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

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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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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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LAST DAY BLUES

From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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