Sunday, April 9, 2017

Who do kids learn their lessons from?

Who do kids learn their lessons from? The obvious answer is from teachers at school. Perhaps from parents at home. But what about from teddy bears, dogs, birds or snakes? If they're reading books, they might learn lessons from all of these. And if they read the first book in my list below, the parents just might learn the odd lesson too. So from where or what did you learn your most important lessons?

Creature Comforts, the extraordinary life of Cassandra Jones, by Tamara Hart Heiner is the first in a series of novels for pre-teen girls, centering on the adventures of a very ordinary ten-year-old. She's a fairly observant 10-year-old, and parents would be wise to learn that their disagreements and distractions are easily visible to their kids. I'd like to have seen more resolution to the tale, but it looks like a good series with a very convincing character and voice. Enjoy with some two-star easy-drinking coffee.

Talon 2 On The Wing by Gigi Sedlmayer offers life lessons from a condor, and gentle wisdom from parents and friends. The tiny protagonist has a growth problem, but she learns to fly on her favorite bird - a really enjoyable way to make her handicap an advantage. The story touches on discrimination and loss, and doesn't sugar-coat its pill. But it soars with the birds and offers plenty of wisdom. Enjoy this modern story with an old-fashioned feel while drinking a balanced full-flavored three-star coffee.

Then there's the dog, Shadow. Lessons from Shadow by Shadow/Wally Bregman is a short large book, easy for children to hold while parents or grandparents read. The stories are told from the dog's point of view and include lessons on how to cope with bullying, how not to run away from home, and how to deal with loss. It's nicely presented, simply and briefly illustrated, and the sort of book parents and children will enjoy together - perhaps with a two-star easy-drinking coffee for the adult.

A teddy bear offers counting lessons in 12 Days at the Beach with Theodore – learn to count – by Ashlee and Trent Harding. It's short (12 days long) and fun. Each day has a two-line rhyming story, a counting puzzle, and a fullpage illustration telling the tale. Children will love to "read" the pictures, moving on to counting in answer to the questions, and then maybe counting even more (how many legs on a starfish perhaps). The colors are bright. The illustrations are simple and clear. The lessons are well-drawn. And it's a really neat book, to enjoy with some easy-drinking two-star coffee.

As to where the snake is, you might have to read the books to find out, or guess from what these reviews don't say. That's your puzzle perhaps.

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