Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

THE REWARD WITHIN

The Gold Egg
Written by Ule B. Wise (Dan Wyson)
Illustrated by Jaimee Lee

This is a wonderful book for children of all ages. The author writes in crisp rhymes and the illustrations are colorful and appealing. At first, group of multicultural children is sitting under their favorite tree. An old man carrying a cane comes along. He tells the children to look up high in the tree. They notice the abandoned nest of the Kloonee bird high in the tree. The old man tells them the nest is so high because it contains a gold egg. All the children scoff at this, except for Devan who decides to find out for himself.

Devan finds the task daunting. He falls from the tree but gets up and tries again. His friends make fun of him. When Devan finally gets to the top, will he find a gold egg? What does he learn about himself and his friends?
This book teaches children the importance of courage and persistence. Reaching goals is possible if one believes in himself and persists despite obstacles. While this book might appear to be a picture book, its message is one for children of all ages. Recommended as an inspirational read-aloud for children and adults.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE

Tails of Sweetbrier

Written by Deanie Humphrys- Dunne

Illustrated by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj

tails-cover-front-w-seals

A warm and moving autobiography of a girl who had a dream of riding horses. That might not seem so tough to achieve until you discover that Deanie was afflicted with cerebral palsy. Deanie convinces her parents that she will work hard to achieve that dream, and her father opens up a riding school to support that dream.

Readers follow Deanie’s journey as she learns to walk, trot and canter on her pony, Little Man. As her confidence grows, she begins to dream of loftier goals. Despite a family tragedy with a barn fire that results in the loss of her horse, Chiefie, Deanie and her family persevere and rebuild. We follow their successes and failures as well as the physical hardships that Deanie endures.

The author teachers her young readers to reach for the stars. Work hard to achieve your dreams and use the challenges and failures that occur along the way as a ladder to climb to success. Beautifully written story written in less than one hundred pages that make it perfect for a middle grade and young adult audience. Deanie’s physical challenges and determination also provide inspiration for those with special needs and learning disabilities. The black and white illustrations draw the reader into the story and personalize the narrative enhancing its appeal. Highly recommended for readers age eight and older, especially those who love horses.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the right hand corner of this page.

ORIGINAL AND MEANINGFUL

Van Gogh Today: Short Stories: How Van Gogh still touches our Daily Lives (Secrets of Van Gogh Book 3)

Written by Kelly Cole Rappleye

Vangogh,pic

I really enjoyed the marriage of a discussion of one of my favorite artists intertwined with stories explaining the influence of this man’s work on the lives of six very different individuals.

For example, Lily Evans is a young girl of twenty who is passionate about both art and her writing, but she cannot find the correct path to channel her passions. A chance visit to Van Gogh’s art show at The Hermitage Museum allows her to view his painting, “The Pink Orchard.” She realizes that Van Gogh never gave up on finding enjoyment in life. Her depression is lifted and her writer’s block removed. Another character named Brett Smith is a wealthy businessman in New York City. Behind the scenes, Brett has just returned from one year of rehabilitation from cocaine and alcohol addiction and is attempting to readjust to his former lifestyle. He is inspired by a friend’s prized possession, Van Gogh’s painting, “The Little Stream,” painted just one year before the artist’s death. Reverend Dan is a minister who works at Juvenile Hall and attempts to give the troubled youth something positive to keep them on the right track. The minister showed them Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” to display an example of the beauty of this world that can be found anywhere, even if one grows up in the ghetto.

Van Gogh is one of the world’s most talented artists, but he never received recognition during his life and spent a large part of it living in poverty and depression. At the same time he was driven to share a positive image of the world around us. Rappleye, in my opinion, has written a unique and inspiring work that shares photographs and insights from Van Gogh’s life and work, while at the same time creating interesting characters who change their lives as a result of his influence.

I recommend this book to tweens, teens and adults who are interested in learning about a gifted artist, and who are also willing to open their minds to exploring the influence of art on our thinking and everyday lives.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or  by hitting on the orange RSS Feed button in the upper right corner of this post.

%d bloggers like this: