An ample serving of entertainment, a full measure of health education, and a dash of Christian thought, perfectly blended...

Vegetable Kids in the Garden

A clan of curious children and health-conscious grandparents discovers the joy of vegetables in Miller’s (Fire Up Your Profile For LifeWork Success, 2012) Christian children’s book.

Cousins Lucas and Emma love to spend time in their grandparents’ garden. One day, with the help of Grandpa and Nona (their grandmother), Lucas helps plant various vegetable seeds while learning about the uniqueness of each one. To his dismay, the plants aren’t ready by dinnertime, but he and Emma find plenty of fresh, scrumptious vegetables at the store. On another day, the two ride their bikes to Nona’s house again, but this time their friends Dylan and Zoe tag along, and the garden as a whole turns out to be as much a source of fun as it is vegetables. The four of them dig up treasures, discover bugs, and get into a jovial conversation about who would be which vegetable and why. After much laughter, Nona calls the kids in to make homemade pizzas, and they eventually enjoy a delicious and healthy dinner together. Miller also includes a great deal of well-written backmatter, including questions for reflection, vegetable facts and vocabulary words, and a note to parents. Presented in a fun typeface with illustrator Wayne’s colorful, crisp illustrations along with an easy-to-follow plot, this book is an excellent source of both amusement and education. Not only does the message promote healthy eating, but it also celebrates diversity and, for its Christian audience, subtly glorifies God for his creations. The dialogue and actions of the children realistically portray how kids that age would interact, and the characterization is impressive considering the story’s brevity. The text is also formatted well, capitalizing the first letter of every new page and representing each section with a new main idea. The illustrations, including small inserts and three-quarter–page pictures, are varied enough to keep readers’ interest.

An ample serving of entertainment, a full measure of health education, and a dash of Christian thought, perfectly blended and served in a nonpreachy way.

Pub Date: May 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9850534-3-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Teal Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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MORNING GIRL

Like the quiet lap of waves on the sand, the alternating introspections of two Bahamian island children in 1492. Morning Girl and her brother Star Boy are very different: she loves the hush of pre-dawn while he revels in night skies, noise, wind. In many ways they are antagonists, each too young and subjective to understand the other's perspective—in contrast to their mother's appreciation for her brother. In the course of these taut chapters concerning such pivotal events as their mother's losing a child, the arrival of a hurricane, or Star Boy's earning the right to his adult name, they grow closer. In the last, Morning Girl greets— with cordial innocence—a boat full of visitors, unaware that her beautifully balanced and textured life is about to be catalogued as ``very poor in everything,'' her island conquered by Europeans. This paradise is so intensely and believably imagined that the epilogue, quoted from Columbus's diary, sickens with its ominous significance. Subtly, Dorris draws parallels between the timeless chafings of sibs set on changing each other's temperaments and the intrusions of states questing new territory. Saddening, compelling—a novel to be cherished for its compassion and humanity. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 1992

ISBN: 1-56282-284-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

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