Posts tagged ‘sun’

A DARK FUTURE

The Crocodile Who Swallowed The Sun

Written by Bachar Karroum

Illustrated by Luis Perez

A crocodile living in the swamp sees himself as king of all creatures. He wants to see all creatures cower before him.

One day he decides to swallow the sun to demonstrate that power. The rooster, donkey, goat, and rabbit try to persuade him to change his mind. When the crocodiles baby brother runs out of food, he realizes his mistake. The sun is necessary for all living things to survive.

What lessons does the crocodile learn? Can he repair the damage that he has done?

This is a cute, nicely illustrated rhyming picture book for preschoolers and primary grade readers.

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FOREVER FRIENDS

The Sunny Adventure: a story about friendship

Written by Ira Alice

Illustrations by ElenaTeplove

Translated by Nina Kutia

This book is a tender tale about a little fox named Redkin and her first hunting quest. Redkin is rather lazy. She reacts with shock where her mother tells her to go out and find her own food. A bit reluctantly, Redkin sets off on her quest. She looks up at the Sun and decides that it looks like a delicious pancake. She decides to bring it home to her mother.

Redkin meets a frog named Loudcroak along her route. They decide to become partners. Redkin remains fearful but Loudcroak provides the courage and inspiration to continue their search. Other animals offer advice, but the sun continues to elude them.

How will Redkin handle her defeat? What does the fox learn about friendship, compassion, and bravery?

This book is targeted for ages six through twelve. While the length of the book is appropriate for a beginning chapter book, some of the vocabularies are a bit advanced for the lower end of this audience. I would recommend the book particularly for reluctant readers; the illustrations are beautiful and suited to the mood of the tale. Recommended especially for readers ages eight through twelve.

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SIZING THINGS UP

Short or Tall Doesn’t Matter at All

Written by Asaf Rozanes

Mia is very short. This distresses her because her classmates often make fun of her and exclude her from activities.

Mia reveals her problem to her father. He tells her a fairytale about the sun and moon and how they became friends. One day a situation unfolds at school that proves to the other children there is value in being small. The other children learn an important lesson from Mia. They now understand she also has many special talents. Size does not matter.

This picture book is written in rhyme. It works, for the most part, but the story would have been just as effective if written in prose. Recommended especially for students in the six to ten age group but an important lesson for middle-school students as well.

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FOREVER FRIENDS

The Sunny Adventure: a story about true friendship (Animal World Alice Ira Book 1)

Written by Alice Ira

Illustrated by Elena Teplova

Translated by Nina Kutia

This book is a tender tale about a little fox named Redkin and her first hunting quest. Redkin is rather lazy. She reacts with shock where her mother tells her to go out and find her own food. A bit reluctantly, Redkin sets off on her quest. She looks up at the Sun and decides that it looks like a delicious pancake. She decides to bring it home to her mother.

Redkin meets a frog named Loudcroak along her route. They decide to become partners. Redkin remains fearful but Loudcroak provides the courage and inspiration to continue their search. Other animals offer advice, but the sun continues to elude them.

How will Redkin handle her defeat? What does the fox learn about friendship, compassion, and bravery?

This book is targeted for ages six through twelve. While the length of the book is appropriate for a beginning chapter book, some of the vocabulary is a bit advanced for the lower end of this audience. I would recommend the book particularly for reluctant readers; the illustrations are beautiful and suited to the mood of the tale. Recommended especially for readers ages eight through twelve.

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ROOM TO GROW

The Scribbles: Inspiring Kids to Draw

Rebecca and James McDonald

This is a charming black and white book that encourages children to learn to draw. Many children feel frustrated because they lack an artistic flair. Readers are introduced to three-line drawings dubbed The Scribbles. Anyone who came across the page thought them a bunch of scribblers. One day a child came along and said hello. The child saw the great potential that each of the scribbles might be. This child could see a sun, a mountain and a tree possibility within their lines. The child was just beginning to learn to draw, but he persisted until he created a sun and a mountain. But when the child approached the third scribble, he became frustrated and disheartened. It was The Scribbles turn to encourage and motivate the child to continue until he succeeded. Soon the child was pushing himself to more complicated drawings.

I like the author’s message that there is potential to succeed if a child has the courage to persist. The amount of talent is not nearly as important as the determination to succeed. Recommended especially for preschoolers and primary grade children as a motivational tool.

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WE ALL NEED A FRIEND

The Royal Palm

Written by Mrs. D

Illustrated by Chanoa

RoyalPalm,pic

This story begins at its end with the protagonist, a stately Royal Palm, reflecting on her beautiful new home. Born on an island in the middle of an ocean that was often brushed with violent storms, she grew up in the shadows of short, plain palm trees who protected her while she was little. The Royal Palm dreamed of living in the garden of a majestic palace. As she grows older, the Royal Palm brags about her beauty and becomes snobby, refusing to play with her plain cousins. She admonishes the green parrots and lizards who mess up her hair and leaves. What she does not realize is that as she grows taller, she becomes weaker and more vulnerable. The day will come when the sun will parch her roots and violent winds will bend her limbs. How does she survive?

As is the case with Mrs. D’s other books, the language is lyrical and colorful. She describes the Royal Palm: “Glittering with playful diamonds, her silver dress waved in the air, filled with aroma and warmth.” In contrast, the plain palms are depicted as “dressed in dull brown dresses.” Mrs. D effectively employs the techniques of alliteration, personification and analogy to communicate her message. Chanoa’s illustrations filled with gorgeous pastel colors and animated facial expressions never fail to disappoint the reader.

This book is targeted for ages six through ten. Younger readers are able to follow the story while it is read aloud through the illustrations, while children aged eight and older will be better suited to independent reading of the text. Mrs.s D addresses many of the difficult issues children face in dealing with their peers in a whimsical, charming tale. Highly recommended.

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HOW DO YOU SEE IT?

Good Morning World!

Written by Mrs. D

Illustrated by Eladziem

GoodMorningWorld

 

This new book by Mrs. D is a study in contrasts. The young generation versus the old, the optimist versus the pessimist and realism versus make believe. This story is dedicated to Baby Thomas and his grandfather Patrick, who are the models for the two main characters. At the end of this story, Mrs. D provides summaries and links to both her current books and those projects that are in the planning stage so that we readers know what is in store for us.

The setting is a comfortable family living room. Baby Thomas is playing on the floor while Grandma is watching from her chair as Grandpa is snoozing on the couch. When the baby gestures toward his stroller, Grandma places him in in and urges Grandpa to get up and go out for a walk to the park on this beautiful day. Grandpa reluctantly begins pushing the stroller, but the look on his face tells you he is none too happy.  On the other hand, Thomas is glowing with smiles and happiness as he engages with the world around him.

The author personifies all the forces of nature. The sun, the clouds, the trees and the wind have exquisite faces exemplifying their emotions. In addition, the author sprinkles her sentences with alliteration examples like “silly stroller” and sounds like “croak, craake. As they journey on, Grandpa complains with analogies comparing the sun to a boiling pot and  the sun baking us up like cupcakes.The park is too noisy, the path is too crowded, the skies too buggy, his shoes got too dirty and so on. Baby Thomas sees nothing but the positives as he greets the frogs, the birds, the wind, the lady bugs and the passers-by. Thomas enthusiastically greets the little girl and her mom that they meet on the path. The little girl feels as Thomas does; her mother is too busy talking on the phone all the time. When Thomas and his grandfather arrive home, Grandma is surprised to see that Thomas is still not sleepy, while Grandpa heads straight to the couch to resume his nap.

The illustrations by Eladziem are masterfully done and provide a study in contrast as well. The personifications look like human faces expressing emotions. Grandpa’s facial expressions are priceless. You want to hug and squeeze Thomas because he is so cheerful. The pot belly on Grandpa and the I love my Grandpa shirt worn by Thomas are great personal touches. Throughout the story, Eladziem alternates between pages drawn realistically in vivid, bold color, and soft nature scenes done in muted pastel colors.

It is wonderful to see the beauty of the world expressed through the eyes of a young child. How often we adults forget! Take a look at this exquisite book with your young child or grandchild and give yourself the opportunity to remember!

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MIDNIGHT EXPRESS

The Flying Train

Written and illustrated by Janaki Sooriyarachchi

TheFlyingTrainpicThis book is a charming tale that will appeal to young children as a bedtime read aloud. Children six and up will enjoy reading it for the adventure and learning element. It is a fantasy trip every young boy and girl would love to have the opportunity to experience. While the illustrations are stylized, they are bold, large, and extremely colorful making them appealing to a very young child. Even though the train is moving fast and the ride is a wild one, this does not come across as a scary story. It is interesting to note that the children are worried about what their mom would say about not having coats to keep them warm at night and catching a cold when out in a rainstorm. Dolly warns Timmy, “Don’t look directly into the sun or you will hurt your eyes.” So the author displays a parent’s perspective as well as the child’s viewpoint.

At the beginning of the story Timmy and his sister Nelly are in bed sleeping with their teddy bear and doll beside them. On the floor lying next to them the family dog and cat are sound asleep. Suddenly, they are awakened by the barking of the dog and the sound of a train. The flying train arrives at the window urging them to come aboard. Their trip involves some fantasy elements like fairies flying through the sky and little grey men that look like robots waving to them from Mars.  On the other hand, the author manages to introduce a lot of knowledge about weather, the sun and the planets. The siblings learn that it is very cold in the sky, that the moon reflects the light of the sun, the sun gives us light and keeps the planet warm, and that there are many other stars in the sky that are really stars like “our” sun. Their flying train is out of control and crashes into a rain cloud. The children are frightened by the thunder and wind. They see all the planets revolving around the sun. As the out of control train nears the sun, Timmy and Nelly can feel scorching heat from the ball of fire. How will they be able to escape? Will they find a way to return to earth or are they doomed to be lost in space forever?

This book is available as a pdf on freekidsbooks.org or may be purchased online from amazon.com.

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