Posts tagged ‘children’s fiction’

COLOR MY WORLD

Color Olors Storybook:The wonderful world of Color Olors

Written by Nina Carothers

Illustrated by Chris Padovan

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The author originally came up with the idea for the book in 1993, but she was too occupied with bringing up her four children back then. Fortunately for today’s readers, she used those years to incorporate her own life experiences in these tales of adorable color characters that each have a memorable and valuable life lesson to share with children and their families. The simple, bright and bold illustrations will endear children from toddler to the early elementary grades. Parents and teachers will like the catchy rhymes and moral themes that make this book an excellent choice for a read aloud. This first book previews the color characters, their outstanding traits, and a clue to the story that each will share in their own storybook. Children have the opportunity to find their favorites and read further.

I will present a quick overview of the Color Olors. Silver Ilver is the wisest and their leader who keeps all the other members in line. She reminds me of a cross between a fairy godmother and a teacher. Gold Owl is the oldest; he is steady and true to task. Gray Ray is a two year old who lives at the bottom of the sea and teaches about the meaning of family. Yellow Ellow is always bright and happy like the sunshine; he will not fail to give you something positive to think about. Don’t surmise that the Color Olors are always perfect. White Hite has a habit of telling little white lies. Red Ed likes to share Christmas Holiday traditions; Blue Lue is a caboose who holds things together even though he is last in line. Orange Range is an excellent cook. Brown Rown rides on his bike showing everyone how to preserve our environment, and Black Lack flys around during the night to protect us while we sleep. Green Reen loves to eat his vegetables and teaches us how to be strong and healthy. Purple Urple looks like a little mouse, but he rides a stallion and grants wishes. Last but not least, Pink Ink is dainty fairy who travels with her teddy bear landing on those who might need advice whispered in their ear.

Quite an assortment of characters from which to choose. The series promises to be a hit with parents, teachers and children. Take a peek at the first book with your little one and then decide which character you would like to meet in a unique adventure. Available in kindle and paperback formats.

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CYCLING THE GLOBE

Children’s Book: Abigail And The Jungle Adventure (Explore the World Collection)

Written by Tali Cami

Illustrated by Mindy Liang

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This is the first in a series of books featuring a little girl named Abigail. She is curious and adventurous. Abigail is spending Christmas at her grandparents’ house while her parents are on a business trip. Grandpa is a retired scientist and inventor who lives in a big, old house full of interesting places to explore. Abigail takes the opportunity to investigate the home while her grandparents are napping and finds many interesting objects in the attic. One of these is a shiny red bicycle covered with a blanket. Inside its basket, Abigail discovers a antique, dusty book containing pictures of different spots all over the world. On the last page she finds the instructions to think of a place and repeat this sentence three times: “Take me there, let me see, Show me where I want to be!”

What young explorer could resist the temptation? Abigail finds herself in the Amazon jungle where she will meet a Toucan, a jaguar, some squirrel monkeys, and a native boy named Nuka. Abigail is a generous young girl and she shares her magical bicycle with her new friend. What will happen next? Will Abigail stay in the jungle, explore a new site or return back to her grandparents?

This story is targeted for children aged two through six. The beautiful, bold and colorful illustrations will capture a young child’s imagination and interest. Vocabulary in the text contains enough of a challenge to extend a young child’s vocabulary when read aloud by a parent or caretaker. There is a bonus fun pack with activities offered to all readers. The elements of adventure, magic and repetition are combined and balanced nicely. Little ones will want to read it over and over and surely look forward to more books in the series.

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WHAT IS A TRUE FRIEND?

Rocky’s New Friend – Blade, the Shark

Written by James Paul and Alice Forest

Illustrated by Fahmi Fauzi

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This kindle book is marketed for children age three to eight, but is probably more appropriate for children at the upper end of that range. The book makes a good independent early reader. Younger children will not be able to appreciate the full impact of the moral lessons, though they will enjoy the colorful illustrations. Fauzi does a good job of enhancing the story line, but at the same time not making the images too frightening for the younger child. The story is a good selection for families with siblings across this age span.

Rocky is a beautiful neon blue angelfish who tends to be mischievous. His best friend, Gaga, a bright orange angelfish loves to play hide and seek with him in the coral reefs of the Pacific Ocean. They are both afraid of the Moray eels who often bullied them. One day while swimming alone, Rocky decides to swim out into the deeper, dark waters and encounters a shark named Blade. This shark wants to play; Rocky decides it is very cool to hang around with a shark. He begins to ignore Gaga as well as his parents’ warnings that appearances can be deceiving!

On another day while Rocky and Blade are swimming together, they encounter a surprise. Will Blade turn out to be a true friend? What will happen to Rocky’s friendship with Gaga? Sometimes the truth is difficult to swallow. Read this book of less than thirty pages to find out.

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BOOK BLAST FOR THE TREES AND HEARTS AND THE CITY KITTENS AND THE OLD HOUSE CAT

About Book 1

The Trees Have HeartsTitle: The Trees Have Hearts | Author: Mrs. D | Publication Date: March 31, 2014 | Publisher: Mrs.D. Books Publisher | Number of pages: 41 | Recommended age: 6 to 10

Summary: A Mom’s Choice Award Winner

The story of a young girl, left friendless because she could not speak a new language, will touch your heart. It will take your child into the imaginary world of a little girl who moved to America from a different country. Unable to speak English, the lonely girl could not find friends. She lived in an old house with a small garden, where three blooming trees and the mysterious wind became her first imaginary friends. The garden friends developed a wonderful friendship with the lonely girl, and helped her overcome her fears and worries. Through the story, they taught her how to make real friends and helped her cope with difficult moments while adapting to new surroundings. Unforgettable characters will open a beautiful imaginary world to young readers, inviting them to share the fears, tears and joys of a little girl. The story will teach the true meaning of friendship while showing readers the beauty of nature. This book will open an unknown imaginary world through the eyes of a child…

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MY REVIEW OF THE TREES HAVE HEARTS

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.

About Book 2

The City Kittens and the Old House CatTitle: The City Kittens and the Old House Cat | Author: Mrs. D | Publication Date: July 11, 2013 | Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing | Number of pages: 37 | Recommended age: 6 to 10

Summary: This story revolves around Christmastime and a family who once adopted a lost kitten, naming it Nyda. Nyda has now grown old and has settled into a calm, uneventful life with her new family-until the day before Christmas, when the family’s older daughter brings two playful kittens, Mickey and Jack, home for the holidays. The two kittens from the big city are a change for the family, and for Nyda. The old cat likes her settled life and is not happy about the new arrivals. She’s also very protective of her belongings. The city kittens annoy her, and the old cat grumbles about the new additions to the family- until she hears a story one night that makes her feel bad. The kittens aren’t the soft or spoiled brats she had thought they were . .

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The Buzz

The Trees Have Hearts: “This is a lovely book for young girls, and especially young girls who face loneliness because of being in a new place. They are sure to find peace and encouragement in the special values taught in The Trees Have Hearts. Mrs. D does a wonderful job of reaching out to kids in a unique way in this book. The beautiful trees give warmth and peace as they spread their blooms throughout the garden and into the hearts of those who read this book.” ~ Joy Hannabass, Readers’ Favorite

The Trees Have Hearts: “In The Trees Have Hearts, Mrs. D. demonstrates love, compassion and a touch of mystical ability as she manifests what the trees might say, if they spoke to a lonely little girl. Then again, maybe she writes to alert us all to listen with our hearts. I highly recommend this book.” ~ 5 Star Review, sunnyrock, Amazon

The Trees Have Hearts: “The author writes a lovely story about a lonely little girl with a great big imagination. She turns her beautiful garden into her sanctuary of imaginary friends that remain in her heart and follow her into adulthood. The lessons to be learned in this story is love of nature, respect for nature and changes of nature from one season to the next. Just as children go through many changes from season to season. This would be a good bedtime story. reading a few pages each night nurturing your child’s imagination and leaving them with sweet dreams.” ~ 5 Star Review, It’s Time to Read Mamaw, Amazon

The City Kittens and the Old House Cat: “The City Kittens and the Old House Cat is an inspiring story written from a cat’s point of view. The story can be understood by all pet lovers. The book has some beautiful and colorful illustrations. That makes the book very attractive and visually appealing, something which all the kids love. Children’s books should be colorful and bright. The message of tolerance is very important in the current living situation. The book has a nice moral which can be explained to children and they can be asked to practice it too.” ~ 5 Star Review, Mamta Madhavan, Readers’ Favorite

The City Kittens and the Old House Cat: “Snuggle up in front of the fire and share this sweet kitty tale with your little ones. Bright, richly detailed illustrations bring the story to life as the old cat learns to accept two little intrusions. Fun book to put on your wish list, especially around the holiday season. A delight for any cat or animal lover!” ~ 5 Star Review, CLMurphy, Amazon

The City Kittens and the Old House Cat: “Mrs. D. weaves wonderful lessons of acceptance, adoption and not judging other people without getting to know them into this sweet children’s picture book. I highly recommend it for young children.” ~ 5 Star Review, P.J. LaRue, Amazon

 MY REVIEW OF THE CITY KITTENS AND THE OLD HOUSE CAT

The City Kittens and the Old House Cat

by: Mrs.D.

Illustrated by Mike Motz

 

The City Kittens and the Old House Cat

Okay, so it’s only July….why are we talking about Christmas? Well, this charming children’s book was just released about a somewhat cantankerous old cat who is forced to celebrate Christmas with a relative’s city kittens.

This is a new book written by Mrs.D. She has previously released, Carlo the Mouse on Vacation and The Trees Have Hearts. In this charming book, the old house cat named Nyda feels out of her comfort zone because this year some new intruders have appeared to celebrate Christmas with the family.

Nyda is accustomed to the hustle and bustle that the Christmas season brings along with the sometimes annoying visitors who come to disrupt her peaceful lifestyle. Normally she can retreat to her secret lookout spots and watch from afar. She eagerly gazes at the sparkling tree and nostalgically remembers the ornament given her the first Christmas that Nyda spent with Mrs. D. Nyda loves the holiday goodies that she bribes Grandma to feed her. Unfortunately, this year when the oldest daughter came home to visit, she brought with her a box with two kittens. These two rambunctious kittens are annoying Nyda. When the kitten named Jack goes after her food, she reaches her wit’s end! Then we are introduced to the story of how these two little kittens came to be adopted . Now Nyda feels ashamed and contrite. What was it that changed her mind about them and why?

The tale is one of a close and loving family sharing holiday traditions and memories as well as a first person narration by a beautiful cat who thinks and acts like she is human. The reader is given a glimpse into the life of a beautiful family with a big heart. This story is written with compassion and warmth. The illustrations are dramatic and vivid. Some of them look more like portraits. These complement the book’s story line well even though my personal preference is for softer images. This book is a nice addition to a family holiday reading library for both adults and children. It is available in hardcover, paperback and e book additions.

 

 

 

About the Author: Mrs. D

Mrs D ~ Olga D'AgostinoMrs. D. (Olga D’Agostino), an award-winning children’s author, was born in western Ukraine. She lived in the historical city of Lviv, where she studied business in Lviv Business College and worked in the food industry. In 1992, she immigrated to the USA with her two small daughters and for years worked in her own business. In 2011, she began her career as a writer, focusing on writing children’s books that have meaning and provide valuable lessons. Two of her children’s books, The Trees Have Hearts and Good Morning, World!, won Mom’s Choice Awards in 2013. She is a member of SCBWI and speaks a few languages fluently. She lives in the famous town of Smithville, NJ, with her husband Patrick and a meticulous old cat named Nyda.

Published books by Mrs. D. include Carlo the Mouse on Vacation, The Trees Have Hearts, The City Kittens and the Old House Cat, Good Morning, World!, and Carlo the Mouse, Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse and The Little Girl Praying on the Hill(a short story for an older audience).

Coming in 2014: The Royal Palmand Carlo the Mouse, Book 2: Now We’re Talking!

The full series of Carlo the Mouse and her new books, The Mysterious Life Inside a Closet, That Is How Things Are (two connected stories): The Autumn Wind, and The Kitten and the Sparrow, and three rhyming stories in Who Is Most Important in the Fridge? will be published in the near future. Her books are available in print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and as e-books for most popular electronic devices. For updates on Mrs. D.’s books, please visit her website: www.mrsdbooks.net.

Website | Author Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

 

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

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Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: June 10, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Mrs. D and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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PARANORMAL PRIVATE EYES

 

Ghost Memory (A Thulukan Chronicles Story) #1

Written by Maer Wilson

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Maer Wilson is a talented writer who generally focuses on middle grade and young adult fiction. This short novella is a fine example of her talent. The plot is told from the point of view of Fiona (Fi) who is a budding young detective about to finish college. She is ready to launch an agency with her fiance, Thulu. There is one strange thing about their business; their business will be involved strictly with clients who have already died. Together Fi and Thulu are able to see and communicate with the dead. Thulu and Fi met at the age of ten shortly after Fi’s parents were killed in an accident.

At the outset the reader is introduced to Fi when she breaks the nose of a student in karate class. She feels badly, but soon perks up when she sees a “client” outside her door. Peter Swanson engages her to find the money he has hidden in his former home for his husband, Donovan. The next day, the two sleuths visit Donovan at home, while Peter assists Thulu in finding the money. They discover that some of it is missing. Fi and Thulu use their detective skills to solve the mystery and convince the thief, by some rather unconventional methods, to return the money to Donovan.

Wilson is an excellent writer. She weaves the plot skillfully and manages to delineate her characters’ personalities in the span of a few pages. The reader develops an affinity for them as well as an appetite for learning more about them and their adventures. Wilson gives the readers a taste of what is to come in Relics at the end of her e book. I believe most readers will want to continue reading about these characters in this series. This book would be appropriate for teen readers as well as adults. Whether or not you enjoy paranormal works, I think you will want to look at this series.

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PRINCESS PANORAMA

Princess Meredith Bedtime Tales

Written by Marshall Best

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This approximately forty page e Book selection available on Smashwords and Amazon is a departure from the author’s previous works. These consist of chronicles centered on a character named Guiamo which combine history, legend and adventure in a series of books focusing on exploration and civilization. That series appeals to an older child. In his new book, the author and father of six is centering on children age three to ten.

The Princess Meredith book actually contains five short fairy tales. This book would make a good early reader chapter book. While advertised as bedtime stories, they can just as easily be read individually at separate times. Our Princess Meredith is well-loved in her kingdom. She is intelligent, loyal, compassionate, and generous. The themes appeal to young girls: ponies, castles, magic, witches, spells, picnics, poison, and adventure. Each of the tales involves danger, but all of them end with the theme that they lived happily ever after. Main characters include the king and queen, a royal baker, a witch, an uncle, cousin and children from an orphanage. The princess is already in training; she convinces the king and queen to consider and adopt her plan to redesign the way orphans are treated in the kingdom. The illustrations on the cover are charming and appealing; too bad there were not a few more illustrations dispersed throughout the chapters to hold the interest of younger readers. I would especially recommend the book to parents and teachers of children age six and up.

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PERFECTION TO A POINTE

Pie And Other Brilliant Ideas

Written by Karen Pokras Toz

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Another outstanding middle grade coming of age story. This book is well written and carefully crafted. Pokras develops her characters with strength and compassion that will not disappoint young girls, young adults or their parents.

Twelve year old Georgie has recently moved to a new neighborhood closer to her grandmother’s nursing home. She sorely misses her best friend Amber, but more than anything Georgie misses her dancing lessons. Their new community is much more expensive; despite her pleas Georgie is informed they cannot afford the extra expense. When Amber comes for a visit, they scheme together to find a way to raise money for Georgie to pay for her own lessons. After Amber allows Georgie to try on her pointe shoes; Georgie understands that nothing will deter her from achieving that goal.

There is also lots of humor in this book. The first two plans for earning money have some hilarious results. One day Georgie’s grandmother Jane gets a new roommate. Georgie and Amber are thrilled to learn that she has danced in Russia with a famous ballerina named Paulina Strofsky. Over several visits the woman named Eve relays the story of how she and Paulina trained to become prima ballerinas. In the process the reader learns quite a bit about the history of Russian and its people while under Communist domination.

Seeing the determination that Georgie has to dance, Eve encourages her and even gives her the poster over her bed with the picture of the famous ballerina. By the end of this tale, the two girls have figured out a way for Georgie to pay for her dancing lessons, absorbed lessons about the importance of family and friendship, and received a surprise gift that they never could have imagined.

Highly recommended for tweens, teens and young adults. Readers who enjoy ballet, history, and strong female role models will especially enjoy this one.

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LESSONS FROM OUR ANIMAL FRIENDS

Tales of the Friendly Forest

Written by Alexi Lushkin
Translated from Russian by Galina Krylova

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This kindle book is a collection of ten fairy tales told from the point of view of several animals living in the forest. At the outset the reader is introduced to a poem that tells of the song of the forest. The animals in the tales introduce themselves one verse at a time. In the beginning, the forest was in chaos. Each of the animals went about doing whatever he wanted. One day a clubfooted bear shouted out to the other animals of the forest from the top of a tree that from now on there would be a truce; all animals would be friends to one another and there would be no territorial boundaries. From that point on, all the animals of the forest had their own names, but they were all friends and helpers to each other.

The rest of the stories focus on one or two animals who are able to teach the reader about compassion for others, the need to share knowledge, not to be afraid of the unknown, and to be true to oneself. In the story about fashion, the animals decide to be fashion mongers. Even though the boars delight in rolling around in the mud, they then rub against the trees ridding themselves of all dirt. The animals decide that boars are the neatest and cleanest animals in the forest. Appearances can be deceiving! In the story about the forest beasts watching children play hockey, children learn that TV and cinema did not always exist, there should be time for other pursuits.

These short stories are intended for children and adults. The format is a bit unusual in that the book begins with a poem and then switches to verse. In a few places the flow is a bit choppy due to the translation. Still, I found the stories refreshing with good lessons for children and reminders for adults. The book can be broken up into sections for younger children and read independently by children eight and older. Makes a nice bedtime story book for children who love animals.

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VINTAGE VOYAGE

The Rocket Book

Written and illustrated by Peter Newell

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This book was originally copyrighted by Harper and Brothers Publishing in 1912. Peter Newell was born in 1862. He illustrated for Mark Twain and the Alice in Wonderland books. Once relegated to the shelves of the Library of Congress, the book has been reissued in print and digitized versions. It is available online at amazon.com.

As many of my readers know, I am a history lover; I write about history. I live in a house that is more than one hundred years old, and I grew up in an apartment not unlike the “flat” in this story. The illustrations in this book are priceless! Newell uses black and white and muted colors that make the drawings pop. Facial expressions convey the humor and intent of the story. Each part of the story contains eight lines of catchy, clever verse. Even though today’s children may be unfamiliar with many of the items pictured: a Remington typewriter, a wooden hobby horse, a taxidermist with his walrus head, they will get the story from looking at the rhyme and the accompanying illustration.

What is the story? The janitor’s kid named Fritz, who is described as a “bad kid,” finds a rocket in the basement of a twenty-one story apartment building. He lights it up. The reader is taken on a humorous journey following the rocket through an apartment on each of those floors. The mayhem which ensues includes knocking off grandpa’s wig, ripping through a new hat through a hat box, destroying a breakfast table while exploding catchup on the family, and scaring off a burglar in one of the apartments. Where and when does it stop? Take a look at this book to learn a lot about early twentieth century people, clothing, and lifestyle. This book will appeal to adults interested in vintage objects and children age eight and up who enjoy humor, a good verse, and a dose of history.

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BULLY FOR YOU!

The Hare And The Tortoise (Beat The Bullies!)

Written by Mike Nach

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This book is certainly not a rehash of the familiar tale, but rather a unique guide on the problem of bullying written to inform, entertain and enlighten children and adults. In the introduction, the author presents an overview on what bullying is, the effects of bullying, and the problems it causes. He promises that the story will help out victims of bullying.

His story is set in the peaceful forest where an alligator, bear, owl and python maintain law and order. Harry Hare is a natural athlete. His wife, Cathy scolds him for his vanity and tells him, “Your attitude sucks.” On the other hand, Tom Tortoise and his family are the slowest creatures in the forest, but they are kind and peaceful. One day while on his way to collect mushrooms for his family, Tom is accosted by Harry who taps on his shell and belittles him for his slowness. Poor Tom tries to avoid Harry and becomes troubled and anxious. But one day, Mr. Fox notices his worry and assures Tom he has a plan. Tom follows his suggestion, even though he is not confident that the plan will work. Harry will learn his lesson and Tom will have a peaceful life once more.

That is not the end of the lesson for the reader. In the second half of the book Nach provides a summary of the seven types of bullies: verbal bullies, emotional bullies, physical bullies, cyber bullies, sexual bullies, racist/status bullies, and adult bullies. More importantly, he sets up an action plan for the victims of bullies to pursue. The strategy includes remaining calm and confident, avoiding the bully whenever possible, controlling your emotions, reporting all instances to an authority figure, blocking gossip from the bully, and learning self defense. Nach’s final advice to a victim of bullying is never give up on yourself or give in to bullying others.

I recommend this book to parents, librarians, and teachers as an much needed and effective guide to introducing and discussing the problem of bullying to all school age children. The author does not preach, rather he talks to children in language they understand using phrases like, “whatever” and “don’t mess with me.” Makes the reader feel as if he is speaking with a good friend discussing a problem. In my opinion, that is what makes this book so enjoyable, informative and effective.

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