Friday, April 9, 2010

New Reviews for you....

Happy Spring everyone! This is National Poetry Month so be sure to share lots of fun poems and rhymes with your kids. Take them outside and teach them some skipping games and have them get some exercise as well. Try to recall a poem you learned as a child and recite it to your own kids now. Choose some books with repetitive rhyming lines and say them all out loud together while you are reading. Have fun! Here are my picks for the month of April- they are not poetry but wonderful books to inspire you.

Title: The Bubble
Author: Brian D. McClure
Illustrator: Buddy Plumlee
Ages: age 1-100

“Once there was a little boy, who didn’t want anyone to play with any of his toys. As he grew older, he didn’t want anyone to come into his room…not even his mother!”

Thus begins this boy’s journey into his own personal material prison. His obsession for things and caring for them consumes his whole life. He becomes more and more selfish and self-absorbed as the story unravels. He blocks every living thing from his life and over time slips into a world of total isolation.

But alas, as he grows older, the things he holds so dear begin to slowly leave him and he finds himself trapped, all alone, inside of a bubble. While inside he has a revelation as to what is really important in life. He discovers that you cannot share or have a relationship with “things” and when you are at your lowest point in life the “things” are not there for you. He finally understands that we are here on earth to experience community, interconnection, unconditional love and respect for each other. Thankfully the boy is able to experience redemption and discovers the Truth to his existence while living here on this planet.

Reading this book will lead into many discussions as to why and how we should reach out and include others into our lives. It will help us understand why material possessions should not be our life’s main focus. This would be an excellent resource to have in your classroom as well as a beautiful addition to your own personal library collection at home.

The illustrations are very detailed and add an extra punch to the written text. The expressions on the boy’s/man’s face enrich and enhance the written word. I highly recommend this book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself and to my kids.

Title: The Three Questions
Author and Illustrator: Jon J. Muth
Ages: Ageless and Timeless

Based on a true story by Leo Tolstoy. This book has a wonderful message to share with children. A young boy named Nikolai wants to know the answers to three questions: When is the best time to do something? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? He felt if he knew the answers to these questions he would become a better person and know what to do. After consulting with his friends - a monkey, a dog, and a heron - he is not truly happy so he decides to go see Leo, a wise old turtle who lives farther inland. Upon his arrival at Leo’s house he takes action by helping Leo in his garden, saving a mother panda and her cub from a storm, and in so doing finds the answers that he is seeking.
Jon Muth’s watercolors are beautiful and engaging. His writing is both poetic and factual which appeals to different age levels. The book has a powerful message of love, respect, and kindness towards others. So please go online, to the library, or your nearest bookstore and obtain a copy of this wonderful story. You won’t regret rediscovering Tolstoy through the innocent eyes of a child.

Web Watching for April: *

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