Friday, November 20, 2015

What do Fairies. Dogs and Dragons have in common?

What fairies, dogs and dragons have in common, of course, is that they all appear in children's books. Specifically they appear in the books I'm reviewing today. But do I have to have kids at home to enjoy children's books? To review them? To write them? Or can I just relate to the kid (fairy, dog and dragon) within myself?

I suspect the answer is as long as my internal child is alive and kicking, she or he (dog, dragon or fairy) is all I need. Certainly she smiles when I pick up a kids' book in the store. She begs me to purchase things I can't possibly afford (have you seen the price of picture books?). And she laughs and cries, appropriately, when I read to her in my head. She's a pretty good child. (I'll not go into how good or otherwise the real-child-me was in her day, but my Mum would happily tell you - little horror are among the words she might use.)

Of course, I did have kids at home for many years - the years when I just told stories instead of writing them, lacking time to myself. But now they're grown and I still love to read. I'm in no hurry to have grandchildren, but I can't resist a picture book with great images and storyline. I love tales that introduce small children to different cultures and ideas. And I keep writing my Five-Minute Bible Stories series, eager to pass my dreams on to other people's kids.

The first of my children's Bible story books has just reappeared in print, rereleased by Cape Arago Press. (I self-published it first, but this edition is way, way better, and looks better too!) So now I'm eagerly dreaming of when there'll be an Old Testament series to match the (already in print) New Testament series... and maybe even a separate series in between (for Psalms and the not-yet-written Proverbial Tales). Anyway, if you're looking to introduce small children to Bible stories in a real-world way (no myths or fairy tales in sight), the real world, real people, real God tagline might work for you, and Genesis People might make a good Christmas gift.


So much for tooting my own horn. Now for some book reviews of those children's books my inner child has enjoyed over the last weeks.

Wendy’s Wacky Dogs by Hadas Korb and Ortal Zeret is a definite favorite. Great pictures. Great story-telling technique, with simple rhyming words left out for the kids to find and supply as they look at the pictures. Bright colors. And lots of fun ideas. Pour some juice for the kids, and grab an easy-drinking two-star coffee for this delightfully easy-reading picture book.

Also by Korb and Zeret, Tom and the colorful dragon is an enjoyable bedtime story, just a little short, with a sweet bedtime feeling to it. Enjoy this with some mild light one-star coffee.

Of course, with Christmas coming soon (how on earth did that happen?) I really had to read a Christmas book. A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story by A. J. York fit the bill perfectly - a pleasingly different take on stories and ornaments coming to life, filling their attic days with tales of special events, and mourning the changing world when the children grow old. These toys find a way to keep Christmas going through passing years, and it's a fun story to share. Enjoy with with some well-balanced, full-flavored three star coffee.

Another fairy appears in Fairy Good Heart by Nancy Fagan, the first of her Fables of Fairy Good Heart series. This book's written for children and their parents to share, specifically children of divorce, and it offers a nice background for conversation, with pleasant line-drawn illustrations to keep a child's interest. The story's contemporary and real, and the promise that ice cream and fun will return is much-needed and nicely supplied. Enjoy with a well-balanced full-flavored three-star coffee.

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