Posts tagged ‘forest’

SERVICE ORIENTED

Louis Joseph’s OOO-RAH

Written by Jennie E. Nicossio

Illustrated by Dorothy Ransil

Louis-Joseph is an adorable bear cub who has an insatiable curiosity and a desire to serve in the marines just like his dad. He has a best friend named Dusty who is a cat with a warble eye. Louis is kind and generous, he never bullies or makes fun of his friend. When Louis overhears one of his mother’s navy friends suggest that Louis practice for being a marine by digging a foxhole in the yard and living in it for a week., Louis and Dusty decide to take it one step farther and build a foxhole in the forest. Their parents are in a frenzy. All the military forces are called out to search for them. Dusty and Louis learn a valuable lesson to place their schooling first and always tell their parents where they are going to be.

This is a cute and easy to read beginning chapter book that is especially appropriate for ages six through eight, but younger children will also enjoy the story that contains a few beautiful illustrations accompanying the text.

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METEOR MICK

Arnold and Louis. Reach for the Stars

Written by Harvey Storm

 

This is my second time reading a book in this series for children ages three through five. Mick the Meteor has been falling through space for a long time. He falls asleep but wakes up just before hitting the Earth. Arnold, the Moose, and Louis, the Goose, are relaxing in their home in the forest at the edge of the swamp when they hear a crash and see smoke. Mick has landed in the swamp. When Arnold and Louis arrive at the swamp they find smoke coming from a small stone covered with precious stones lying in the mud.

Arnold and Louis are surprised when the stone begins to talk. Mick informs them that he really wants to go home. Arnold and Louis attempt to construct a catapult to launch Mick into space. They try unsuccessfully one hundred different ways. Miss Gorilla tells them that they need a rocket to reach outer space. They work together as a team until a successful rocket launch is achieved.

Appealing illustrations and vivid colors along with nice graphics make this series a good choice for preschoolers. Fun characters and moral lessons motivate the young reader.

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AUTUMN ANXIETY

The Forest Painter: A Short Story

Written by Diane Mae Robinson

Deep within The Majestic Forest, a bugle call from the top of Peak Mountain has summoned the fairy sprites, the elves, and the wind weavers to perform their autumn responsibilities. But Aura, the Forest Painter, who has been designated to paint the leaves in autumn colors, feels she cannot accomplish the task. Her grandmother was the master painter. Both Aura’s grandmother and parents have already left to paint the heavens. Aura complains that she has not been prepared properly for the task. If she cannot complete her work before the frost arrives, the frost queen will claim the forest forever. Kepa urges her to ask Boreal to help, but Aura believes that Boreal once stole her grandmother’s paintbrush. Will Aura succeed in her race against time to save the trees of the forest? All the plants and animals of the forest are dependent upon her.

This twelve-page story is written with tenderness and empathy. Robinson has deftly woven personification and alliteration with a cadence of language that is charming. Written for a middle-grade audience, it is a sweet and sensitive read that will appeal to a wide range of audiences from beginning reader to adult. Perfect afternoon read to get into the spirit of the changing season.

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WHISPERS, WOLVES AND WITCHES – BLOG TOUR

Whispers of Trees (Mythic Adventures Collection: Book 2)

Written by Ben Woodard

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I received a copy of this book in return for an honest, non-biased review.

Bridget and Colin are walking through the Irish woods ahead of their parents and ten year old brother, Declan. Suddenly Colin disappears; Bridget thinks that he has been eaten by a wolf. A park ranger assures the family Colin will be found. When they go into town to file a report with the town constable, a strange looking lady named Mrs. O’Leary suggests that they must go into the woods so that the trees can guide them to Colin. Colin’s dad angrily puts his foot down, refusing to listen. Declan sneaks out and goes back into the dark woods to find the strange old woman who may be able to lead him to his brother. When Declan finds her in a odd cabin filled with computers and a bubbling cauldron, he is puzzled, but also drawn to follow her. Mrs. O’Leary demands that he go into the woods where the spirits of the trees will speak to him. By taming his fears, not only will he be successful in finding his brother, but he will also bring peace and tranquility to the family.

This mystery set in the mythical woods of Ireland mixes elements of adventure, myth, thriller, and family relationships. Targeted reader audience is ages seven through twelve. This is a story with many layers of meaning which are exposed by repeated readings, and one that could definitely be used for guided reading in a classroom discussion on many topics. Perfect as well for a family read aloud and group discussion.

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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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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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ONE SIMPLE WISH

Kanuki and the Wishing Tree

Written by Meredith Kennedy

Illustrated by Ali Masoud

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Meredith Kennedy is a veterinarian who lives in Tanzania. She is certainly familiar with the animals of the Serengeti. This tale is about a young giraffe named Kanuki who despairs because she has a short neck. She has tried  in vain to make it grow. One day she journeys through the forest asking all the animals that she meets to give her advice on how to make that happen. Alas, each of them tells her not to worry, and explain how their adaptation is more useful. For instance, the monkey tells Kanuki, “Tails are much better. You can swing and climb with a long tail like mine.” Kanuki tries to explain that being a giraffe, that is not what she needs. Finally, Kanuki meets an animal who is willing to help. I won’t give the answer away, but this animal leads her directly to a solitary tree atop a steep hill. Kanuki  learns only that this is a Wishing Tree. She must choose her own path. The only requirement is to believe in herself.

At first Kanuki remains frustrated, but then the giraffe makes her decision. What does Kanuki discover? Were the other animals in the forest correct? Will Kanuki ever find happiness and learn to fit into her own community?

The illustrations in this book are done by an art student. They are quite impressive. The black and white simple pencil drawings are unique and pleasing to the eye. The small banners of all the animals dispersed throughout the pages are effective as well. Kennedy’s story makes a nice read aloud for a younger child. This book also provides a good early reader chapter book. The simple moral lessons embedded in the story are worthwhile ones for the young reader. I would suggest this book as a nice, enjoyable addition to a parent, classroom or school library. This book is also distributed by Worldreader,  an organization that distributes free e books to deserving children, supplying another good reason to purchase it!

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