Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Happiness Tree - a book review

Happy Earth Day everyone!  I hope you celebrate today and in so doing make our world a better place to live.  The answer to the last book I featured for you to guess is:

                                     "A Wrinkle in Time"  authored by Madeleine L'Engle

Here is today's featured book:

Author:  Andrea Alban Gosline
Illustrator:  Lisa Burnett Bossi

The opening line is perfect, "Everything good begins with me."  A tiny acorn tumbles to the ground and issues this statement to its mother tree.  Then his adventure begins.  He snuggles deep into a cloak of golden leaves, takes a long winter's nap and emerges in the warm Springtime wide awake, ready to sprout and stand tall amidst his prestigious elders. 

Beautiful illustrations of different types of trees appear in the following pages and each one gives an account of his value, worth and contributions to his surrounding world. The trees are characterized by words such as hope, love, courage, gratitude, peace, compassion, tolerance, generosity, honesty, and happiness.  They model to the human reader the exact attributes humans need to make their world a  more loving and better place to inhabit.  The world will then be a thriving and healthy community with everyone and everything living together in harmony and peace and doing their share to make the planet the best it can be.

The book is written in rhyme and the message is positive and inspirational.  The illustrations are magical and bring the text alive.  The journey from a tiny seed to a luscious, thriving forest encourages us to look after our world so our children can stand in the midst of "life" and know as they grow up they will need to become good stewards of their earth, as one day they will be passing it on to their children's and their children's children.......and so goes forth the circle of life with everyone having a part to play to keep it going. 

About the author:

Andrea Alban (a.k.a. Andrea Gosline) was born in 1959 in Baltimore, MD but spent her childhood reading voraciously in San Francisco, where she still lives with her family. On a weekly basis, she visited the Merced Branch Library and returned home with a pile of books on many different subjects. She received her B.A. cum laude in English/Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.
Andrea self-published her first poetry book at the age of six--a hand-lettered scroll tied with red ribbon. Today, she is mother to Jake and Lily and the author of three picture books: the bestselling THE HAPPINESS TREE (2009 Florida Children's Book Award nominee, and currently touring with the OUT ON A LIMB exhibit at children's museums throughout the US and Canada); Ten Little Wishes, and January's Child: The Birthday Month Book. Her debut novel, ANYA'S WAR was chosen as an ALA Honor Book by the Amelia Bloomer Project for its strong female character and was shortlisted for China's Panda Award. The book was inspired by her father's childhood in the French Quarter of Shanghai.
Andrea's inspirational parenting titles include: Little Moments of Peace; Welcoming Ways; and Celebrating Motherhood, a NAPPA Gold Award recipient.
Andrea is a dynamic speaker at schools, museums, and literary festivals throughout the Bay Area and beyond. She serves on the faculty of Book Passage and its annual Children's Writer Conference and consults privately with writers of all ages to shape, polish and package their manuscripts. Andrea leads Feedback Circles at various Bay Area locations for writers of all genres.
Follow Andrea on Facebook at Andrea Alban's The Happiness Tree and Andrea Alban, Author. Visit her websites: www.albanbossi.com and www.andreaalban.com

About the illustrator:

Lisa Burnett Bossi is an illustrator and graphic designer.  Her enchanting paintings are inspired by dreams, nature, and wishes for a peaceful and compassionate world.  Along with Andrea Alban Gosline, she is one of the co-creators of BossiGosline Pictures and Verse.  Their inspirational books, heartfelt greeting cards, and simple treasures draw from a love of cozy homes and the wonders of the natural world.

Lisa grew up with her family along the shores of Cape Cod and Maine. She studied fine art and art history at Bowdoin College, where she also cultivated her love of singing and acting. Her travels across the country led her to San Francisco, where she met Andrea and began their wonderful creative partnership.

Her debut Scholastic Press title, January's Child: The Birthday Month Book is a heartfelt reinvention of theMonday's Child rhyme, affirming the gift of all children.  When Andrea was struck by the negative message of the original rhyme, she and Lisa sought to create their own rhyme for children's birthdays and the positive qualities that each child enters the world with.
Lisa and her husband Adrian, built their home in Brunswick, Maine, where they live with their daughters, Lila and Clara.   Meet Ms. Bossi online at http://www.bossigosline.com/

                                                            Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  Have a beautiful and pro-active Earth Day everyone!

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