Welcome to more of my children’s book reviews. I hope you enjoy my choice of books and the reviews of them. Please don’t forget to scroll down the page and read all of them!
“Children’s Book of the Week – The Story of Solomon Bear by Phillip Laird
Available as an eBook $6.69 and in Paperback $8.99
Solomon Bear is the adored teddy bear of an unnamed young girl growing up in a house where she is neither loved nor wanted. The bear and the child are devoted to each other in this warm, feel-good story for children. The little girl is never allowed ‘outside’ and she and Solomon spend hours together playing hide-and-seek, dancing, and expressing their deep, never-to-end love for each other. Then, sadly, the cold-hearted step-mother makes a decision; the little girl has grown too old for such nonsense and the bear has to go. What worse fate for a young child than to be threatened with the loss of something she loves so much.
The distraught little girl runs away and Solomon is left alone. His last glimpse of his dearest friend, his kindred soul, sees her running towards the forbidding forest. When she doesn’t return, his heart is broken and he begins to ask himself if their love was as real and as lasting, and as unforgettable as they had both said it would be. Eventually, unable to bear (please forgive the pun) her loss any longer, Solomon seeks the advice of the other toys, toys he has never mixed with before, to find a way to leave the house and go in search of his beloved companion.
Phillip Laird’s The Story of Solomon Bear is a beautifully, poetically written tale about the strength of an innocent, enduring love and a bond which cannot be broken. In parts it may be a little too gushy for some, but it is still undoubtedly a wonderful read, which I think which will become a classic one day. Claudia Gadotti’s illustrations, in black and white, are simply gorgeous, too.
Whatever your age, if you have ever loved a teddy bear, you will be enthralled by this emotive book. It is a total delight to read, either quietly or out loud. There are a few good lessons in there, too. I highly recommend this story and am giving it five solid stars.
The Story of Solomon Bear would ideally be suited to ages five and over.
Other books I have reviewed
Surprise in Auntie’s Garden! by Ann Morris
Available as an eBook $7.57 and in Hardcover $12.34
What a beautiful ‘surprise’ this book turned out to be. It tells the story of an aunt and the very special relationship she has with her niece, Erin. Together they share an interest in the garden and its flowers. Discovering a new inhabitant one day, Erin learns how to identify a particular caterpillar, or worm as she thinks it is, and slowly sees it develop into a beautiful monarch butterfly.
The extremely colourful illustrations are stunning and the text well-written and educational. Children are able to learn about the monarch’s feeding and migratory habits, and how its life develops – all in very simple, easy-to-read sentences. For those not yet old enough to read, most adults will probably enjoy reading this aloud, at least I did.
According to the book’s introduction, Erin is the niece and God-daughter of the author, so this is in its way a true story, making it all the more endearing.
I couldn’t fault this book. Well done to author Ann Morris. An excellent book for any child interested in nature. I am giving it a positive five stars.
Surprise in Auntie’s Garden! would be best suited to ages four and over.
The Water Lily Fairy by Mary Ann Vitale
Available as an eBook $2.06 and in Paperback $12.60
When a group of fairies fly over a village, one fairy elects not to fly on, but stay and hide amongst the water lilies. Cleverly camouflaged as a lily bud, she is able to hear the conversations of the children nearby. Later she leaves the safety of the lily pond to look around. She flies over the village and notices how poor the people are. She then makes a kind, conscious decision to help them. But, after the first gift of rose petals, which lifts their day, the children want more. After which, the adults have a suggestion too.
This short little book is well-written and nicely illustrated. For young children who believe in fairies (and I am assuming all do), this is just right – short enough and bright enough to hold their attention to the end. I am not sure about the message of giving someone everything they ask for, but there is certainly a good message about helping those less fortunate and how giving has its own rewards.
This is a sweet little book and I can imagine it will be enjoyed by a lot of children. Five stars for the kind fairy.
The Water Lily Fairy would be best suited to ages three to five years.
Prince Avian Rules the Pool by Scarlett Raines
Available as an eBook $4.10
Prince Avian Rules the Pool revolves around the young Prince Avian of the title. A seemingly ordinary little boy in all other things (kind, obedient and helpful) he takes on a whole new persona when he visits the pool to play with his friends. There we see a selfish, high-handed, uncaring boy determined everyone should play by his rules.
“Well, I make the rules and that’s the rule. You have to do it my way,” is one of his favourite sayings.
Avian’s friends, tired of his imperious attitude, stop playing with him. One friend tries to tell him about his bad behaviour, but he doesn’t want to listen. As a result, he is left lonely and bored at the side of the pool, watching everyone else having fun.
All of this is witnessed by Avian’s grandmother, sitting quietly by the pool, who offers a few long-overdue words of wisdom, allowing him to see where he is going wrong. Had his grandmother not intervened then, the potential for Avian to turn into a long-term bully may well have developed. But, instead he learned his lesson and became more receptive to the needs of others, and began to listen and share. This brought about another awakening – second chances do come along.
This is a well-written, easy-to-read and enjoyable book highlighting the need for learning the right social skills; showing how one’s conduct towards others is so important when it comes to making friends. Skilfully woven into this are the lessons of acknowledging and respecting the needs of others and doing unto them as you would have them do unto you – the Golden Rule we would all do far better to live by.
All in all, a great little read to which I am giving five stars, and I shall be looking forward to reading more in this series from Scarlett Raines.
Prince Avian Rules the Pool would be best suited to ages five and upwards.
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