KID'S REVIEWS
By Lyda Whiting




SECRET OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR
Written by Dan Millman
Illustrated by T. Taylor Bruce
Danny is excited and nervous as he walks with his new neighbor Joy to his first day of school. On the way, Carl the school bully, stops them and demands their money. They get away, but Danny has a puzzling dream that night, in which he sees an old man smiling at him. The next day, Carl follows Danny after school. Frightened, Danny runs to the house across the street for safety, and meets Joy’s grandfather, Socrates ­— who is the old man from Danny’s dream.

Danny spends each afternoon with Socrates, helping him pick apples and deliver plants — and learning the ways of a peaceful warrior. When Carl threatens Danny again, Danny stands his ground, realizing it was his own fear that was the true enemy. And what happens when Danny faces Carl the next day is even more surprising.

This book, by the author of the acclaimed best-seller, “Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” brings his message of courage and love to a younger audience. Beautifully illustrated with detailed paintings, this book is excellent for reading aloud and for young readers as well. The gentle lessons of Socrates give practical guidance for handling a common situation with uncommon grace and dignity.

This would make a beautiful gift for any child, and a welcome and loving addition to any classroom or preschool. Every child can be a peaceful warrior.

Very highly recommended for children of all ages.
Published by H.J. Kramer Inc., this book is available at your local bookstore.


THE LOVABLES IN THE KINGDOM OF SELF-ESTEEM
Written by Diane Loomans
Illustrated by Kim Howard
Mona Monkey invites children to enter the Kingdom of Self-Esteem by repeating “I am lovable” three times. A kindly lion greets them and tells them that because love is always near, they can leave their fear behind. Next they meet a capable owl who believes in each child’s talent, and a friendly elephant who loves to learn. As the journey continues, readers met a buffalo who encourages them to take care of their bodies, and a beaver who reminds them to care for the world around them. Throughout the kingdom, the animals encourage children to be loving and care for themselves and others.

Each page is an esteem-boosting affirmation. A sure-footed mountain goat introduces “I trust myself” and a rhinoceros brings “I respect myself.” Each affirmation is followed by a short verse expanding on the idea.

The illustrations are lively watercolors, with friendly but still realistic animals. Insects, small animals and birds, and colorful plant life fill the pages. The paintings are lively and peaceful at the same time.
This book would be excellent for group story times as well as private bedtimes. Parents and teachers can expand on the affirmations by encouraging children to talk about what they can do to care for themselves, others, and the planet. Each page could act as a take-off point for individual artwork or a group activity.

Very highly recommended for children through age 7.


THE MEAL
Written by Brian D. McClure
Illustrated by Buddy Plumlee
Tom and Sue don’t like their dinner, and don’t understand why they have to eat it. In fact, they complain so often at mealtimes that their father has had enough. Can it be that the children don’t know the secret about food? So he explains it to them. Tom and Sue stop complaining and learn to be thankful for their food.

What is the secret? We are all connected by the energy of the universe, and the food is a gift of energy to nourish the children.
This colorful book explores the mystery about the energy around us. The energy is in everything and connects us all together. The food on Tom and Sue’s plates has absorbed this energy, which is now offered to these children as a gift.

The joyful rhymes of this book carry the story along while explaining the energetic connection of all living things. The story shows how each component of the meal grew and was harvested. Everything comes together just in time to create this one meal.

The colorful illustrations are joyful expressions of the beauty and diversity of the world in which we live. Full-page paintings vibrantly use the colors of the rainbow to enhance and develop the story and theme of the book. Together, the words and pictures are energetic and enveloping.

Children will love the expressive fish and cheerful vegetables in this book. They may even eat their own dinner.

For children ages 2-5.
Published by Universal Flag Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstore and at www.universalflag.com

NAME YOUR TUNE CDS
Created by Candace Alper
This innovative company creates a personalized CD for each child. The CD comes emblazoned with the child’s name on the CD itself as well as on the case. Classic children’s songs are recorded using the child’s name many times. For example, instead of “Old MacDonald,” Aaron hears “Little Aaron had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.” On the popular song “Wheels on the Bus,” Zoë can sing along as “Zoë’s friends on the bus go up and down.”

Even young babies will smile when they hear their names sung on the CD, and toddlers will love being the star of the show. Songs include “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” and “Boom, Boom, Ain’t It Great To Be You!” Other songs teach colors and days of the week.

For these CDs, entire phrases of music have been recorded, containing different names so that the song flows. There are more than 1,500 names already available, and new names can be added upon request. A CD can even be created including two children’s names (using one name in some songs and another name in the other songs).

Alper put together a cast of musicians, including award-winning children’s TV personality Lenny Graf, to record the songs, which she adapted to allow for personalization. The songs range from soft lullabies to lively dancing tunes.

This company uses green packaging and shipping practices, and donates a percent of its profits to Hear Hear, a Canadian organization that raises money to provide hearing aids for children.

Recommended for children up to six years old.
Published by Name Your Tune, these CDs are available at www.nameyourtune.com

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