The Forever Kid, a book review

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Title: The Forever Kid
by: Elizabeth Mary Cummings
illustrated by: Cheri Hughes
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

It’s Johnny’s birthday but he is no longer here. His family still gathers and lovingly celebrate. By continuing Johnny’s favourite party traditions and sharing special memories, the family feel a sense of closeness and comfort on this day of remembrance; Johnny, their Forever-Kid’s birthday.

Sometimes stories stop you in their tracks as we journey our busy, fast lifestyles, noticing nothing but the work tasks and activities in front of us. Some stories bring you back to reality, grounding you to cherish every moment with your grandparents, your parents, your siblings, your relatives, your partner, your friends, and your children. Some stories remind us that this life that has been gifted to us is finite. The Forever Kid, written by Elizabeth Mary Cummings, is that story.

Elizabeth gently welcomes us into Johnny’s family, and we meet his three siblings, Mother, Father, and Barker, the dog. The story is told from the point of view of Johnny’s brother, and the pages are filled with memories of Johnny, both happy and sad, carefree, and with some brotherly guilt at times. But most of all, the story is filled with love.

Illustrator, Cherie Hughes, has depicted the story of loss with tenderness, capturing the grief of Johnny’s family, and their memories of treasured moments.

The Forever Kid is a beautifully illustrated story that celebrates life, while sensitively dealing with loss, with a gentle weaving of memories by enacting Johnny’s favourite things on his birthday, filling the pages with his presence. Although confronting a terribly difficult topic of the loss of a child and sibling, The Forever Kid leaves the reader with an overwhelming feeling of love and hope, and the celebrated family traditions ensure Johnny will never be forgotten.

Purchase a copy: The Forever Kid

Title: The Forever Kid
by: Elizabeth Mary Cummings
illustrated by: Cheri Hughes
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925675382
Category: children’s
Pages: 32

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a published author and illustrator who is continually inspired by the gift of imagination and the power of words. When she is not disappearing into her imaginary worlds as Julieann Wallace – children’s author, or as Amelia Grace – YA and fiction novelist, she is working as an editor, book designer, and book magician for other authors. Julieann is a self-confessed tea ninja and Cadbury Chocoholic, has a passion for music and art, and tries not to scare off her cat, Claude Monet, with her terrible cello playing.

Julieann is a member of:

Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville, book review

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Title: Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville
by: Robert Vescio
illustrated by: Cheri Hughes
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Something VERY valuable is buried in Bunnyville and it’s not what the bunnies think…

Barnaby is a bunny with BIG dreams.
He wants a lush, green Bunnyville filled with fruit and vegetables. But the mayor won’t agree.

Barnaby comes up with a clever plan to help the other bunnies discover where the real treasure is kept!

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Author, Robert Vescio, has created a wise character in his picture book, Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville. Barnaby is a bunny who likes to think. He is also a bit of a rebel, in the kindest of ways as he doesn’t accept the mayor’s view that bunnies don’t plant, they only dig.

And of course, with a thinking bunny comes a planning bunny and a map. A map with a clever plan. One might think it is a manipulative plan, but nevertheless, Barnaby has manipulated the manipulator – all for a good cause.

Barnaby manages to turn the plain grasslands of Bunnyville into a land filled with fruit and vegetables, right under the mayor’s nose. He then delivers a speech about the growing treasures of the earth and the mayor is mightily impressed.

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Illustrator, Cheri Hughes, has created colourful double spread pictures to complement Robert’s story. The eye catching colours will keep children’s eyes glued to the pages as they listen to, or read, the story that unfolds. Watch out for a beetle on each of the pages with Barnaby. It is always up to something and has a story of its own. Another illustration point to investigate the end pages of the book. Cheri has illustrated all sorts of seeds from Barnaby’s collection.

Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville is a wonderful tale of thinking outside of the box. The story clearly shows a problem and the planning to overcome the problem. The book fits perfectly into studying seeds and how to grow them.

Purchase a copy of ‘Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville’: http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Children/Barnaby-and-the-Lost-Treasure-of-Bunnyville-HB/1145/productview.aspx

Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville

Title: Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville
by: Robert Vescio
illustrated by: Cheri Hughes
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925275643 (hardback)
ISBN: 9781925275612 (paperback)
Category: children’s
Pages: 32 pages hardback

julieann

Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:

 

Ella Saw the Tree, book review

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Title: Ella Saw the Tree
by: Robert Vescio
illustrated by: Cheri Hughes
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

“One windy day, as Ella plays in her backyard, she is showered by leaves.
When she looks up, Ella sees a tree in her backyard … has it always been there?
And why is the tree crying?”

mindfulness
noun
1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Author, Robert Vescio, has explored the concept of mindfulness and nailed it in his flowing, charming story, Ella Saw the Tree. All too often parents and children are caught up in the busy-ness of life while the simplest, yet most inspiring moments zoom past, unnoticed.

Ella is no different. She is  always busy in her backyard. She has an amazing imagination. It takes her to the ocean, then guides her to soar above, before she visits the distant lands to explore with her wonderful four legged friend. But one day it started to rain. Not ordinary rain that comes from the clouds. It was an extraordinary rain that came from above. That’s when Ella looked up and saw the tree. Ella was sure the tree was crying. So she tried her best to cheer it up. But the leaves still fell like tears. Ella was terribly worried. It was then that her mum told her to notice the special things around her. So she watched and listened all around, and felt and smelled the air. Using her senses to be mindful of everything around her filled her head with the ‘right now’. Ella smiled. Her heart was full.

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 Of course no picture book is complete without illustrations. Illustrator, Cheri Hughes, has given us a visual feast with her inspiring illustrations. The detail in each double page spread carries the reader deep into Ella’s world where you feel what Ella feels.

I highly recommend Ella Saw the Tree, not only for young children, but for middle and upper primary children as well. The story is a gift sent to remind us to pause and take a moment to notice the here and now. It’s a stop, look, listen and feel book that will connect children to themselves and nature, and any environment they find themselves in. This is the type of book that will open your senses to appreciate nature with a thankful heart.

Have you noticed the beautiful trees?

Purchase a copy: www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Children/Ella-Saw-the-Tree-PB/1194/

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925520361
Format: Hardback
Category: General fiction (Children’s / Teenage)
Pages: 32

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:
Queensland Writers Centre
Write Links
Share Your Story Australia