KID'S REVIEWS
By Lyda Whiting

 

 

MRS. MURPHY’S MARVELOUS MANSION
Written by Emma Perry Roberts
Illustrated by Robert Rogalski
The unusual Mrs. Murphy lives on a normal suburban street in a house that is far from normal. When her neighbors complain about her strange and tiny house, Mrs. Murphy invites them to lunch to see the house for themselves. They are astonished to find that each room is filled with color, light, and magic.

The house spirals off in every direction, with doors to adventure beckoning. Magical beings wander cheerfully about, fully-grown trees arch through the hallways, and flying robots prepare lunch in the bizarre kitchen. The neighbors are entranced, and realize they were wrong to judge the house — and Mrs. Murphy — by outward appearances.

Children will be entranced as well, by the simple story and the elaborate illustrations. Each time they explore Mrs. Murphy’s marvelous mansion, they are sure to enjoy their visit. Mrs. Murphy is a very appealing character, the neighbors are silly, and the surprises on each page are delightful.

The story is told simply and with just the right amount of repetition to make it fun to read aloud. The colorful and detailed pictures add dimension and lively fun to the story. Each painting is filled with surprises, just like Mrs. Murphy’s house. Children will have fun finding the happy friends of Mrs. Murphy, from huge rabbits to tiny creatures of all kinds, who inhabit each page.

Highly recommended for children up to 10.

Published by Illumination Arts Publishing Company, Inc., this book is available at your local bookstore.



CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE KID’S SOUL 2
By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Hansen,
and Irene Dunlap
Young children might be more open to learning life lessons from other kids rather than from adults. Filled with true stories written or related by the children themselves, these simple tales illustrate basic principles of honesty, friendship, and wisdom.

Readers will have their favorite stories from each section, and they will be drawn to the stories they can relate to the most. Even the titles are appealing. Who wouldn’t want to read “Help! The Adventures of a Scaredy-Cat Girl” (about the nature of courage)? Simple tales like “Guardian Angel”, about compassion, and “William aka Bill”, about a bully becoming a friend, teach without preaching.

The stories are dramatic yet age-appropriate, and the protagonists deal with choices that all children face. For example, if you have done something wrong, should you tell the truth and accept the consequences, or lie and spare yourself?  Is it worth being one of the cool kids if it means being mean to old friends? 

The “Chicken Soup” books are well known, of course, and this is the second book specifically for children ages 6 to 10. But adults will also find inspiration in these uncomplicated accounts of children facing challenges and making the right choices.

Because each short story is written in simple language, children can read them alone. But the tales can also be read out loud and discussed by a whole family or a whole classroom.

Recommended for all children ages 6 to 10.

Published by Health Communications, Inc., this book is available at your local bookstore.



THE MANY ADVENTURES OF PENGEY PENGUIN
Written by John Burns
Illustrated by James Coles
Antarctica is a dangerous place for an orphan baby Emperor penguin searching for food and warmth. Although small in size, Pengey is big in courage and curiosity. When he encounters humans, he politely introduces himself and charms them. Soon Pengey learns that the whole world is dangerous but exciting, as he searches across the continents for Wendy, the human who saved his life.

He must escape hungry predators, animal control agents, and a major storm at sea, but Pengey survives them all with style. He makes friends along the way, but never stops searching for his first friend, Wendy. In the end, Pengey finds a new home and great happiness.

The story moves along quickly, with descriptive writing and lots of action and excitement. The chapters are short and suitable for bedtime or any time, and while Pengey’s adventures are exciting, they will not be frightening to the youngest children. The delightful black and white illustrations are full of action and the personality of this plucky little penguin.

This enchanting little penguin will steal the hearts of children and adults alike. Young children will love this chapter book and ask to hear it over and over. Older children will read it again and again — when they can get it away from the adults! This book will become a family favorite in no time.

Highly recommended for children ages 5 and up.

Published by San Francisco Story Works, this book is available at your local bookstore.



THE 72 NAMES OF GOD FOR KIDS 
A Treasury of Timeless Wisdom
by Yehuda Berg with Dev Ross
How does a child deal with life’s difficulties and find the right path?  How does a child overcome fears and find self-confidence? Child–ren need help finding answers to the challenges they face. There are wonderful sources of wisdom to light the way, but many of them are not easy for children to understand. This book offers children meditations, stories, and fables adapted from the Kabbalah to use in their daily lives.

By meditating on the different names, children can, for example, help heal themselves and others (#5), get back into balance and harmony with the world (#26), and release anger (#56).

Tailored for young readers from the top-selling book for adults, “The 72 Names of God”, this book gives children an understanding of their own spiritual selves that can help turn their lives into an enjoyable spiritual adventure. All of the colorful and joyful illustrations are reproductions of original paintings by children who participate in a free outreach program called Spirituality for Kids.

Yehuda Berg is an internationally-renowned authority on Kabbalah, and directs the Kabbalah Children’s Academy in New York and Los Angeles. Dev Ross’s writing credits include television and films for children as well as children’s books. She received the 2003 Humanitas Award for writing work that best exemplifies human values.

This book offers an additional tool for adults who want to teach children how to thrive and grow spiritually.

Recommended for children of all ages.

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


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