As a mother of four children, I’m no stranger to reading books and telling stories. So when Karadi Tales Publishing asked for us to participate in reading and reviewing several children’s books, I thought, why not have both the children and adult perspectives on them? And I was all too happy to do it! I have three girls (ages 10, 9, & 9) and one boy (age 5), so we have some diversity in the child demographic. 😉
As a Mom, I enjoyed the premise of ‘even the little man can make a difference’ put forth in the story as Little Dot, a tiny circle, is ultimately responsible for the shapes on Earth regaining their proper form. There was also the notion of teamwork at play, and from an educational standpoint, children deal with shapes and colors in the illustrations.
My kids loved it. The funny shapes in the wonderfully done illustrations got smiles and giggles from even my older children. They really enjoyed the pictures on the pages, and my daughters themselves pointed out the ‘teamwork premise’ when all the little dots joined together.
Four Kid Thumbs Up and One Mom Thumbs Up
The Dancing Bear | Manasi Subramaniam
Illustrators: Gwangjo & Jung-a Park
Pub Date: April 16, 2013
Age: 5 & Up
Again, I loved that this story not only told about characters in another culture, it even incorporated a little history into the culture. This story was a little tougher, as it dealt with cruelty to animals, but I was certainly impressed with a story that not only illustrated a difficult subject, but was also an example of how to deal with peer pressures and expectations that sometimes come not just from peers, but often times families and society at large.
My kids are extreme animal lovers, so there was shock, anger, sadness, and some glassy eyes over the abuse of the bear, Somu, in the story. They were initially angry at Altaf for his capitulation in participating in Somu’s abuse. But they quickly saw that Altaf was physically sick over these actions, and my children actually applauded when he turned Somu over to the bear rescue.
2 Kid Thumbs Up, 2 Kid Thumbs Down, One Mom Thumbs Up.
Mom Perspective: I adore any book that deals with a love of reading. I also like that this book dealt with the notion of bullies and the conflicts that occur in having to deal with them. I was wowed by the illustrations and welcomed the ethnic diversity for my children with the characters of the story.
Having previously stated how much I liked the ethnic diversity of the characters, never have I felt more culturally stunted than when my kids ‘ooh’-ed and ‘ahh’-ed over the character names and asked about their nationalities. Immediate note to self: broaden our reading horizons. The thing that had them giggling was the title: “Mom, this book could be about you. You’re ALWAYS reading!” My children were indignant and appalled at the bullying that Sesha endured over his stuttering problem. And they were quick to judge the teacher Mrs. Raj, for not having a firmer role in curtailing the bullying. I explained that sometimes in life we don’t have teachers to help us in tough situations, and in those times, we must depend on ourselves to stand up and resolve our problems.
3 Kid Thumbs Up, One Kid Thumbs Down, One Mom Thumbs Up
I hope you enjoyed this look at three really good children’s books. I encourage you to make them a part of your own library!