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Book Review: Ronaldo: Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza – Maxine Sylvester

This is the second book about Ronaldo’s adventures I’ve been reading, and I’m still so in love with the little flying reindeer and his best friend. Their adventures are one of a kind and you will enjoy their stories as an adult reader just as much as when you read about them with a kid.

Thanks so much to the author Maxine who provided me with this book! (The opinions expressed here are still my own and have not been influenced by receiving the book at all.) Now, onto my review!

A little bit about the book…

It is summertime in Beresford. The best friends Ronaldo and Rudi are over the moon: Monty the Moose, the best magician in the whole wide world is going to perform at Rudi’s birthday party! There are some clouds darkening the skies though: Rudi has injured his hoof but refuses to see the doctor – rumour has it he has needles the size of rockets!!

Meanwhile, Ronaldo has a new job! He delivers the cakes of the town’s celebrity baker to a bakery, but he can’t outrun some major difficulties either… Is everything going to be alright for the two best friends?

What I thought of it…

I love this series so much. The books may be intended for a child audience, but that doesn’t make me – a 20 something reader – enjoy them any less. They’re deep and meaningful, and yet so, so funny!

So, first things first, I loved that there are so many different adventures wrapped up in this one story! We have Rudi’s birthday coming up, him having his hoof injured and scared of visiting the doctor, Ronaldo being there for him, finding a job and so much more! There’s ups and downs, you get to read about the meaning of true friendship (Ronaldo and Rudi are just friendship goals!), but you also get mean reindeer kids and accidents and find out how the stars of the series deal with them.

I loved to see how Ronaldo was there for Rudi and helped him get over his fear of visiting the doctor, he’s just so sweet and selfless! I also loved to see how he used all the money he earned in his new cake delivery job to get his best friend the best birthday present ever! And that when he didn’t even expect to get paid for his work at all! One thing that adds to this is that the book is not about Ronaldo’s birthday but Rudi’s – this way, the main character shows what a great friend he is, and he works hard for his best friend to experience a great day!

There’s also some adult themes in this book, which I found great. Rudi’s dad lost his job and for a while it seems like Ronaldo’s best friend’s birthday is going to be a disaster – but then when the festivities begin, there are so many exciting things happening, some major surprises revealed, and everything turns out not so bad after all! I liked the way the author dealt with things that affect children around the world, especially because the story ends with a ‘there’s always light at the end of the tunnel’-approach. I think children will understand the deeper issues presented here, and they will love seeing how everything still turns out fine – even if sometimes, things look not so good for a while.

Another important theme discussed in this story is bullying. The other reindeer make Ronaldo’s new job harder than expected, but he deals with it in a great way I think. I like the idea to depict some of the reindeer (we know many of the reindeer names from famous Christmas songs) as not so nice, and I think having Ronaldo deal with bullying might be a great approach to parents or other adult readers to discuss the topic with children!

If I had to think of a negative point of this book for my review, it may be that there is A LOT going on in this story. It was a plus in my opinion too, because there are many adventures and lots of surprises happening in just one book, but then again sometimes it felt a bit like reading several books at once. However, this is only a teeny tiny point and did not take away from my reading experience much – I still loved this book a lot!

To sum up I can say give this book a go if you want something fun and easy that is yet also deep and meaningful. If you love a quick read about the true meaning of friendship, you have found just the book for you! 4.5 stars from me, and I can’t wait to follow Ronaldo and Rudi on more adventures!

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