Monday, November 3, 2014

Children's Book Reviews- Sweet t and The North Wind & Mother's Love Ca Conquer Any Fear

Sweet T and the North WindIllustrated chapter book for early readers
Grades 1-4

Last time a powerful North Wind blew across the lakes, strange things happened. And the winter when Tara turns ten years old, the North Wind blows sharp, and the lakes freeze solid by Thanksgiving. Old-timers from the village warn everyone to take care.

Tara, or Sweet T as Grandma calls her, is tired of being cooped up indoors on this coldest winter day, and she tries to make the best of the situation.

But when Tara makes a wish that is dearest to her heart, T's ordinary afternoon leads to an hour of magic that takes her on a journey of discovery and a ride she’ll never forget.

This tale of a family across the generations weaves enough magic and whimsy to keep children turning the pages. It also gently raises real-life issues about aging. "Sweet T" entertains while opening the door for children to discuss, in age-appropriate ways, the illness of a beloved family member.

Review: A sweet read. I think this book can work for a good reminisce on happy times for adults, as much as be a good read for the kids.

"Sweet T" is a young girl with two little sisters. It is winter and she wants nothing more than to get out of the house on her scooter. Add some "North Wind Magic" and you get a wonderful adventure of the imagination. I had a nice time thinking of my one childhood summers and using my imagination to go places. A great way to encourage kids to utilize that ability more. Let their imagination take flight. So when they are couped up this winter, read this together at bedtime, and let their imagination take them through their dreams!

Now part of the book does take a bittersweet turn, but is a part of life many children must face. The illness of a loved one. Sad at parts but has a happy "life's mysteries" twist at the end.

While this is not a favorite of mine, I see some good merit in this book. There are some good questions at the end for discussion if you so choose. My only negative to this is I don't see this as a repeat read. Maybe once. After that I don't see a kid wanting to read it again.

*I received a free file copy of this book in exchange for a fair, honest review*
Mother's Love Can Conquer Any Fear!Shastriji is a wise old chicken who always has an answer for "How...." until comes the vile crow Kaalia, who is up to no good. Shastriji's ideas to deal with Kaalia backfires one after the other. Is Kalia‛s tyranny going to end? What if the right question is not "How" but "Why?"

A funny and action packed story, glorifying motherhood. A Mother‛s love takes center stage to fight against all odds and propels Ganga to do something that dazzles everyone in Anand Nagar.

Review: This is suppose to be a book for young children?! Well, I hate to say this but unless your child is well versed in Indian culture and names and an extended vocabulary, this is a far cry from an easy read.

On the farm Anand Nagar (put the two words together and it is actually the name of a city in India). There are some chickens being terrorizes by a crow. These chicken are fearful of him. The name of the book comes into play on one page where a mother hen faces the crow to save her chick.

With names like Shastriji, Kaalia, and Jamuna, plus words like frequent, argument, beautiful, aimlessly, resonated, thoughtfully, interrupted, dejected. and many others this is NOT an easy book for kids. Reading would be very hard, but even comprehending.

I can see parents as constantly being stopped to explain words like grazes, dejected, tyranny, etc. And the concepts are not exactly easy either. Especially with sentences like this in the middle of the book:

"Shastriji became busy preparing ECFE(Early Childhood Family Education)!"

Why is that in a childrens book about farm chickens?! Seriously?! I don't even want to have to stop reading to explain that.

Now for the art: I have mixed feelings about the artwork. To explain, let me state that the entire book is written and drawn with crayon (except for the peace and love meditation book drawn with colored pencil). Even the title page is in crayon style. Colorful for kids but also shows a lack of professionalism. The drawings are mostly decent and can even be pleasing. But then others look like the author let their kid do. This might do better to even just draw the characters and let the children who read the book color for themselves!

Overall, I was extremely disappointed. I would not read this to my child. Too much work, and by the time and age they are ready for the challenge they will likely be on a book with more plot and substance.

The exemption-If I lived in India or my family and/or neighborhood was heavily into Indian culture. Then this makes a bit more sense. (minus the large words and ECFE reference).

*I received a file copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for discovering Sweet T and her North Wind magic. I appreciate your review and insights into T's gentle message for kids about family, love and imagination. Happy tales and all the best with your new job.


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