September 15th, 2014 ·
Review By JANE COCO COWLES
This tenacious little seed never gives up hope despite its bumpy path in life. The Dandelion Seed’s Big Dream (received as a review copy from the publisher) sends an inspiring message – with a little determination dreams can come true. This dandelion seed is also accepting of all the challenges in life it faces.
Trapped in a spider web, getting hurt and nearly losing its parachute and traveling into a dark cave – yet anything still seemed possible in its eyes. The author teaches a great lesson to children about setting goals and working towards accomplishing them.
The illustrations are equally as beautiful as the message this book sends. An added bonus is the appendix at the back of the book. It teaches little known facts like the origin of the name dandelion, the dandelion life cycle and projects that can be used in the classroom to teach young students about dandelions.
I love the many possibilities this book offers – it has something for everyone.
Cris Arbo·Early Elementary·Goals·Illustration·Inspiration·Jane Cowles·Joseph Anthony·Nature·Nature Books·Picture Books·Preschoolers
September 13th, 2014 ·
Review By DIANE VUKOVIC
The story takes place in Vegitopia, a land where humans and animals live in peace together and no one would ever dream of eating animals. One day, a little girl named Lena who has her own lettuce patch learns that the babies of Vegitopia are going missing. She sends a letter to Princess Vegi for help. The Princess informs her that a bad woman named Carnista took the animals to eat them because Carnista hates vegetables. Lena and Princess Vegi hurry off to Carnista’s castle to save the babies.
Of course, Carnista refuses to let the baby animals go, arguing that “she has an appetite” and “can’t be expected to live on icky fruits and vegetables.” Then Lena has an idea: she gives Carnista a piece of vegan carrot cake she had been saving in her pocket as a snack. Carnista likes it so much that she lets the babies go and decides never to eat meat again. After a while, her castle stops smelling so foul, the smog around it goes away, and Carnista even starts looking better too.
I was a little worried that this story would be too traumatic for my 4-year old (she is really sensitive about kidnapped baby animals!), but the book doesn’t show any pictures of the baby animals locked up so it didn’t produce any tears. It was also refreshing that Lena and Carnista didn’t argue about “eating baby animals is wrong,” since any child inherently understands that taking baby animals from their parents is bad. Instead, Lena frees the animals simply by offering a piece of cake – an approach to vegan activism which usually works better than arguing morals.
Overall, Lena is a cute book which won’t just reaffirm the decision not to eat meat, but teach children how to deal with the meat eaters they encounter.
The publisher sent an e-book for review.
Animal Rescue·Carlos Patino·Consumption of Meat·Depiction of Vegetarian Food in Books·Depictions of Meat in Books·Diane Vukovic·Early Elementary·Fairy Tales·Princess·Sybil Severin·Vegan Children's Book·Vegan Fairytale
August 28th, 2014 ·
Review By CAROLYN M. MULLIN
Last year, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting author Tami Crupi Zeman, wife of Vermont radio personality Bruce Zeman, Jr. at the National Animal Rights Conference in DC. The animal-welfare activist pair had written a book, Hobbes Goes Home, about Mr. Zeman’s canine co-star and his path from a domestic violence-plagued residence to the shelter and then finally to a home any dog would envy: two loving human caretakers and a fellow doggy playmate.
While there are many shelter-related books in the kid lit world, what sets Hobbes apart is its anti-bullying and forgiveness messaging, coupled with more common themes of hope, compassion, adoption, and family. Artist Shaunna Peterson’s colorful and expressive illustrations engage and enable readers to empathize with Hobbes’ range of emotions – from despair and loneliness to curiosity to joy and excitement. Here’s one excerpt of when he first arrives at the shelter -
Hobbes was confused. His mommy put him in the car and brought him to a big brown building. They went inside and she handed him to a lady he had never seen before. What was mommy doing? Where were they? Dogs were barking, and there were cats too. Hobbes didn’t understand why his mommy brought him to this strange place.
Outside of the pages of their book, the Bruce and Hobbes team is the only human-canine radio duo in the U.S. and they’re aiming to read their book in every school in Vermont! And if that’s not enough of a perk to support this publication, $1.00 from the sale of each book will benefit the Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Center in Middlebury, Vermont.
Ages 4 – 8
Animal Welfare·Bruce Zeman·Dogs·Early Elementary·Picture Books·Preschoolers·Shaunna Peterson·Tami Crupi Zeman