Posts from the ‘children of all ages’ Category

LOOKING TO PUT DOWN ROOTS

The Big Adventures of a Little Tree: Tree Finds Friendship

Written by Nadja Springer

Illustrated by Tilia Rand-Bell

A little tree possesses an overwhelming urge to travel and see the world. But how can he move? His roots are deep and entrenched in the soil.

The tree has an idea. He recruits the birds of the forest to help him. Slowly, he advances forward. When he comes upon a group of children, he has the opportunity to create deep friendships. Seasons come and go. Will the little tree be able to sustain his dreams?

I like the ideas and concepts that are conveyed through the simple words and illustrations. Having read the kindle version, the size of font was small even when enlarged. That is a drawback for beginning readers who want to read the electronic version.

This book affords the opportunity to explore many topics such as immigration, nature, environment, and mindfulness. That is why I would recommend it for readers of all ages.

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OODLES OF DOODLES

Pinky Doodle Bug

Written by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino

Illustrated by Vovo Kirichenko

This book is an adorable picture book that will inspire the creativity of budding young artists of any age everywhere. Pinky Doodle is a tiny bug who loves to paint her thoughts on everything she sees. One day she realizes that her drawings needed stories. So Pinky calls on her friends in the forest to share their stories.

Many animals of the forest like birds, butterflies, bunnies, caterpillars and others relate their tales to Pinky. She eagerly illustrates each of them with her doodles. By combining their talents, the friends had produced a beautiful composition.

This book is told in simple, crisp rhymes, accompanied by vividly colored illustrations. It is sure to please readers from preschool age on up. It will even put a smile on the face of adult readers.

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DOUBLE CHRISTMAS MYSTERY

The Happy Hollisters and The Trading Post Mystery (Volume 7)

Written by Jerry West

Illustrated by Helen S. Hamilton

I love the Hollister series of books. They are vintage mysteries that harken back to a simpler life in the 1950s.

Sue has made a Christmas wish for a donkey. When the family receives a telegram to pick it up at the airport in New Mexico, Sue is elated. Soon they notice a note pinned around its neck.

How will the family use this Christmas gift to help other members of their community? What obstacles will they need to solve both mysteries?

Rollicking good fun with black and white illustrations of the period that will bring back memories to parents and grandparents and lots of questions from young readers.

This book is a good read for any age but especially for middle-grade readers.

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A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

Silent Shepherd

Written by Patricia Moore

Illustrated by Doriano Strologo

Aaron is a young shepherd boy. He desperately craves to help his father tend the sheep. Unfortunately, he cannot speak and is unable to gather the herd.

One night a bright light appears in the sky. When Aaron and his father follow it, they arrive at the manger of the Christ child. How will this event transform Aaron’s life?

This picture book is a nice addition to a Christian family’s library to share with young children during the Christmas season.

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SPREADING THE WORD

Why We Wear a Mask: How a squirrel is helping to stop the spread of Covid-19

Written and Photographed by Lieve Snellings

I am a big fan of the Margot book series. In this new book, Margot’s family doctor, Dr. Sarah shares her concern about a new sickness affecting all her squirrel patients.

The author uses adorable photographs of squirrels exhibiting symptoms of the virus like headaches, upset stomach, shortness of breath, and sore throats to illustrate effects of the virus in a clear but non-threatening way. Snellings shows them wearing masks because they want to protect vulnerable members of their families as well as themselves. The author explains how the disease is transmitted, and exactly what needs to be done to keep ourselves and others safe.

Young readers will inevitably be enthralled with these adorable, personified squirrel messengers of information needed to assist children in understanding this disease without alarming them. I would highly recommend it to parents and educators of elementary school and middle-grade readers.

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Algorithms, family, and holidays, a winning combination.

Merlin Raj and the Santa Algorithm: A Holiday Yuletide Dog’s Tale

Written by D.G.Priya

Illustrated by Shelley Hampe

The author creates a unique plot that will engage middle-grade and young teens. She does a good job of explaining how algorithms work, while creating a heart-warming tale of family devotion and holiday spirit.

Peter has a service dog named Merlin who accompanies him to school. His Golden Retriever friend tries hard to serve his master but often winds up in trouble instead. Readers are treated to a Christmas tale in while the family struggles to maintain traditions like baking and cutting down the Christmas tree while mom is traveling for work.

Along the way, readers learn how algorithms work, enjoy a bit of humor, and empathize with a close family who just want to get things right.

The black and while illustrations are charming. They enhance the feeling of identification with both human and animal characters. Recommended for ages eight and older.

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THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS FOR KIDS

Ninja Life Hacks 12 Days of Christmas

Written by Mary Nhin

Illustrated by Jelena Stupar

What a delightful holiday edition to the Ninja series!

In this book, the Ninja’s send their holiday wishes to Santa. Following the format of the Holiday Song, one wish is added for each of the twelve days of Christmas. This children’s wish list includes a vacation to the beach, pet wishes, toy wishes, and favorite foods.

Readers can read or sing along while they interactively count the objects in this picture book to checkup whether the author is correct. A fun book for older and younger siblings to share or for a classroom read aloud to celebrate the upcoming holidays.

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SWEET DUET

Squirrel And The Yellow Balalaika

Written by Ira Alice

Illustrated by Elena Teplova

Chanterelle is a squirrel who lives in the park. She possesses an unusual passion for music. Chanterelle longs to hear musicians play each summer.

One day she hears music in the distance. Chanterelle is hesitant to leave her surroundings, but the sweet sounds lure her on. A raven gives her some advice. He encourages her not to be afraid. Chanterelle timidly ventures forth into the city.

Chanterelle meets Nina and her handicapped father. Nina plays a balalaika, the source of that sweet sound. But Chanterelle will also encounter bandits, bullies, and other dangers. Will she succeed in returning to the forest?
Can this plucky squirrel achieve her musical dreams?

I consider this book a beginning chapter or middle-grade tale that inspires young readers to stand up for their rights, maintain their dreams, and oppose bullies. Recommended for readers ages seven through twelve.

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HOW TO CUT THROUGH THE NOISE – TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE CRITICAL THINKERS

About 64 million Americans get their news from social media. The reliance on newspapers, radio, and television news segments have been diminished or disappeared. Even broadcasts advertised as the “breaking news” rely on panels of “experts” to relay information. The days of a journalist simply reporting the facts without attaching opinions are gone.

Our children probably rely on social media to an even greater degree. How can we teach them to cut through the noise, sift through the mire, and uncover the objective truth? I have a few suggestions.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Make it a point to watch and listen to many different stations and social media outlets. Show your children how different outlets and reporters present information. Do they show both sides of an issue? Are certain people and groups ignored? Tell children they need to hear and see both sides of an issue before judging it authentic. Ask them if the information was reported fairly. Did they get the whole picture?

EVERY STORY HAS MANY ANGLES

Explain how different people look at the same situation differently. Use examples of how family members like different foods, play different sports, and choose different friends. Even mom and dad sometimes argue about preferences. The same applies to news issues. Adults can choose different media outlets and reporters to illustrate how there can be a multitude of different views about the same topic in the news.

IS THAT A FACT?

Use everyday situations to illustrate the difference between a fact and opinion. I am wearing a red shirt today. That is a fact. When you say, that red shirt is ugly, you are issuing your opinion. Facebook and Twitter are littered with opinions. What do people share or retweet? They share and comment on the opinions with which they strongly agree or disagree. Social media outlets do not report the news, they display the opinions of those followers who have decided to reject or endorse them. Children need to understand that reality does not coincide with the majority of social media opinion. Point of view on an issue does not necessarily make what is communicated true. In fact, the reality might be something completely different.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Adults and children can have fun and learn a lot by analyzing the ads seen in print and on TV. Study that boring commercial and think deeply about the message that is being communicated. How are the actors dressed? What do their gestures tell you? What words do they use? Do they exaggerate the benefits of the product? How are they trying to manipulate you into buying something you don’t really need?

After doing this a few times, take what you learned and apply it to the commentators, reporters, and “expert panels” that you see reporting the news. You will learn a lot about how much opinion is introduced into what is being reported as factual news. This knowledge will go a long way in developing critical thinking skills that will benefit children as they mature and develop the life skills they will need in future careers.

SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING

It’s okay to be critical. In the world of modern technology in which we can press a button to order in minutes, see ourselves in virtual reality, and communicate with friends, family, and co-workers instantly, it has never been more important to be vigilant and careful. We worry about computer hackers, but often neglect to train our own brains to filter out the noise and the mixed messages that seek to distract and deceive us.

BE SMART AND RESPONSIBLE

Watch this quick video to learn how.

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HALLOWEEN POTPOURRI

Trick or Treat Free For All: A Halloween Kids Book

Written by: Marina J. Bowman, J.K. Campbell, Richard Clark, Eli Cranor, Connor Grayson, Deb Logan, Scott Peters, D.M. Potter, and M.K. Radican

Here is a book that will please beginning and middle-grade readers. There are ten different stories. Each is written by a well-known children’s author.

These stories have different themes that correspond with the genre and characters familiar to each of the authors. Detective story fans, magic fans, folktale fans, and mystery fans will find a story to love. Reluctant readers will be enticed by the shorter length and off-beat characters.

Teachers might read one of these each day or the collection might be read aloud at a Halloween party. Anthologies are not common for young readers, but I think it is a good way to introduce readers to a wide variety of different genres and book series.

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