Posts tagged ‘generosity’

JUNGLE MATES

The Jungle Crew

Written by Emma Scott

 

The lion walks alone in the forest until he comes across a lonely hippo. The two become friends and the journey continue as new animals like a giraffe, elephant, toucan, zebra, and monkey eventually join in the fun. Each of the animals brings a new character trait or talent like humor, brains, loyalty, and generosity to the group.  The animals bring out the best in one another.

While the illustrations are simple and rather stylized, the rhymes are crisp and sharp. Counting skills are reinforced as each new animal is introduced. I would recommend this book as a bedtime story or fun read-aloud for children ages two through five.

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BAREFOOT AND BEAUTIFUL

The Girl With No Shoes

Written by B.J. Rand

girlwithnoshoes,pic

Charming and delightful book, the first in a series of books based on the character Arielle, written for children ages nine through twelve. This is a longer length chapter book based on Arielle and her two pets, Britches, the dog, and Nosy, the black cat. Arielle and her pets love to take walks in the hollow. Britches and Nosy are unusual in the fact that they both communicate in English with their mistress.

One day the three friends come upon a little girl sitting by a tree crying and barefoot. Upon hearing a loud man’s voice, she runs away. Arielle and her pets are mystified and worried for the stranger’s safety. They want to meet her again and agree to find a pair of shoes for her to wear. In the meantime, Nosy finds a pair of ballet slippers that fell out of a box near a neighbor’s house. They bring the shoes to the hollow, but cannot find the girl. Eventually one day the shoes disappear, and after repeated trips to the hollow, the girl appears and tells them her name, Francesca. She thanks them and promises to dance for them one day.

On Halloween night a stranger comes to the door and beckons them. Nosy lives up to her reputation and decides to investigate by following her home. That initiates a trail to another mystery that the three friends will have to solve. Will they ever learn the true identity of Francesca and why she has chosen Arielle and her pet family? No spoilers here, but children will learn it is better to give unselfishly and always be true to your own passion in life.

While it may seem difficult for tweens to accept this story line, it works seamlessly. You want to believe in all the characters and empathize with them. The vocabulary of the text is challenging enough but not overwhelming for the average reader. I had to finish reading it one sitting. Can’t wait to see the rest of the series.

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WE ALL NEED A FRIEND

The Royal Palm

Written by Mrs. D

Illustrated by Chanoa

RoyalPalm,pic

This story begins at its end with the protagonist, a stately Royal Palm, reflecting on her beautiful new home. Born on an island in the middle of an ocean that was often brushed with violent storms, she grew up in the shadows of short, plain palm trees who protected her while she was little. The Royal Palm dreamed of living in the garden of a majestic palace. As she grows older, the Royal Palm brags about her beauty and becomes snobby, refusing to play with her plain cousins. She admonishes the green parrots and lizards who mess up her hair and leaves. What she does not realize is that as she grows taller, she becomes weaker and more vulnerable. The day will come when the sun will parch her roots and violent winds will bend her limbs. How does she survive?

As is the case with Mrs. D’s other books, the language is lyrical and colorful. She describes the Royal Palm: “Glittering with playful diamonds, her silver dress waved in the air, filled with aroma and warmth.” In contrast, the plain palms are depicted as “dressed in dull brown dresses.” Mrs. D effectively employs the techniques of alliteration, personification and analogy to communicate her message. Chanoa’s illustrations filled with gorgeous pastel colors and animated facial expressions never fail to disappoint the reader.

This book is targeted for ages six through ten. Younger readers are able to follow the story while it is read aloud through the illustrations, while children aged eight and older will be better suited to independent reading of the text. Mrs.s D addresses many of the difficult issues children face in dealing with their peers in a whimsical, charming tale. Highly recommended.

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A FRIEND IN NEED

The Christmas Owl

Written by Angela Muse

Illustrated by Helen M. Wu

The Christmas Owl, pic

This short thirty- two page book perfectly illustrates the reason for the season! The story presents an owl protagonist who has fallen out of its nest and is now unable to fly. This poor creature hops from place to place seeking refuge from the cold and snow. He meets four animals on his journey, a rabbit, a bat, a mouse and a duck. Each of them is reluctant to share its shelter and questions the owl as to what food will he eat. But the owl does not mean to intrude and makes due with whatever that animal has readily available in their shelter. The next morning the owl departs without notice. On Christmas Eve, he is able to fly again and soars to his nest. However, the first thing he does is fly back to each of his benefactors and drop a gift with a thank you note to each of the Good Samaritans!

This story is written in rhyme which is very well written and in smoothly flowing verse. Accompanying the text are gorgeous illustrations done in soft, warm colors which project the warm and cozy feeling of the plot. The faces of the animals appear almost human; personification plays a large role in the story line. For example, the bat is an avid reader of books; the mouse has a very cozy house complete with rugs, furniture and a warm, glowing lantern. Even very young children will understand the message of kindness and the gratification that comes from helping someone in need. The owl’s generosity and extension of friendship and thanks sets up a powerful model lesson for children and adults to follow.

I highly recommend this book for children aged three to adults and as an excellent addition to a home library, classroom reading shelf, or the public library. The author and illustrator have done a wonderful job of merging images and story line. This book is sure to become a favorite Christmas story to be reread every year. Personally, I can’t wait to read this one to my grandchildren!

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About the Book

The Christmas Owl by Angela MuseTitle: The Christmas Owl

Author: Angela Muse

Illustrator: Helen H. Wu

Publication Date: November, 2013

Publisher: Independent – 4eyesbooks

Number of pages: 36

Recommended age: 3+

Summary

A Barred owl becomes injured and must ask others for help. He promises to give back to those who have a generous heart and he is true to his word. Also check out Lil Glimmer, The Nutt Family: An Acorny Adventure, The Pig Princess, The Bee Bully, Eager Eaglets: Birds of Play, Cactus Charlie, Suzy Snowflake and Monsters Have Mommies by this author.

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** You can download a copy of “The Christmas Owl” for only 99 cents from NOW through to November 14, 2013 on Amazon!! **

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About the Author: Angela Muse

Angela Muse, Author

Angela Muse

I was born in California to a military family. This meant that I was the “new kid” in school every couple of years. It was hard always trying to make new friends, but I discovered I had a knack for writing. I began writing poetry in high school and really enjoyed expressing myself by using pen and paper. After becoming a Mom in 2003, I continued my storytelling to my own children. In 2009 I wrote and published my first children’s book aimed at toddlers. In 2012 I am set to release several more children’s books. Check out what I’m working on by visiting my children’s book blog.

Writing is such a wonderful creative process and I look forward to sharing more of my stories with lots of new little readers!

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* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

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

Contest runs: November 12 to December 11, 11:59 pm, 2013

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, Angela Muse 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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