Monthly Archives: March 2016

Always Remember by Cece Meng

Always Remember by Cece Meng

Today’s pick for Perfect Picture Book Friday is Always Remember 

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Written by: Cece Meng

Illustrated by: Jago

Publisher: Philomel Books (2016)

Suitable for ages: Preschool and up

Themes/Topics: Life, death, grief, remembrance, legacy

Brief Synopsis: In the end, Old Turtle takes his last swim, and his last breath and he was gone. But is he? Physically yes, but his legacy lives on when all those he touched share their memories of him.  Other turtles he taught to swim, otters remember he loved to play, a manatee remembers how Old Turtle rescued him when tangled in a net.

Opening pages:  In the end,  on his very last day, Old Turtle swam his last swim and took his last breath. With his life complete, the gentle waves took him away.

 By dawn, everyone who knew Old Turtle knew he was gone.

Why I like this book: This book is tender and deals with an emotional topic in a very kid friendly way. Although death is a part of life, and can be unexpected or expected, grieving is part of the process.  The author showcases a way to grieve, by remembering how those departed have touched our lives. The illustrations are wonderfully tender and quiet.

Resources:

A gallery of art from the illustrator may be found here.

Advice about discussing death with children from a Hospice site may be found here and from the National Funeral Directors Association here.

Check out author Susanna’s Hill’s Perfect Picture Book page here to read more of today’s book reviews.

Catherine’s Pascha by Charlotte Riggle

Catherine’s Pascha by Charlotte Riggle

Today’s pick for Perfect Picture Book Friday is Catherine’s Pascha – A Celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church

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Written by: Charlotte Riggle

Illustrated by: R. J. Hughes

Publisher: Phoenix Flair Press (2015)

Suitable for ages: 6 and up

Themes/Topics: Pascha (Easter), Orthodox Christian Easter, Eastern Orthodox Church, religious celebrations, religious diversity, cultures from around the world

 

Brief Synopsis: Through the eyes of a young girl named Catherine, readers learn about Pascha [PAH-ska], the Orthodox Christian Easter service celebrated in communities around the world. Catherine is determined to stay awake on Holy Saturday this year so she can experience the Pascha (Easter) service at her church. In beginning of the story, while Catherine naps, the family is busy with preparations for the feast that follows the service on Easter Sunday. After they leave for the service, the author takes us inside the church to experience the details of this special celebration. The illustrations show different churches from around the world, in all seven continents, where Pascha has been celebrated – yes, even in Antarctica!

In addition to the story, the author includes back matter, a glossary and Frequently Asked Questions pages for easy reference.

 

Opening pages:  Mom says I have to go to bed at my regular time, even though it’s Holy Saturday.

 

“But, Mom!” I say. “It’s going to be time to get up in just a little while!”

 

“All the more reason for you to get a little nap,” she says, and she turns off the light.

 

Well, Mom can make me go to bed, but she can’t make me go to sleep. I’m going to stay awake until it’s time to go to church.”

 

Why I like this book: Catherine’s Pascha is a lovely story packed with details about a special annual event still celebrated today. Children will certainly identify with the child centered character of Catherine the author created. Given I was raised Roman Catholic, this story brought back many memories of Christmas midnight mass, including the excitement of wanting to stay awake. Although our Easter was celebrated in a daytime service, just as Catherine and her family, we celebrated Easter by wearing new clothing, and eating special food after fasting for Lent.

This story would be a good addition to any collection of books on world religions, Orthodox traditions, and Orthodox Pascha (Easter).

 

Resources:

See the Charlotte Riggle’s website which is filled with further reading, resources, activities, and more.

Listen to Charlotte Riggle’s interview by Bobby Maddex with Ancient Faith Ministries podcast.

 

Check out author Susanna’s Hill’s Perfect Picture Book page here to read more of today’s book reviews.

 

Happy Reading!

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Gimme some sugar, ma chérie.

You know who I am, the New Orleans baby.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, I’m part Irish too, kiss me!

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Love Hugs by Keila V. Dawson

Love Hugs by Keila V. Dawson

What writer doesn’t like a challenge? In honor of Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, fellow author Vivian Kirkfield (SWEET DREAMS, SARAH; Creston Books, 2017) is sponsoring a 50 Precious Words Contest. Everyone adores his gift for storytelling and word choice. The challenge is to write a story using only 50 words. See this post on her blog, Picture Books Help Kids Soar, for more details. And yes, there are prizes.

 

I wrote LOVE HUGS, a 49 word story. Hope you enjoy!

 

LOVE HUGS

by Keila V. Dawson

 

Would you like a hug goodnight?

Not tonight, I’m alright.

 

Would you like one when you’re sad?

Not when sad. Not when mad.

 

Would you like one for good-bye?

Not for good-bye. Not if I cry.

 

Would you stop me if I do?

Not at all, I’d like two!

 

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Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month

Anyone celebrating Women’s History Month should take a look at the blog post here from Kid World Citizen. It’s an international celebration of women around the world! Link your titles to her blog.

There are so many wonderful children’s books, including picture book biographies about women and the contributions they have made to our nation and the world. This list happens to feature female scientists.

When I think my mother was born the same year women gained the right to vote in the United States, I really do think, “We’ve come a long way baby!”

 

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