Posts tagged ‘superheroes’

GIVING FROM THE HEART

Gift of Gift: Super Amazing Princess Heroes

Written by Sanjay Nambiar

Illustrated by Sedi Pak

A picture book or early chapter book centering on a trio of princesses who use their super powers to accomplish great things. Kinney, Sammie, and Oceania have just completed building a much-needed school in Uganda. Suddenly Kinney becomes ill; Doctor K’s diagnosis is a hole in her heart. Because the hospital in Uganda is not equipped for the surgery, Kinney along with friends return to the United States. When the girls learn that their friend Gift in Uganda has been diagnosed with the same medical problem, they decide to enlist the help of Betty, their mentor, who is the Fairy Mother Superstar Queen. They return to Uganda resolving to use their super speed, super strength, and flying powers along with the doctors and engineers in Uganda to construct a modern hospital. Gift’s heart surgery is successful, and the princesses’ Fairy Mother has a special gift in store for Gift.

This book is beautifully illustrated with bright,  multicultural photos that will appeal to non-readers. The text is done in large print and is easy to read for the beginning reader. While the story is clearly fictional, the lessons of empathy, selflessness, and friendship will inspire little girls who want to be princesses in their own right.

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A JOLT FROM MEMORY LANE

Saving Chocolate Thunder

Written by Erin Slavin

Illustrated by Drew Rose

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Cory is an eleven year old fifth grader with a vivid imagination. He loves his three year old brother David who likes to pretend he is a superhero. One day Cory decides to help David fly by taping him with duct tape to the door knob and kicking the chair out from beneath him. His parents don’t think he is funny and ground Corey in his room for one week. What really bothers Corey is that his workaholic father never seems to have time for him anymore. Corey schemes to hide his father’s phone. That gets him grounded again. While in his room, reading Goosebumps, Corey suddenly finds himself in the book. He meets a conch shell, a talking horse, and a purple jelly-like character named Mother Imagination. Nicknamed M.I., Mother Imagination seems to know all about Corey and his family. M. I. reveals a boy in a video who wears a strange costume, sings, and identifies himself as Chocolate Thunder. M.I. informs Corey that this boy is an imaginary friend from his father’s past. With the assistance of his friend Leo and his grandma, Corey conspires to imitate the character in the hopes of jogging his father’s memories, but not before a series of mishaps and adventures ensue. Will Corey embarrass himself or will he succeed in reconnecting with his dad and strengthening their relationship?

This approximately eighty page chapter book with cute black and white illustrations sports a creative plot and is filled with humor and realistic family scenarios. Recommended especially for readers in the seven to ten year age bracket, but it will be enjoyed by younger and slightly older readers as well. Could be an interesting ongoing series.

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CAN DO CREW

 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL!

 

Miss Quince and The Can Do Crew

Written by Mark and Katie Whyte

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This book is a must have addition to the shelves of libraries and school classrooms. It provides an excellent springboard for discussion to explore differences among children that are frequently labeled disabilities but can in reality be strengths. Many children, especially those in the middle grades, seeking to belong to the most popular peer group seize being different as an opportunity to tease and bully. Mrs. Quince and her class sitting “behind the yellow door” are a class of superheroes.

The story begins with a boy named Nate who is speaking to his dad who happens to be physically disabled. Nate tells his dad that the children at school have been implying that his dad is feeble and weak in body and mind because he is in a wheelchair. Dad relates the story of a boy named Marcus who became disabled as a child riding his bicycle, his initial fears, and inability to cope. Then he introduces Mrs. Quince, his new teacher, and the class of superheroes. This teacher forces Marcus to focus on what he can do, rather than what he cannot accomplish. Over a period of time, Marcus realizes he has the power to succeed on his own. In fact, he proves to he a hero when the class takes an excursion one day. Then he slowly discovers the unique power each of his classmates possess. Every child whether blind, deaf, physically or genetically disabled contributes to the well being of the class and the community.

The authors and their family have various types of disabilities or professional skills and training to work with this population. As a former special educator, I can appreciate the feelings of those emotionally or physically disabled as well as the dedicated professionals who work with them. The lesson of this book is a message that needs to be shared with those in the community who must learn to understand not bully this valued sector of the community. This book is well written with large, colorful illustrations. Highly recommended for children and adults age eight and older.

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