The Bookbag, Books for Ages 4 to 8, January/February 2006

Given the volume of books we’re processing, we’ve decided to go to a bi-monthly format for the Bookbag. As time and seasons/special events warrant, we’ll post additional notes.

Hopalong Jack and the Blue Bunnies, Jeri Landers. In a large family of bunnies, it’s really hard to be a standout. Jack desperately wants to be noticed, but whenever he tries to make himself unique, his siblings copy his actions. “On the literal side, the story opens a wonderful door to talking about feelings and self esteem. On the creative side, there is plenty to seek and learn about the art and “hidden” objects.” (Ochre Moon Press, 2005)

My Little Lore of Light
, Haijah Amina Adil. This collection of stories introduces children to the prophets of Islam. The vignettes begin with Creation and Adam and proceed through history to Mohammad. Each story highlights the influence of Allah on the growth and development of Islam and the role that the prophets played in carrying out his work. “Although written for Muslim children, many of the personalities and events recounted in the stories will be familiar to Jews and Christians, since they are also a part of the Judeo-Christian heritage found in the Old Testament.” (Islamic Supreme Council of America, 2005)

Nine Famous Artists Your Children will Love; An Art Discovery Primer and Handbook for Parents and Their Children, Michael Napoliello, Jr. The book’s premise is that children who have been introduced to the arts, turn out to be brighter, happier, and healthier individuals, ultimately becoming contributors to their families, professions, and communities. “The author’s enthusiasm and expertise shine through in the book. He presents parents with a “How To” game plan for providing their children with interesting and exciting experiences in the arts.” (Seven Locks Press, 2003)

No Small Change, John Luksetich. In the Money Kingdom, the Half-Dollars make the rules. When they decide the penny makes no cents, Peasant Penny and her friends add things up to show the rulers they’re wrong. This is a picture book with math and life lessons. “This can be a simple counting/math book, but it’s also a nice allegory for treating others with respect and understanding one’s own value, too. There is lots of potential here. (Imagine Nation Press, 2005)

Tito the Firefighter/Tito El Bombero, Tim Hoppey. Tito loves the firehouse. Every day Richie, one of the firefighters, and Tito exchange hellos. One day, as Tito passes the firehouse a man is shouting. Richie needs his help, because he doesn’t speak Spanish, and, ultimately, Tito gets to ride in the firetruck to help Richie. “This was fun to read … and for parents with rusty Spanish, not overwhelming at all. We have a number of bilingual books in our library, but this was the first one to prompt our child to want to practice her skills.” (Raven Tree Press, 2004)