Posts from the ‘fiction’ Category

ONLY E

Letter E Leaves the Alphabet

Written and illustrated by Martha Lane

Letter E decides that he wants to leave his alphabet family. He is tired of never being first. Even in the vowel group, his sister letter A always assumes first place. Despite his family’s assurances, that he is unique and cannot be replaced, E writes a letter and takes off on a snowmobile.

The book might be used as an introduction to the alphabet for young children. It contains a sentence rhyme for each of the alphabet letters. But the main message is that like every letter, each child is unique and irreplaceable. Will the alphabet family convince him to return or will the previously written words need to be changed?

This book is based on a true-life experience with a child named, Eric. Recommended as a read-aloud self-esteem book or as an alphabet teaching tool.

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One of a Kind

Only One Samantha

Written by Allesandro Reale

Illustrated by Hank Darwin

Samantha enjoys being unique. She doesn’t need to fit in with the crowd. Every day she wears a different outfit to school. It doesn’t bother her that her classmates criticize her for not wearing clothes like them.

One day, Samantha’s teacher arrives strangely dressed. It is School Dress up day. All her classmates have forgotten. Only Samantha has dressed appropriately. What will happen?

Samantha has the confidence and courage to be true to herself and not depend on the opinions of others. This message is an important one for elementary and middle-school children to understand. This book contains black and white images that the reader may dress and color to their own preference.

Recommended especially for children ages six through twelve, but certainly appropriate for any age.

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COMMUNITY COALITION

Nobody’s Cats: How One Little Black Kitty Came in from the Cold

Written by Valerie Ingram and Alistair Schroff


The authors wrote this book based on a true story and contribute the proceeds of sales to animal welfare.

One day a little boy finds a hungry black kitten in the snow next to an old shed. He notices that there are many other cats there. Children passing the cats throw rocks at them. The boy asks neighbors in the area who owns the cats. They tell him that these cats are feral cats that belong to no one.

A few months pass by before a visitor to the boy’s schools comes to teach them about animal rescue. The boy learns he can become a superhero. He can spearhead a community effort to care for these abandoned animals. What will happen to the black kitty? How can the community solve the problem of overpopulation and animal neglect?

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NOT TOO SCARY

Halloween Short Stories: Spooky Short Stories for Kids

Written by Uncle Amon

This book consists of five short stories and a short selection of Halloween jokes. The characters deal with familiar Halloween themes like pumpkins, black cats, witches, and haunted houses. It is the first volume in a collection of Halloween stories.

These tales are short and do not contain difficult vocabulary. I would recommend them especially for beginning readers in the six to nine age group. They are not particularly scary. I would say they are appropriate for children who are not too fond of Halloween.

The book may be a good choice for a read-aloud or sharing at a Halloween party.

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FEAR NOT

Scaredy Bat and the Frozen Vampires: An Illustrated Mystery Chapter Book for Kids 8-12 (Scaredy Bat: A Vampire Detective Series 1)
Written by Marina J. Bowman
Illustrated by Yevheniia Lisavoya

Ellie is a twelve-year-old vampire who loves to solve mysteries. The fact that she is afraid of almost everything fails to deter her. Ellie fears loud noises, spiders, and clowns, among many other things. One thing she does have is a large network of friends who come to her aid. When Ellie attends a vampire wedding, everyone freezes solid. How can she overcome her fears and solve the mystery before it is too late?

The author includes bonuses for budding detective readers. She offers a quiz to test if the reader qualifies to be a detective. Readers receive a guide to analyzing suspects and recording evidence.

Lisavoya draws excellent black and white illustrations to sustain interest levels. The book is not too lengthy, which encourages reluctant readers.
One caveat, I read the Kindle version which contains formatting errors. I would rate the book three stars in the Kindle version, but five stars in the paperback edition.

Recommended for middle-grade readers in the print version.

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BE OF GENTLE HEART

Our Wounded Little Chickadee

Written by Pamela Tomlin

Illustrated by Tamar Piper

This book is part of a series that features a girl named Emma and her menagerie of personified stuffed animals. Each of these has a distinct personality and a kind heart.

In this volume, Emma and her fluffy friends are playing in the living room when they hear a loud crash outside. After looking out the window, they discover a small bird lying still on the grass. When they investigate, they discover a chickadee who has been seriously injured. Emma gets a box and lines it with a doll blanket. She and her friends bring the box inside and patiently wait for hours to see if the bird will recover.

After what seems an interminable amount of time, Emma picks up the box and places it under a tree outside in the yard. They are happy to see the bird sitting up. A few minutes later, the chickadee flaps its wings and flies up into the tree.

Emma and her friends demonstrate patience, kindness and a love of nature. Children learn what and what not to do to help an injured animal. The illustrations are bright and effective. My only suggestion would be to vary the color of the text to make it a bit easier to read. Recommended for preschoolers and early elementary grade school readers.

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THE REWARD WITHIN

The Gold Egg
Written by Ule B. Wise (Dan Wyson)
Illustrated by Jaimee Lee

This is a wonderful book for children of all ages. The author writes in crisp rhymes and the illustrations are colorful and appealing. At first, group of multicultural children is sitting under their favorite tree. An old man carrying a cane comes along. He tells the children to look up high in the tree. They notice the abandoned nest of the Kloonee bird high in the tree. The old man tells them the nest is so high because it contains a gold egg. All the children scoff at this, except for Devan who decides to find out for himself.

Devan finds the task daunting. He falls from the tree but gets up and tries again. His friends make fun of him. When Devan finally gets to the top, will he find a gold egg? What does he learn about himself and his friends?
This book teaches children the importance of courage and persistence. Reaching goals is possible if one believes in himself and persists despite obstacles. While this book might appear to be a picture book, its message is one for children of all ages. Recommended as an inspirational read-aloud for children and adults.

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