Posts tagged ‘self-sacrifice’

CHAIN REACTION

Kara’s Christmas Smile

Written by A.M. Marcus

Illustrated by Oliver Bundoc

karaschristmassmilepic

Kara and her mom are shopping in a store on Christmas Eve. Kara is searching for one special Christmas gift as she and her mom prepare to celebrate the holiday. Kara finds a stuffed kitten that she really wants, but notices the disappointed look on a young boy looking on. She voluntarily hands him the kitten feeling the Christmas spirit. That same boy bumps into a woman and knocks her belongings to the floor. He helps her pick them up. As that woman waits in line at the store, she gives up her place in line to a father and impatient young son. The father and son step outside and notice an elderly lady who has fallen on the ice. They offer a ride to the clinic to get her medical care, and so the chain continues as each new character embraces and shares the Christmas spirit.

Illustrations are simple but lovely. The book aptly conveys the spirit of the holiday season. Perfect choice for beginning readers and a fun classroom or family read to share.

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

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS

A Homespun Christmas: A 1929 Christmas Novella

Written by M.L. Gardner

HomespunChristmas,picThis is part of the author’s 1929 series and the first of them I have had the pleasure of reading. I must admit that it was the title which attracted my interest. That is not to say the book is without substance. Even though the book is less than one hundred pages, Gardner deftly paints the character and emotions of three families who have endured much hardship during the depression. They no longer have financial resources, but make up for it in love and generosity of spirit.

The reader travels through the Christmas season of 1933 beginning on December 19 and ending on December 25. Three friends, Jonathan, Caleb and Ian work hard on their fishing boat to provide the bare necessities for their families. They and their wives have promised not to exchange gifts so they can afford something for the children. The reader watches the self-sacrifice of the parents as they secretly figure out ways to please each other. One of their children, Jean desperately wants to buy a doll for his sister Amy. His friend Owin understands his pain and hides his own savings for Jean to find. The fact that Owin can see and hear “angels” and knows when deceased relatives are present is a nice holiday touch. You are reminded of O’Henry and feel the real meaning of Christmas. These characters are exquisitely drawn; the reader feels their ups and downs as well as their happiness and their pain.

Highly recommend this book around holiday time or any time you want to feel uplifted. This novella weaves together a dose of history, life’s struggles, humor, family life, holiday traditions and appealing characters in one neat package. Recommended for tweens, teens and adults.

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

WISHING A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY READERS CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAY!

OZETTE’S ODYSSEY

Ozette’s Destiny: Tales From Farlandia

Written by Judy Pierce

Ozette's Destiny pic

Ozette is a beautiful white squirrel marked with just a touch of gray down her back and on her head. She has come to the forest known as Farlandia on the advice of her grandmother, The Divine Miss Piddlewinks, who had given her a golden acorn. Ozette had been blamed for the encroachment of humans into their world because she was different from other squirrels. Upon reaching Farlandia, she planted a golden acorn. The forest bloomed with life, fairies, elves, nature, royalty, and all sorts of mythical creatures.

This book will entertain anyone from age seven through seventy. Its characters spin a tale of adventures that teach many lessons, cooperation, team work, loyalty, bravery, self-sacrifice and numerous others. At the beginning of the book we meet a scruffy white dog named Duchess Zorina who got lost while exploring outside the palace of Queen Beatrix. This turns out to be the beginning of Ozette’s adventures as she and her friends rescue “ DK.” Ozette gets to ride on a unicorn to visit the palace. The Queen insists on rewarding Ozette, giving her a crown and making her queen of the forest. Ozette has long been the humble caretaker of the forest, and her friends involve her in many of their foibles. She experiences life as a hummingbird, rides a parachute, and has her fur dyed pink! She remains a steadfast friend and never deserts a friend in need, even when he has been sprayed by a skunk! Like a true mother hen, Ozette feels a responsibility for all the creatures of the forest. She does not fear responsibility, but she is never overbearing nor does she want to impose her will upon others.

There are many touches of humor. Oliver’s boxer shorts disappear only to emerge as an elaborate bungee jump game for Ozette’s coronation festivities. The spiders weave an elaborate web parachute for her that has been dyed lavender. The Spice Squirrels are singing on stage, while birds and cicadas maintain a steady beat! Oliver, the elf has been busy in his kitchen baking all sorts of goodies. In fact, the author provides a list of delicious recipes that the reader will enjoy making and eating after reading the book.

Young children will enjoy the book if it is broken up into chapters as a read aloud. Older children and adults will fly through its approximately 160 pages as the fast paced story will compel you into quickly finishing it. I am looking forward to reading many more of Ozette’s adventures and the nuggets of wisdom that she drops for us.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow in the lower right hand corner or hit the orange RSS feed button at the top right of this post.

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: