muckapoo farm. As children breeze through the story they will find out if the farm animals have what it takes to stop the bullying or not! Splendidly entertaining with a strong social message, "Rooty Le' Boar" is very highly recommended for school, family, and community library picture book collections.

   James A Cox

   Editor-in Chief

Midwest Book Review




-- Perfect 4/4 rating!

Official Review: Lil' Ben by Mary Ann Cogliano

Post Number:#1 by CataclysmicKnight » 02 Oct 2016, 14:41

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Lil' Ben" by Mary Ann Cogliano.]

 Uh oh! Muckapoo Farm is strangely quiet, weeds are growing and none of the animals are playing outside. Apparently, much like our day-to-day real lives, the animals of the farm have discovered texting, video streaming and browsing the web, leading them to become lazy and stay indoors. When a mailman comes with a package for Lil' Ben, the horse, he realizes he's even forgotten how to write his own name, offering the mailman to text it to him instead. 

A great kids' book needs to succeed in three areas - it needs to use language kids can easily understand and learn to read themselves, it needs great art that draws their attention and encourages their imagination and it needs to make some sort of important point. Lil' Ben: A Day for Play by Mary Ann Cogliano succeeds at all three, and definitely manages to mirror reality with the animals' addiction to the web, although it also manages to do it in a hilarious way by having an adorable horse forget how to write his own name. While the animals manage to get out of their addiction a little too easily, the book still did a fantastic job with showing just how badly the issue can be. I can also very easily see a parent say something like "see, Lil' Ben and the rest of the animals did it, so can you!" I also enjoyed that the book is told in sets of lines that rhyme, and the writing style is lovely for kids.

Lil' Ben: A Day for Play is the second book in the Muckapoo Farm series but it easily stands alone. The first features a different animal who also showed up in this one - Rooty Le' Boar who is, you guessed it, a boar. With how cute this book was and how entertaining it managed to be, I'd love to see the first book as well, and can imagine many of the other animals in the book getting their own future books also.

The artwork in the book is fantastic. It's sharp, cute, colorful, hilarious and detailed incredibly well. At the end of the book there's even a little mole (I'm assuming, it's never said exactly what he is) named Diggy. Diggy is hidden in images throughout the book, and I couldn't help but scour each page looking for him. I managed to find him on every page except for one! It's a minor addition but it makes the book even more fun.

My only issue with the book is that it's really not made for phones. If the images are held vertically, only one-half of the double-paged screen displays, and with my iPhone 5s viewing the images horizontally the text is nearly impossible to read without zooming in on each page. On my Kindle Fire the book worked perfectly - the images are just as crisp enlarged (and remain that way when majorly zoomed in looking for Diggy!) and the text is much easier to read. 

Lil' Ben: A Day for Play by Mary Ann Cogliano was an adorable book that succeeded in every way regarding what a great kids' book should be, and was an enjoyable read as an adult as well. As such, it's easy for me to rate it 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who reads their books on a tablet, computer or other device bigger than a phone.

Lil' Ben 
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Rooty Le' Boar