Posts from the ‘multicultural’ Category

CELEBRATE A NEW BEGINNING

“If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I’d like to wish all my friends and followers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Wherever you are, no matter which way you celebrate with family and friends, I hope that the end of this year brings you joy and happiness. My wish for each of you is that 2018 will bring good health and prosperity to you and those you cherish.

In 2017, I added a Coloring/Activity book to allow readers the opportunity to put their own creative touch to Little Miss HISTORY and become familiar with words of wisdom from historical characters. I listened to teachers and homeschool parents who requested a book that contained multiple adventures in one book so The Adventures of Little Miss HISTORY included her trips to The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. This bargain book offers three books for the price of two individual books. Last, but not least, Little Miss HISTORY journeyed back to The Ice Age in her latest trek to La Brea Tar Pits & Museum in Los Angeles, California.

The Little Miss HISTORY Travels to….picture book series added four new juvenile/nonfiction awards in 2017. A Gold Global EBook Excellence Award, International Book Excellence Award, Independent Author Network Award, and Reader’s Favorite International Book Award.

I closed out the year with a revised one page, one click website. Just hover over my name, book cover or link to preview or purchase a Little Miss HISTORY book, merchandise or to connect. Visit the website at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com I am eager to meet many more of you in person next year. Simply click on the word CONTACT to message me to schedule school visits, book signings or speaking engagements or we can just chat through email. I will be glad to answer questions or suggest resources if you subscribe to my newsletter.

Looking forward to January, I will again be participating in Multicultural Book Day the week of January 27 and will be busy reading and judging finalists in the EasyReader/Chapter Book Category of the Cybils Awards. Results will be announced in February. My family-friendly book reviews will continue each Wednesday and Sunday on my blog. If you have not subscribed, I urge you to sign up.

Hold on to your hats! Little Miss HISTORY has many surprises in store for 2018, including a trip to The North Pole before next Christmas arrives.

Stay tuned….talk to you in The New Year.

 

SPREADING GOOD CHEER EVERYWHERE

The Christmas Elf: Fun Christmas Stories for Kids

Written by Arnie Lightning

Tinsel is one of the longest-serving elves for Santa at the North Pole. This elf is notable for having the capability of spreading the spirit of Christmas everywhere he goes. For that reason, Santa has appointed him a special helper. Every year Tinsel is assigned to a child who feels despondent at Christmastime.

Readers are taken on a trip around the world to experience Tinsel’s successes.  A boy named Timothy whose father has passed away, a girl named Maria Luisa whose family will be unable to be with her this Christmas, and a boy in Chicago whose family never celebrates Christmas are included among those adventures. Tinsel uses his creativity to lull each of his clients and those around them into the true spirit of the holiday. Children who are experiencing separation, divorce, a new community and fears of alienation will feel a lot better after reading about Tinsel and his charges.

This is a delightful forty page book that will delight elementary school age children and warm the hearts of adults who read it. Good choice for a classroom or family holiday read aloud.

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A THANKLESS THANKSGIVING

A Pardon for Tommy

Written by Patricia Nmukoso Enyi

Chelsea is a college freshman who wakes to recurring nightmares. When she was twelve, Chelsea lost her home during Hurricane Katrina. She and her father were swept away by the flood waters. Chelsea has not been able to bring herself to return to New Orleans

Chelsea retells her experience. She survives the flood with the turkey her father captured for Thanksgiving Dinner in her backpack. Enyi traces Chelsea’s harrowing experiences while awaiting rescue and the reunion with her mother and brother at the Houston Astrodome. The family struggles to maintain hope that Chelsea’s dad, Max, will be found alive.

The scene shifts to adjustment to a new life in Houston at their grandmother’s home. Several subplots are included. There are New Orleans’ bullies who have also moved to the new school. Rex, their mother’s twin brother, is unwelcome at their new house. Chelsea has become attached to “Tommy,” her pet turkey. She cannot accept killing Tommy and celebrating Thanksgiving without their father. Will the family find out whether Max is alive or dead? How will the children adjust in their new home? Does “Tommy” become Thanksgiving Dinner?

The characters in the story experience typical coming of age experiences, compounded by the tragedy of this natural disaster, their father’s disappearance, a forced move, and the family’s dysfunction. This book could benefit from some editing. Transitions are not always clear, and the subplots are not fully developed. On the other hand, the author does a good job of painting the pain and trauma of the disaster. Readers need to suspend belief at times; a turkey surviving so many mishaps is a bit far fetched. On the other hand, the story is a powerful one for middle-grade and young adult audiences.

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TROUBLE OR TREASURE?

The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living

Written by Karl Beckstrand

Illustrated by Yaniv Cahoua

This short picture book is an interesting tale about a young boy who is given a choice by an old woman. The reader is introduced to a young Asian boy who likes to make things and always carries tools with him. One day he is walking along a stream near his home when he comes across an old woman sitting on its banks. She appears to be staring at a pile of branches piled against the rocks in the stream. She informs the boy that these objects are both “trouble and treasure.” They are trouble for the fish that cannot swim past them, but she will offer him a treasure if the boy will help her. Immediately the clever boy comes up with an ingenious solution to solve the problem. Then the old woman disappears, but her promise is delivered in an unexpected way.

Beautiful watercolor illustrations enhance the uplifting message and serene mood of the book. Beckstrand includes interesting ideas and activities to enhance the book’s value. My main criticism of the book lies in the layout of the text, which is so small that it is difficult to read. I would recommend the story, especially as a read-aloud for elementary grade children, though the message is certainly pertinent to any age group.

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BACK TO THE SOURCE

Egyptian Mythology: A Fascinating Guide to Understanding the Gods, Goddesses, Monsters, and Mortals

Written by Matt Clayton

The author has written a series of books of ancient societal mythologies. In this book, he sets out to explore the Fertile Crescent, and ancient Egypt, in particular. Part One focuses on the myths associated with Isis, Osiris, Seth, and Horus. Clayton narrates in the third person, interspersed with imaginary dialogue between the gods. He moves on to the most popular creation stories. Clayton next weaves together how the gods and humans came to interact with each other.

In Part Two the author zeroes in on the darker sides of Egyptian religion discussing gods who inflicted chaos upon the world, specifically Apep the snake, and Seth the god of war and confusion. Part Three is the section focusing on what we know of the history of Egypt and the mortals who interacted with the gods to change it. Readers learn about Chancellor Imhotep and how he assisted the king in uniting Egypt. Clayton explores Amenhotep IV and the chaos that ensued over Ra and Aten, the sun gods. Then the story evolves to the reign of Ramesses and his struggles against the Hittite enemy. Finally, the reader is brought to the final stages of the Egyptian empire under Cleopatra and Roman rule.

Clayton packs a lot of information into this volume of fewer than one hundred pages. The author has done a good job in constructing an easy to follow narration of thousands of years of myth and history. Perfect choice for adults who would like a taste of the subject as well as for middle-grade students studying Egyptian history.

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HALLOWEEN ON HIGH

Halloween Snowman Paul

Written by Yossi Lapid

Illustrated by Joanna Fasen

I was delighted to see a new release in the Snowman Paul series because I have previously enjoyed this author’s funny character and memorable illustrations.

This new book features a tree house on Halloween night. As visitors come upon the site, they encounter a warning sign not to come near the tree house. Who can refuse a dare on Halloween night? As the reader continues his journey three more warnings are posted. Visitors are warned of many types of danger. Trespassers might encounter space aliens, witches or ghosts.

I won’t give away where Paul fits into this picture, but readers will be urged to tell spooky stories and sing scary songs. Trick or treaters will not be disappointed.

This multicultural book is replete with large, soft and expressive watercolor illustrations that are not too scary for the youngest readers. Recommended especially for children in the three to eight year old range. Warning…adults will enjoy the book even more than the kids. Well done!

I was given a copy of this book by the author and voluntarily decided to review with my honest opinions for no compensation.

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MANGO SURPRISE

Don’t Go Mango Picking: A Scary Island Story

Written and Illustrated by D.H. Gibbs

This tale is a beginning chapter book set in the Caribbean. Deanna and her Aunt Sandy are spending part of their summer vacation at their grandmother’s farm in the bush. The girls work in the mornings doing chores like collecting eggs, feeding the pigs and picking peas. While the rest of the day contains free time, there are few modern conveniences like television and radio. Grandma has warned them not to stay out after dark or play with Molly. This young neighbor seems to have a knack for getting into trouble. Of course one day when no one is around, Molly persuades the girls to sneak into Mr. Forhan’s yard to pick the mangoes off his trees. What happens when the girls encounter a Lagahoo? What is a Lagahoo, you ask? Read this short chapter book to find out.

This story is under forty pages and contains some unique black and white illustrations. The setting, simple text and unusual story line combine to offer an interesting adventure story for the beginning or reluctant reader. Recommended especially for children in the six to eight age range.

I received a copy of this book and voluntarily decided to review for no compensation with my honest opinions.

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