Posts tagged ‘sharing’

TINY BUT FEARLESS

The Adventures of Geraldine Woolkins

Written by Karin Kaufman

A delightful chapter book consisting of ten stories that revolve around a fearless family of mice facing the dangers and challenges of winter. Geraldine is the protagonist who was born in April, but now in October is facing the end of the gathering season. She and her brother Nigel have much to learn and experience. Readers are introduced to their friends in the forest, Penelope, the sparrow and Cheddar, a white rabbit. The children love to hear their father Nigel read to them stories from the Book of Tales. These adventures teach them about common sense, trust, gratitude, empathy and sharing. As October wanes, the family and friends celebrate Thanksgiving and the joys of Christmas. On the other hand, the children’s curiosity put them in danger of being eaten by wolves and ravens, swept down the river on a log and being destroyed by a forest fire. Charlotte is a sensitive and inquisitive mouse who desires to read, write and explore the world around her. She and her brother share sibling rivalry, but at the same time deeply love and care for one another. Their parents teach them to have faith that Very, Very Big Hands will be there to guide and protect them.

This chapter book is geared toward readers in grades three to six. Some younger children may enjoy individual stories as a read aloud. There are no illustrations; a few simple drawings would add appeal to younger children. I would thoroughly recommend the book as a gentle, sweet read for children who love animals. The many lessons learned and bravery in facing adversity allow for lots of discussion on the topics of developing strong character and interpersonal skills.

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SHARING MEANS CARING – BOOK BLITZ

Bash and Lucy Fetching Jealousy Book Two

Written by Lisa and Michael Cohn

Illustrated by Heather Nichols

BashandLucy,pic

Book Two in the Bash and Lucy Picture Book series is a charming picture book for children in the early elementary grades. In this adventure, Lucy is the mascot of Bash’s soccer team; her support has helped lead them to the team championship. Lucy delights the crowd with her antics dressed in her baseball uniform and cap. But on the day of the championship, another team led by a boy named Tristan asks that they allow Lucy to guide their team to a win in the Special Olympics. Bash and his teammates are overcome with jealousy as they watch Lucy cheering and entertaining for another team. They become so desperate that they crawl around the ground acting like puppies in order to lure Lucy back to them.

Lucy is overjoyed to help her new friends and doesn’t have a problem sharing, but Bash and the team can’t seem to understand. Who will win Lucy’s loyalty? Is there a way that both teams can win?

The illustrations in this book are beautifully done in soft pastel colors, portraying the emotions of the characters well. I think that children will experience the deep emotions on both sides. This book can help parents and teachers guide children to understand their feelings of jealousy in a simple, forthright way. Recommended especially for children ages five through eight.

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BOOK BLAST – MYTHS FOR TOTS

Reviews of two books in the Mini Myths Series: Be Patient, PANDORA! and Play Nice, HERCULES!

Written by Joan Holub

Illustrated by Leslie Patricelli

Be Patient, PANDORA!

Pandora,pic

At first glance, you might say how could a toddler possibly understand the connections between Greek mythology and a toddler’s learning curve, but you are mistaken. Holub has deftly taken the story of Pandora’s box and woven it into a wonderful twenty-four page toddler board book. Each page contains a picture, one word or one sentence to portray a tot named Pandora, who simply cannot contain her curiosity when her mother tells her not to open the box. She cannot resist and then fears rejection and loss of her mother’s love when her curiosity gets the best of her. Patricelli knows exactly how to convey the story in pictures that are so simple yet expressive with the generalization needed for young children to understand the plot.

 

 

 

 

Play Nice, HERCULES!

Hercules,picThis book has more text than the first, but does not go beyond one sentence on a page. Hercules is a toddler who has a habit of getting into mischief. Patricelli says it all in the wonderful facial expressions in her character. Dad warns him to play nice with his little sister who is sitting on the floor with her blocks. You can guess what happens when Hercules decides to display his strength. I especially enjoyed the way Holub used sound words like whomp-stomp and ka-boom to combine pictures and actions of the story. Mighty Hercules will have to learn how to contain his powers, and the siblings will learn a valuable lesson in the process.

Both sturdy board books contain summaries of the Greek myths upon which they are based on the back cover of the book. This is particularly useful for adult readers who may have forgotten the story and also allows the young child to “grow into” an interest for classical Greek literature at a later point in time. Parents and teachers may use the series as an early introduction to fine literature as well as a way to teach the skills and values that toddlers are beginning to develop. If you enjoyed reading these reviews, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed number in the upper right hand corner of this page.

LESSONS FROM OUR ANIMAL FRIENDS

Tales of the Friendly Forest

Written by Alexi Lushkin
Translated from Russian by Galina Krylova

TalesoftheFriendlyForest,pic

This kindle book is a collection of ten fairy tales told from the point of view of several animals living in the forest. At the outset the reader is introduced to a poem that tells of the song of the forest. The animals in the tales introduce themselves one verse at a time. In the beginning, the forest was in chaos. Each of the animals went about doing whatever he wanted. One day a clubfooted bear shouted out to the other animals of the forest from the top of a tree that from now on there would be a truce; all animals would be friends to one another and there would be no territorial boundaries. From that point on, all the animals of the forest had their own names, but they were all friends and helpers to each other.

The rest of the stories focus on one or two animals who are able to teach the reader about compassion for others, the need to share knowledge, not to be afraid of the unknown, and to be true to oneself. In the story about fashion, the animals decide to be fashion mongers. Even though the boars delight in rolling around in the mud, they then rub against the trees ridding themselves of all dirt. The animals decide that boars are the neatest and cleanest animals in the forest. Appearances can be deceiving! In the story about the forest beasts watching children play hockey, children learn that TV and cinema did not always exist, there should be time for other pursuits.

These short stories are intended for children and adults. The format is a bit unusual in that the book begins with a poem and then switches to verse. In a few places the flow is a bit choppy due to the translation. Still, I found the stories refreshing with good lessons for children and reminders for adults. The book can be broken up into sections for younger children and read independently by children eight and older. Makes a nice bedtime story book for children who love animals.

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AN UNLIKELY PAIR

The Elephant, Cow and The Yummy Bananas (Shortest Story Book Series for Children)

Written by Sarah G.

TheElephant,CowandtheYummyBananapic

This is the story of a baby elephant and a cow who are the best of friends. One day they are walking in the forest when they come upon a banana tree laden with ripe fruit. Cow asks elephant to reach the banana by using its trunk. Elephant obliges him, but suddenly elephant remarks, “I am hungry and I will have it.” Cow is upset and reminds his friend that he saw the tree first and should have its fruit. The two friends argued for a long time. After a while, a monkey sauntered by. The two friends asked him to be a mediator dividing the bananas equally and offering him a share. Monkey thought for a time before jumping up into the tree grabbing a banana and then peeling it. He did not divide the banana, but peeled it giving cow and monkey equal pieces of peel. Then he began to eat all of the banana himself!

The elephant asked him, “Why are you justified in eating the banana and giving us only the peel?” Then the monkey pointed out that they are two friends who are on opposite sides arguing, but that he is in the middle. Isn’t it logical that he should eat the middle part, while the two parties arguing eat the parts that are on the two sides? While the two friends pondered about this, the monkey ate all the rest of the bananas and left cow and elephant with only the peels. Finally, the two friends realized their mistake. Elephant was the first to yield. They admit to each other that they were wasting time arguing, and that friends need to share with each other. By being greedy, each of them was exploited by the monkey. From that day on, cow and elephant resolve to play and help each other sharing without hesitation.

This kindle short story is a great read aloud for young children who are in the “me” stage. The animal friends are an easy way to introduce the values of sharing and friendship. My one criticism is that the book lacks illustrations which could have been very effective in reinforcing the concepts that the author is delineating in the story. Parents and classroom teachers might want to use the book to address sibling rivalry or “how to play well and get along with others.”

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