Posts tagged ‘imagination’


From the Magical Mind of Mindy Munson

Written by Nikki Bennett


I am delighted to take part in the Blog Tour for this book for which I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. It is an interesting middle grade chapter book story that combines so many wonderful elements.

This story relates what happens to the Munson family after their parents are killed in a car accident. Susie, the eldest at age eleven, narrates the tale. Other members of the family include Tucker, age nine, and twins Jesse and Mindy, age five. They have recently moved into a dilapidated house purchased by their Aunt Julie, who is now their legal guardian. Mindy has been traumatized by her parents’ death and refuses to speak. Her only communication is occasional whisperings to her twin Jesse. All the children still see a psychologist weekly.

Their adventures are told by Susie even though most the imaginary characters are seen through the mind of young Mindy. Oh, yes, this house is haunted. There are monsters, spiders, ghosts, dragons, a leprechaun and something sinister that lives in the basement. Together with Danny and Anna, the kids who live next door, the children spend the summer exploring the huge backyard and house. The older children suspect that Mindy is imagining all these things, yet they hear the noises and see the clues left behind like a toy triceratops and a red feather. When the new school year comes around, the children are apprehensive about beginning all over again. At first Mindy is bullied because she does not speak. The winter brings more adventures like a new boarder named Adam who lives in the cottage, an abominable snowman, and a close call when Tucker falls through the frozen pond.

In little more than one hundred pages, Bennett manages to deal with so many issues: death, bullying, unsolved mysteries, coming of age, blended families, and childhood fears. The story is told with lots of humor, authentic dialogue, and well-developed characters. Chapters are short; many have charming pencil drawn illustrations. This keeps the book interesting for the younger reader. Length of chapters make it a good choice for a classroom read aloud. Highly recommended for boys and girls ages seven through twelve. Don’t miss it!

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Johnny’s Adventure Makes Reading Fun

Written by Jodi DeSautels

Illustrated by Sarah Bowman

Johnny's Adventure in Readingpic

The story begins with a familiar scene for many parents. It’s a rainy day and Johnny cannot go outside. His mother suggests that he read a book, but Johnny does not want to read. In school he is often a victim of bullying because he reads too slowly and has trouble sounding out the words.

Fortunately, Johnny’s mom encourages him by inquiring what kind of adventure would he like to experience. Maybe he could transform himself into a hunter, king, acrobat or adventurer. When he says that he he would like to travel to outer space, she accommodates him by helping Johnny find a helmet, walkie-talkies and a refrigerator box for a spaceship. Together they use their imaginations and bodies to act out a space launch scenario.

Johnny now feels so much better about himself. His mom takes advantage of that to urge him to write and illustrate a story about the adventure. She continues to draw him into conversations that will extend learning as he gets deeper and deeper into the project. In no time at all, Johnny has stretched his knowledge base and enriched his vocabulary.

This book will not only provide an enjoyable story of encouragement for reluctant readers in the early grades of elementary school, but also allows parents and teachers to use it a a teaching model. This adventure  provides a warning about the effects of bullying on the self-esteem of children. The author makes her points simply and effectively. I recommend that you take a look.

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Written and illustrated by: Natalie Tinti


This is the second book in the Sewing a Friendship series. The first book was written by Ms. Tinti when she was ten years old. In this new book, we again meet our young friends: Sokron Blossom, Nina Key, Jonsy Jipsey, Meeka Venya and Kiki Shaver. Grandma Babushka oversees matters; Dogon the dog is the faithful messenger secret agent, and The-Wind narrates as himself.

The Wind begins the story when he notices that Dogon is scurrying to Meeka’s house with a message tied around his neck. The letter reveals that Nina has a horrible scratch on her finger and cannot play her music. Meeka, the math nerd , tries to think up a way to make her feel better. Dogon dashes to Jonsy who finds a Happy Song as a present. Dogon finds Kiki next. She is trying on her outfit from her last fashion show.  Before meeting these girls, she did not care much about others. She ponders how she can help Nina. Finally, Dogon arrives at Sokron’s home where she is cutting out pictures of dresses from a fashion magazine. She rummages though her closet to find a gift. Dogon reports back to Grandma Babushka who has been hiding in a tree surveying the situation from afar.

The girls arrive at Nina’s home to surprise her. Nina has been in her room and has just found Bellkoo’s album of songs about friendship and never giving up. That reminds Nina of her own friends. At that moment, the doorbell rings. The four girls have never been in Nina’s house and are shocked to see how strict and tidy it appears. Notes everywhere say, “Don’t touch this!” They are relieved to find that Nina’s room is a mess. Each one of them has a special present for Nina., which represents each of their personalities.

The Wind watches as the second part of the book unfolds. Nina suggests that they tell stories and draw pictures on fabric to represent them. She begins by narrating a tale of friendship like their own. As each girl creatively adds to the imaginary story, they incorporate their personality and elements of their friendship. The stories are cleverly written and interwoven. Tinti  provides an appendix with a find the differences picture and then invites the readers to submit their own stories to her, which she will incorporate in a new book written for children by children.

The illustrations are done in manga style in vivid colors. These characters remind me of Precious Moments figures. Middle grade readers will find them delightful. They share similar issues, likes and dislikes with their readers. A delightful story and a worthwhile addition to a parent or classroom library. Adults will enjoy the creativity displayed in this book. Looking forward to seeing more from this young author and  reading that collection of stories from children around the world.

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