By Lyda Whiting



Little Ruth Reddingford and the Wolf
An Old Tale Retold
By Hank Weisselman, Ph.D.
Illustrated By Raquel Abreu
Children and adults will enjoy this lively update of a classic children’s story. Everyone calls little Ruth “Red,” and yes, she does have a red cloak and hood, but this is not the Grimm tale you remember. Red loves picnicking with her grandma while listening to stories about her Hopi great-grandmother, who was a medicine woman.

When this week’s anticipated visit is cancelled unexpectedly, the adventurous Red packs a basket with granola bars and apples, and sets off on her own to Grandma’s condo. But danger lurks in the woods. When bullies threaten her, Red discovers the power of her Native American heritage and the hidden strength within herself. And the bullies learn that grandmothers are not to be trifled with!

The story includes the passing down of shamanic traditions from one generation to another, and gives a very different, and refreshing, interpretation of the wolf in the woods. Warmly illustrated with pictures that capture the everyday magic all around us, this book is a tribute to feminine power and our connection to the earth. Children will find both the imaginative story and striking illustrations irresistible, and adults will find themselves cheering for this modern Red.

This book would be a fun and wise addition to any library. Here’s hoping the author and artist team up to enliven other classics long overdue for an overhaul. Highly recommended.
Published by Illumination Arts, this book is available at local bookstores.

Too Many Murkles
By Heidi Charissa Schmidt
Illustrated By Mary Gregg Byrne

This funny and colorful book introduces the bizarre and strangely charming Murkles. The people of Summerville try every spring to keep the horrible Murkles from entering their village. This year, there are more of the smelly and persistent creatures than ever. But young Juliana is willing to give the stinky Murkles a chance, and discovers something amazing.

When she convinces the mayor to listen to her, the Murkle problem is solved and village life is sweeter than ever. But then a new problem crops up in the village, creating a spreading problem for the town’s gardeners. Once again it is Juliana who sees the problem from a different angle and discovers the simple and beautiful solution.

When yet another pest comes squawking into town, only Juliana makes the effort to truly listen, and what she hears is wonderful. By now the mayor is not only willing to listen, he is eager to learn Juliana’s way of looking at a problem eye-to-eye. The whole town benefits from her unique view of the world, and so do the Murkles.

The imaginative story of good things that arrive in unusual ways is appealing and fresh, and delivers its message about blessings in disguise with a light touch. The colorful and whimsical illustrations are full of detail and life, and add richness to the expressive writing.

This delightful book will be a favorite with children who will all want a Murkle of their very own. Highly recommended.
Published by Illumination Arts, this book is available at local bookstores.

What I Believe
By Jennifer Murphy-Morrical
Illustrated By Sue Shanahan
This lovely book is a treasure. With a simple message of belief on each page, the book includes charming illustrations of children playing, dreaming, and hoping. The prose is deceptively simple, full of hope and joy, and the text is large enough for early readers to read easily. Done with soft colors and exquisite detail, the illustrations bring the book alive, and include realistic and fantasy pictures of children of various ethnicity, ages, and body types.

Equally fanciful and down-to-earth, the pictures will speak to all children. Reading this book together offers an adult a chance to share some of their own beliefs, and could spark an imaginative discussion on what each child believes.
This book would be a great gift; there is even a page at the back to be personalized with a message of belief for the special child receiving it. Recommended for ages 0-7.
Published by Beyond Words Publishing, this book is available at local bookstores.

I AM a Lovable ME!
Book and Audio CD
By Sharon Penchina C.Ht. and Dr. Stuart Hoffman

This book and CD of positive affirmations for children is full of cheerful fun, with colorful illustrations of a “lovable me” bug and friends. Designed for children from 0 to 7, this set teaches positive self-talk and builds self-esteem with whimsical verse and upbeat music.

The happy bug celebrates family and friends, and reminds children they are special and lovable just as they are. Affirmations emphasizing exercise, healthy eating, imagination, and creativity are included.

Younger children can listen to the accompanying CD or an adult reader, while beginning readers can follow along with the CD. Created by a hypnotherapist and a chiropractor specializing in children’s care, this set empowers children to believe in themselves and know they are “beautiful, inside and out.”

This set is the first in a personal empowerment series that includes a book and CD set on deep breathing, one on exercise, and a CD of affirmations for nap or bedtime. A wonderful gift for a child, parent, or teacher.
Published by 2imagine, this book and CD are available at bookstores or

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