KID'S REVIEWS
By Lyda Whiting

 

 

HANUMANíS JOURNEY TO THE MEDICINE MOUNTAIN
Written by Vatsala Sperling
Illustrated by Sandeep Johari
Hanuman the monkey has promised to help his friend Ram find his kidnapped wife no matter what. But when an ancient vulture tells Hanuman that the woman has been taken across the ocean, whatís a monkey to do? Hanuman leaps over the ocean in a single bound! Hanuman is no ordinary monkey ó he is the son of the wind god and has magical powers. To help his friends, he shrinks to the size of a fly, and then grows large enough to carry a mountain. He flies through the air, and becomes invisible to hide from the evil kingís army. And when his friendís army is stricken with a magical illness, only Hanuman can save them all.

This lively story introduces the playful character of Hanuman, devoted friend of the hero Ram of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Beloved in India, Hanumanís exciting adventures will capture the imaginations of American children as well. Full of exotic places and amazing beings, this is an appealing and lively introduction to the traditional stories of India.

The beautiful illustrations glow with subtle shades and highlights. Created with watercolor and tempera paints using classical Indian painting techniques, the detailed paintings bring the story to life.
The book includes an illustrated cast of characters and an introduction about the importance of Hanuman in the Indian culture. This is the authorís latest book in a series of Indian stories re-told for Western children.

For children ages 6-9, and anyone interested in folklore and mythology.

Published by Bear Cub Books, this book is available at your local bookstore.

 

FARLEY THE FERRET AT FARKLEBERRY FARM
Written by Patricia Derrick
Illustrations and Music by
J-P Loppo Martinez
Each year, Farmer Finley makes his special boysenberry jam to share with the children at the county fair. But when there are two years of drought, with no berries in sight, Farley the ferret and children decide to do something to bring back the rain. The children dance around the vines, and like magic, the rain begins to fall. When the fair opens, Farley proudly shares the delicious jam with all the children, who before long are covered in sticky sweet jam. Was it the childrenís dance that brought the rain?

This magical story is written in rhyming verse to help children join in the fun. The musical version of the story on the accompanying CD will help toddlers and early readers practice critical reading skills. Young children will want to dance and act out the story as well, using the five-minute CD for their own rain dance. And maybe it is magic ó it rained at my house when I played the CD!

The book includes sheet music for the song, suggestions for parent-teacher activities, and a short explanation of the teaching theories behind the book. Children and adults will learn from the page of science information about real ferrets.

The colorful full-page illustrations bring the story to life with an interesting mix of realistic art and cartoon illustration. Children will especially enjoy the pictures of jam-covered children at the fair.
For children ages 2 to 8.

Published by Animalations, this book is available at your local bookstore.

 

DODY THE DOG HAS A RAINBOW
Written by Patricia Derrick
Illustrations and Music by
J-P Loppo Martinez
Dody the little white dog is lost and searching for the way home. He wanders past the harbor, dodges cars on the bridge, and finds shelter from the rain and snow wherever he can. But even when he doesnít see it, Dody has a rainbow of his very own, shining the way home. And that white house over there looks awfully familiar.

This book will draw children in as they sympathize with Dodyís plight and rejoice when Dody finally reaches home again. The gentle rhythmic verse reminds them that there is always hope even in the darkest times. This inspiring story of courage may help children get through some difficult times of their own.

The soft melody on the accompanying five-minute CD will help young children follow the words in the book and enforce good reading skills. They can also dance to the flowing tune and sing along with the hopeful words. Parents and teachers can use Dodyís story to open a discussion about dealing with sadness and difficult times. Children can talk about how it feels to overcome adversity and how wonderful it is when happiness, like the rainbow, comes again. The book includes sheet music for the song, a page of science information about rainbows, and suggestions for parent-teacher activities. There is also a short explanation of the teaching theories behind the book.

For children ages 2 to 8.

Published by Animalations, this book is available at your local bookstore.

 

RICKITY & SNICKITY AT THE BALLOON FIESTA
Written by Patricia Derrick
Illustrations and music by
J-P Loppo Martinez
The park rangers pack their van and set off the to Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. But when they arrive, they discover that the bear cubs Rickity and Snickity are napping in the back of the van. Rickity and Snickity wander the fiesta happily, while rangers search everywhere for them. The cubs marvel as the sky lights up on Balloon Glow night when all the balloons take flight. They even climb into a balloon and fly through the sky themselves. Luckily, rangers find the cubs and take them back home to the beautiful Rocky Mountains, which have plenty of wonders of their own.

Written in rhyming verse, this book will let children soar with the cubs on their exciting adventure. The accompanying CD of the story set to lively salsa music will get children on their feet. Young children can sing along as they enjoy the book, learning critical reading skills along the way. They will also enjoy acting out the story and dancing to the music on the five-minute CD.

The book includes sheet music for the song, a page of science information about real bears, and suggestions for parent-teacher activities. There is even a short explanation of the teaching theories behind the book.

The full-page illustrations are colorful and detailed, and children will have fun finding the duck hidden on each page.
For children ages 2 to 8.

Published by Animalations, this book is available at your local bookstore.
 


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