Posts tagged ‘children’

TOWER OF FEAR

The Ivory Tower

Written by Kirstin Pulioff

The Ivory Tower,pic

This is a well written short story set in a dystopian world where fear and repression are the norms of everyday living. The colorful descriptions and lively verbs guide the reader on an adventure in which she will be eager to proceed on course with the heroine, Simone, and at the same time, be terrified of the outcome.

As the story opens, the reader meets two young friends named Simone and Christine, who are on very different social levels in the camp and bear totally opposite personalities. Simone is number 277 because she is an orphan. Sometimes she does not even receive food rations. Christine is number 35; she and her family are considered productive citizens. The army is present to protect the citizens by keeping them in a restricted area which is free from contaminants of a recent disaster. Young children attend school, but begin laboring in the factory as soon as they are old enough. Everyone is prohibited from going near an old rusted tower that lies at the end of the forest.

Simone and Christine are enjoying their last days of freedom before factory assignments. They are playing hide and seek when Simone gets near the fence and spies the tower. Christine urges her to retreat because she gets in trouble and is beaten by her parents when they find out she has been near the edge of the forest. They warn her of the contaminants and punishment for risking disease by going there. A few days later, Simone urges Christine to play hide and seek one more time. Reluctantly, she agrees. Of course the fearless and curious Simone takes off straight to the tower. While Christine waits outside, Simone gains entrance. She finds duplicate pictures of those in the camp and monitors that are spying on its citizens. Soon she hears footsteps and the approach of one of the soldiers. Desperately, she tries to make her escape. He informs her that they are there to “protect all citizens” whether they realize that or not.

Before the close of the story, Christine and her friend are reunited in the hospital, but Simone is wounded and branded. Will she become another dutiful citizen or do further adventures await this young citizen who does not appear willing and able to conform to camp life? Can their friendship survive?

Children ages eight and up, especially those who love dystopian adventures, will surely enjoy this fast paced and well written short story. This reader is already looking forward to a sequel.

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THESE MOMS ROCK!

Incredible Animal Moms: Exploring Our Incredible World Series

Written by Mark Smith

Animal Moms pic

This fifty six page book is another book in the exploring our world series. This volume focuses on the unique relationship between animal moms and their young. Smith has selected twenty animals; some are common but many are unique. He gives the reader just enough information to create a comprehensive portrait of the mother-child relationship and its uniqueness in the animal world. Each of them is accompanied by a photograph to illustrate the synopsis. The reader will be encouraged to pick out favorites and research other aspects of that animal’s life. Children aged eight and up might read the book independently. Younger children will enjoy an adult reading it aloud in several parts. Anyone who reads the book will learn something new; I know that I acquired a lot of new information. Did you know that a newborn elephant weights 250 pounds and that a mother elephant is pregnant for 22 months? All the female members of the herd live as one family and protect it.

Some animal moms and babies are remarkably similar to humans. They even look and act like us. These animals are extremely smart; they make their own tools which they use to find food. Some have even mastered how to use sign language to communicate with humans. The orangutan mom spends six or seven years teaching her babies survival skills. She teaches them how to make a new bed of leaves each night. Unfortunately, orangutans are disappearing because humans have cut down the trees they need for their habitat. The cow mother also is similar to a human mother. She will have a bond with her calf for life and socializes with her young throughout her life. The mother will travel for miles to find a calf that strays from the herd.

There are some animals that are very different from humans. You probably know that an octopus mom has eight arms, but did you know that each of them has a suction cup to move and catch food.? They are able to camouflage themselves and completely disappear. They also have a bird’s beak which they use to eat their food. An octopus mom has only one chance to have babies. She will lay as many as 200,000 eggs! For one month until they hatch, she stands guard for predators and does not eat. Some of these moms get so hungry that they eat their own arm rather than allow the eggs to go unguarded! Seahorse moms do not do any of the work in having babies. She chooses one mate, and lays all of her eggs in the dad’s pouch. He carries them until they hatch. He has a special hormone in his body to protect the eggs and give the eggs everything they require.

Some animals are beautiful and dangerous at the same time. The Strawberry Poison Frogs are brightly colored. They can be red, blue, green or spotted. They get their poison from the things they eat. These frogs are only about one inch long, but their bright color is a warning not to eat them. The mother lays about five eggs. When they hatch into tadpoles, she carries one at a time up a tree that may be 100 feet high and places it into a small pool she has made in its leaves. She feeds each one of her own eggs until they are fully grown. Pretty incredible for such a small creature!

I have only talked about a few of these incredible moms. Read this well written and illustrated non fiction book to find out much more extraordinary information about our animal world.

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A GIFT TO ONESELF

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I would like to wish my subscribers and their families all over the world peace, joy, health, and happiness however and wherever you celebrate during this holiday season.

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The Prayer: A Haunting Children’s Christmas Tale that Captures the True Spirit of Christmas

Written by Stephan J Myers

Illustrated by Kerry Fisher and Stephan J Myers

The Prayer,pic

These verses were first written in 2009 and recently published in Great Britain in kindle format. The author makes one request: before reading the story promise that you will never forget the meaning in these words. I don’t think that you will…

The title is a bit misleading because this book is not a prayer in the religious sense. At the beginning the scene is set for children round the world dreaming of the images and gifts that Christmas will bring; then suddenly shifts to the image of children who have no family, friends, and are struggling to survive the night. “For sometimes the children who need things the most, are lost to the night and a pale winter’s ghost.”

A starving child dressed in rags hears a voice in the darkness that urges him to follow his lantern so that he may discover a home with a hearth and a warm fire. This spirit instructs the boy to hold up his lantern and peer through the windows he passes along the way. The boy obeys and observes a young boy reading in a room with presents piled under the tree. At the next house he views this same boy who is now a father with a child on his knee; the kitchen tables piled high with food. As his lantern grows dimmer, the boy gazes through another window viewing that boy as an old man. No one in these houses is able to see his plight. The lamp is beginning to fade, and so is the life left in that little boy. When New Year dawns, those lucky children are still reveling in the holiday oblivious to his plight, while that little needy little boy has become a ghost.

This is a powerful and well written short story done in verse that will remain in memory long after you read it. The illustrations are colorful, fluid, warm and penetrating; they reinforce the words and draw on compelling images that do not allow the words to recede from memory. Myers represents the story through the eyes of the starving child though the execution does not always work. I would strongly recommend this book as a family read or a book for classroom discussion reminding all of the deeper meaning of the Christmas season.

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FATHER AND CHILD

Your Father’s Love (Parent’s Love- one of Two Book Set)

Written by Niki Alling

YourFather'sLovepic

I happened to notice this free kindle book and decided to download it. It led to my discovery of a very talented author of whom I was unaware. This particular book is also available as part of a set with its companion volume Your Mother’s Love. Ms. Alling not only writes children’s books, but also writes across many genres including science fiction, fantasy and poetry. In addition, she draws beautiful illustrations that capture the mood of her story.

Turning to this particular book, Alling associates a father’s love for his young child with comforting images like a teddy bear and toy box. She links characteristics like protectiveness, unselfishness and playfulness with friendly animals like giraffes and penguins. A father’s love is peaceful, loyal, brave and enduring. It is patient, strong and nurturing, wise and everlasting. Most important of all his love is all encompassing like the sun and all the inhabitants of the sky. Each child reader is made to feel special because the author uses a silhouette image of a father urging the reader to keep these feelings as a special secret between them.

All of the illustrations are done in soft, comforting pastel colors that evoke a feeling of warmth and reassurance. Any parent or grandparent would love to read this story aloud over and over to a special, young child. It is the kind of book that a child could turn to for comfort in times of distress or fear. Certainly, one that would make a fine addition to a bookshelf or kindle, and a treat for both children and adults. I am going to make it a point to read more works by this talented writer and artist.

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NEW BOOK IN LITTLE MISS HISTORY SERIES COMING SOON!

Little Miss History Travels to the Statue of Liberty
By: Barbara Ann Mojica
Ilustrated by Victor Ramon Mojica

SOLcoverI am so excited to announce that the second book in the Little Miss History nonfiction travel series will be released in a few weeks! This time around you will find Little Miss History “hanging around” The Statue of Liberty. She will be your guide to learning about the creators, the builders, the contributors, her journey, and the events connected to her history.

 

Here is a sneak preview of the cover. Looking forward to having you on the journey!

PINT SIZED PEACEMAKERS

Peace in My World

By: Syeda Mleeha Shah

Peaceinmyworldpic

This book is dedicated to all displaced children in refugee and survival camps waiting for peace. The author pays tribute to every child for making our world beautiful by being a part of it.

Multicultural children are dressed in native costumes and placed in different scenarios. They are seen in farm scenes with barns, roosters and sunflowers, playing on the ice with penguins and singing in the rain while the wind chimes blow. The images coincide with symbols of peace like the dove and moods of tranquility like a little girl sitting on the grass while fish swim in the pond beside her. In the valleys and mountains trees stand tall, the sun shines brightly, and birds fly over the rainbow.

The text is written in simple verse. The same two lines are repeated on the pages. “This is a place where I want to go. I am in peace from head to toe.” A simple message that adults find  so difficult to accept. In the second part of the book Shah spells out the word  PEACE  assigning special significance to each letter.

 

P stands for people of the world

E stands for empathy they feel for one another

A stands for accepting others differences

C stands for cooperating and working in harmony

E  stands for the extra mile needed to reach out to those in need

 

In the final part of the book, the author selects five countries from various parts of the world: Pakistan, Egypt, America, China and Ethiopia. For each of these she presents the flag, names the capitol, its language and the word for peace. There is a rather abrupt shift from the ideal world to the real world. My only criticism is that no reason is given for choosing these five countries and there is no tie in to the rest of the story. Nevertheless, this book is truly worthwhile for teaching even very young children the value of using diversity as a unifying force and letting our strengths bind us together rather than tear us apart.

 

WARM AND WONDERFUL

The Trees Have Hearts

by Mrs. D.

Illustrated by Julie Hasegawa

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This book is beautifully written and illustrated. The delicate colors and fine lines will prove satisfying to the eye just as the lyrical language is soothing to the ear. I urge the reader to pay particular attention to the Preface in which the author reminds us that we should look at things through the eyes of a child and enjoy this period of wonder and imagination because it is a fleeting moment in time which soon disappears.

 

As the story begins a sad little girl is gazing out her window at the spring garden. She sees the trees just beginning to bloom. The little girl does not go out to play because she has just moved from another country and does not know the language. She feels lost and alone. One day she goes out into the garden and the trees speak to her. Sassy is the wise magnolia tree, Shadow, the weeping cherry tree and Chance, the beautiful plum tree. They become the little girl’s friends who introduce her to the wonders of nature and the creatures in her garden. She rushes home after school to play with them. But when summer comes, her mother sends her to camp. She is afraid to tell her tree friends and disappears. The tree friends are distraught. They send the Wind to look for her. The Old Wind finally finds her by the ocean building sandcastles on the beach. But she is not alone, the little girl is laughing with her friends. The tree friends are afraid that she has forgotten them. When the little girl arrives home, she surprises them with a gift that she has specially chosen for each of them. Chance welcomes her friends and shares her plums with them. The seasons change and the trees evolve just as the little girl has blossomed and matured,

 

We all know that things never stay the same. One day the little girl arrives home and her mother has a surprise for her. Will the bond between the little girl and her tree friends be able to survive this new crisis?

 

Read this charming story suitable for children of ages to find out.

 

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