KID'S REVIEWS
By Lyda Whiting

 

 

ROONIE B. MOONIE LOST AND ALONE
Written and Illustrated
by Janan Cain

Roonie B. Moonie is a young bee with a great sense of adventure. He wants to be a great explorer like his hero, Christopher Columblebee. But one day, he wanders into a new place that turns out to be scary and dark. Suddenly he’s surrounded by big strangers, and Roonie has to fly away fast.

But now he’s lost and alone in an unfamiliar place. A suspicious bird tells him to come with her, but Roonie listens to his feelings and refuses. When she keeps trying, Roonie runs and hides until she goes away. But now, how can Roonie get home?

By remembering his mother’s advice, and trusting his instincts, Roonie does get home safely. His mother is proud of him for staying calm and remembering the safety rules she had spent so much time teaching him.

This action-packed book can help children face one of their biggest fears. They will learn along with Roonie the importance of following safety rules and staying calm. While enjoying Roonie’s adventures, children will also learn tools to help keep them safe.

The bright and unique illustrations, created with oil paints on charcoal paper, bring the story to glowing life. This book has been named a finalist for the 2008 ForeWord Magazine children’s Book of the Year award. The author’s first children’s book, “The Way I Feel,” is a best seller.

Recommended for children, ages 4 to 8.

Published by Illumination Arts Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstore or www.illumin.com

THE UP DOWN DAY
Written by Brian D. McClure,
Illustrated by Buddy Plumlee

Imagine going to bed in your room, with everything the way you expect it to be. But when you wake up in the morning — everything is upside down! The moon is still out, because day is night. The furniture is on the ceiling, and so is the cat. The ceiling light is on the floor, and the carpet is on the ceiling.

And now your book is talking to you. And so is your cat. What is happening? Why isn’t everything the way it is supposed to be?

This book turns expectations upside down, with funny results. Along the way, the character learns that things he thinks are true might not be real. There is more to the world than can be seen with our eyes. Opening our hearts to new attitudes and ideas changes everything — and it’s fun.

The text has appealing rhythm and rhymes, appropriate for reading aloud. Early readers can read this book with a little help for some of the longer words.

The bright pictures perfectly illustrate a normal world turned topsy-turvy. The expressions on the character’s face are particularly funny as he tries to cope with his very strange day.

A welcome sequel to “Who Am I?” by this talented team (reviewed in Awareness Magazine’s July-August 2007 issue), this silly but meaningful story will inspire children to think about their assumptions, and open their eyes to the wonderful possibilities of life.

Recommended for children, ages 2 to 8.

Published by Universal Flag Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstore and www.universalflag.com

THE ANTS
Written by Brian D. McClure,
Illustrated by Buddy Plumlee
Mr. and Mrs. Red are red and blue ants. Mr. and Mrs. Black are black and blue ants. They all take good care of their children and love them very much. But the Reds hate the Blacks, and the Blacks hate the Reds. This hatred has gone on for many generations, and it is a tradition. So both sets of parents teach their children to hate ants of the other color.

On the other side of the water live the Blues. The Blues are red, black, and blue ants. Mr. and Mrs. Blue have taught their children, Terry and Swan, to accept everyone. One day Terry and Swan are exploring a boat and it sails away from their home. They land near the Reds and the Blacks, who are just about to have a war. The Reds want the Blues to join their side, and the Blacks want the Blues on their side. What should Terry and Swan do?

This story of tolerance overcoming limiting beliefs is told in a way that will appeal to children. As the ants learn to move from hatred to acceptance, children will see the possibilities in the idea of everyone being treated with acceptance.

The colorful illustrations fill the pages with a detailed world as seen through the ant’s eyes. This book can spark discussions on tolerance and the origins of different beliefs. It can help families explore their own beliefs as it encourages love and acceptance.

Recommended for children, ages 4 to 8.    

Published by Universal Flag Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstore and www.universalflag.com

DRUMS AND DRAGONS
Written by Rhonda Lynn,
Illustrated by Serena Wright-Taylor
Robin the little dragon feels like a failure because he can’t breathe fire. The other young dragons make fun of him. Unhappy and ashamed, Robin seeks out Midir, the greatest warrior and teacher of the dragons. Midir tells Robin, “True fire lives in your spirit and heart.” Robin is still afraid that he cannot be a true dragon without breathing fire. But Midir says everyone has a special gift, and it is up to Robin to find his.

That day, Robin watches as Midir easily defeats an evil Shadow Dragon who attacks the village. But when the Shadow Dragon comes back the next day, only Robin is there to protect the village children. Robin has to fight the evil dragon alone — and somehow defeat him without breathing fire. To protect his friends, Robin must face his fears and find his special gifts.

Children will identify with Robin, the little dragon who doesn’t breathe fire. This book will help children to overcome their own fear of failure, and help them see that being different can be a blessing. Robin learns to use mediation and drumming to quiet his mind and keep up his spirits, and children can learn to do this too. Readers will cheer with the villagers when Robin uses his own special gift to defeat the evil dragon.

The appealing illustrations of dragons and children glow with color and may inspire readers to draw their own dragons.

Recommended for children, ages 4-7.

Published by Pelican Productions Art Studio, this book is available at your local bookstore or www.RhondaLynn.com

 


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