Posts tagged ‘loneliness’

#Hunting for a Good Friend

My Friend Moose’r McDan

Written by Sky Danley

Illustrated by Alli Coate

A bear is out hunting in the woods when he comes across a moose who is smiling from ear to ear. The bear is puzzled by this moose, Moose’r McDan, who requests his friendship.  The hunter decides to think about this and puts his gun aside. Will the hunter and the hunted become friends? Is it possible to turn potential enemies into friends?

This delightful picture book contains charming, colorful illustrations and rhyming text in bold text that is easy on the eyes of young readers. Recommended especially for preschoolers and kindergarten readers but also a fun read-aloud for beginning readers.

I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher and voluntarily decided to read and review with my honest opinions.

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ME TOO !

Wally Raccoon’s Farmyard Olympics Team Sports

Written by Leela Hope

 

Wally Raccoon hears a loud noise; he discovers that the animals on the farm are holding a Farmyard Olympics. Eager to join in the fun, Wally attempts to join the basketball and volleyball team. He is rebuffed and informed that there is no room for him. Wally is sad and disconsolate until Danny the Deer finds a solution to Wally’s dilemma.

There are four lines of rhyming text and an accompanying illustration on each spread. At times the rhyme seems a bit forced and unnatural. There are also a few editing errors. On the other hand, the book has value for young children who have experienced being left out and lonely. Recommended for children in the three to six age group.

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THREE TECHIE FRIENDS

Ai and Big City Adventure: New Age Pinocchio, Adventures of Ai, his new friends, and Old Man in the Big City

Written by Olga Go

 

Old Man Steve lives by himself in a small apartment in New York City and often feels lonely. One day he finds a smartphone and decides to try to fix it. He names the phone Ai. Suddenly, the phone comes to life. The next day, Ai leaves the apartment while Steve is sleeping. He plays in the park with a computer, a camera, and an i pad. They exchange information with each other. The new friends hatch a scheme to sell Ai to get some money. Ai is sold to Jack, but Ai feels guilty about leaving his friend Steve. They arrive at a compromise that makes everyone happy.

This story is a clever 21St Century Pinocchio story. The illustrations are modern, crisp, and colorful. Elementary school children will enjoy the clever characters and empathize with Steve’s plight. My only recommendation would be to make the print text bolder as it is sometimes difficult to read when placed against the illustrations.

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SCAREDY CAT

A VERY SCARY PUMPKIN

Written by Jeff Minich

Illustrated by Renee Garcia

Book Three in the Nuggies series featuring Chomper and Coco, who are dog and cat friends. Moving day is here, but when the family arrives at their new home, it turns out to be an old, scary hours that is haunted by a pumpkin. The pumpkin does not want the new owners, so she tries mightily to scare them all away. She even locks daddy out of the house, while she imprisons Coco and Chomper.

One night Chomper and Coco discover the true identity of the ghost and realize she is not scary, but really very lonely. How will the three resolve their issues? Will the family be able to settle peacefully in their new home?

This picture book is well laid out and attractively illustrated. I would caution reading it as a bedtime story for children who have nightmares, but it makes a good Halloween read aloud or book for classroom discussion. Especially recommended for children in the three to six age bracket.

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WHERE IS THAT REMOTE?

Conspirators of the Lost Sock and the Loose Change Collection Agency

Written by Dan O’Brien

Illustrated by Steve Ferchaud

conspiratorspic

Labeled as a Fantasy Noir by the author this short tale of less than fifty pages contains interesting characters and an engaging plot. Robert Pendleton is an elderly man who apparently lives alone. Upon waking up from his customary long sleep, he is annoyed to discover that he cannot find his remote control. He bends over, smashing a lamp in the process. Robert gets down on his knees and discovers a leprechaun standing at the back of his couch. Colin McMasters is in charge of the Loose Change Collection Agency. He has come to enlist Robert’s help to defeat a malevolent creature known as The Scourge. He is the leader of a sock army of soldiers harassing the community of leprechauns.

Robert cannot believe he is taking this tale seriously, but he agrees to enter the fantasy world through a broken washing machine. He is amazed to discover that Colin is telling the truth. Will Robert succeed in his mission to defeat the invaders and then find his way back home to his world.

Targeted for ages six through eighteen, the length of this book suggests it could be appropriate for younger readers. The charming black and white pencil illustrations aptly portray the characters, and the dialogue is fun to read. On the other hand, there are some challenging words like acerbic, undulating and gargantuan that might discourage readers under age ten. Definitely not a bedtime story, but certainly a creative and well-written tale that provides an interesting discussion topic.

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THE POWER OF SUGGESTION

The Hungriest Dragon A Tale of Food and Friendship

Written by Kimberly Segraves

Illustrated by Peipei Liu

HungriestDragon,pic

Lyric had just moved to a new neighborhood. He goes to the playground daily, but on one is ever there and he has been unable to find a friend. One day Lyric hears a growling noise. A red dragon steps out of the bushes. Frightened, Lyric falls from the slide ladder and finds the dragon standing over him. They strike up a conversation. Lyric invites the dragon to his house, but Dragon-Fire is most interested in meeting his pet cat. When they get to the house, Lyric finds his mother napping and his new friend doing his best to eat his cat, Dolly. Lyric tries to distract the dragon from her objective by enticing her with other types of foods, but nothing seems to work. Then Lyric’s mother wakes up and together they hatch a plot.

This story has a page count under seventy and bright colorful illustrations. It appears to be targeted to elementary school children. A few points in the plot concern me. Lyric goes alone to the playground day after day, his mother is home napping while he is away and he does not wake her when he gets home. It seems strange that there are never any children at the playground; no mention is made of school or other community sites where children gather. No doubt this book might appeal to children who like dragons or those who feel lonely after a new move, but I think the narrative might upset some children to see a pet cat chased and tied up. The idea of a lonely boy finding a friend is a good starting point, but the tale veers off in strange directions. I would recommend that parents and teachers read first and be prepared to answer their children’s questions.

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CHRISTMAS COLLAGE

Children’s Book: Saving Christmas (Kids Action Adventure)

Author: Morris Fenris

SavingChristmas,pic

The book description, cover and reviews suggest that this book is appropriate for children of all ages. Some parents might argue that it is not at all appropriate for children, but rather suited to young adults and adults.

There are four parts. In the first, readers meet a girl named Mary who generally spends Christmas alone. On Christmas Eve, she is out for a ride on her horse when she hears a strange noise and meets with an accident resulting in her being thrown from her horse. When she wakes up, Mary finds herself in a strange cabin with a white haired man. She is surrounded by unfamiliar sights and sounds. The second story features Mrs. Claus at the North Pole many years later supervising the elves on Christmas Eve. She experiences a strange sense of foreboding and a dramatic change in Santa’s personality. Part Three leads Mary to a sleigh ride in order to find Santa’s mother. The reindeer Vixen knows that she will be able to save Christmas. Finally in the fourth part, Mary realizes her true role and the reader learns what happened to Mary’s horse on the night of her accident.

The stories contain many run on sentences and grammar that needs some editing. It is difficult to classify the genre of these stories. Elements of romance, mystery, and adventure, but definitely not a kids book. This book contains some familiar characters and symbols, but adults should be aware of multiple layers of meaning and some inappropriate language.

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