Santa Fe Tom by Rachel Bate is a beautiful tale for Children with a strong message on overcoming stage fright and building confidence. Desert Box Turtle Tom is a very shy person, and even when a surprise birthday party is prepared for him by his critter friends, he still finds it hard to overcome his shyness.
Awakened by a loud cry on a bright sunny morning in New Mexico, Desert Box Turtle Tom is informed the party will be soon. Ray Roadrunner goads him on to get moving to Critter Town. Tom is very nervous when told he must join and sing along as the group practices the birthday song. ''We know if you try, you’ll do very well!'' say his friends as Tom recoils into his shell. As he listens to the others sing, he begins to join them, slowly, and then everyone is in awe and ecstatic at the sound of Tom's voice. Now they want him to audition for the Santa Fe Critter Opera House. Can he beat his shyness and find the confidence to shine?
Written in beautiful poetry, this book offers the perfect opportunity for young readers to be introduced to rhyme. It is lyrical and the author's sense of sound permeates the writing. This lyrical tale is so resonant it will remind readers of a moment they felt the jitters when facing a new challenge for the first time. Tom is a likable character and the author uses anthropomorphism so cleverly to explore his emotions and personality. Santa Fe Tom is a beautiful song, a story that should be discussed with young readers. The colorful illustrations augment the depth of the writing and entertainment the book offers.