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Song of the Blue Whale is an educational picture book that teaches readers about whaling and ocean pollution. Why is this an important topic for you?
The blue whale is the largest animal on Earth. This magnificent, gentle giant is an endangered species due to the ill effects of avoidable human behaviour. There may come a time when these beautiful creatures will only exist in photographs, video footage or on the pages of books. If properly educated, informed future generations can avert such a tragedy.
I loved the art in this book, especially the pictures of whales under the ocean. What is your favorite picture from the book?
In this volume, I included cameos of two characters from other books in the series. We see Mattie Boombalatty picking up rubbish from a beach with her mother. However, my favourite illustration features Shelly, the leatherback sea turtle with a purple heart painted on her shell. The double-page spread shows the beauty of a tropical coral reef spoiled by discarded tin cans, surgical masks, nets, plastic straws and bags. Shelly is coming to the aid of a companion trapped in a plastic bag. As well as colourful seahorses and tropical fish, we see two curious dolphins. It’s a powerful image that forces older children to think about how we deal with rubbish and how it may affect other animals.
What is a simple step someone could take to help reduce ocean pollution?
Using less expendable plastic and recycling as much of the plastics we do use can dramatically reduce pollution in rivers, lakes, oceans and seas.
Do you plan to write more books on these same topics?
There is a total of seven books in my series of illustrated children’s books. These appear in an anthology titled Wayne Gerard Trotman’s Rhyming Stories, introduced by the poet and novelist Dr. Benjamin Zephaniah. I also co-wrote Believe in Fairies with my wife, Sherrie. Several species of wildflowers have disappeared from the English countryside. This rhyming fairy tale introduces children and their parents to the various types that still exist and encourages them to plant wildflower gardens.
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Can A Teddy Bear Be? is an educational children’s picture book filled with cute images and repetitive wording to help children learn to read.
Author Jose Torres is both writer and illustrator and is able to combine both crafts in this beautifully illustrated kids book. With twenty two different adorable bears throughout this book, there is plenty to keep young readers attention. Each bear represents a different profession, which is yet another educational aspect to this picture book. Children will learn to read as well as learning about different professions. This provides a great opportunity for children to learn about different jobs, see what their interested in, and begin a discussion about different professions.
The simple and repetitive words used throughout the book will ensure readers pick up new words, practice them throughout the story, and master them towards the end. This is a perfect book to build confidence in young readers. I loved all of the delightful illustrations of the bears throughout this book. My favorite was the scientist bear. The book even provides readers with an opportunity to draw their own favorite bear at the end of the book, adding a bit of interactivity to this children’s book.
Can A Teddy Bear Be? is ideal for teachers and parents to read with their children as it is perfect for beginning readers. Jose Torres Animal Reader Series is a superb start to any child’s literary journey.
Pages: 28 | ASIN: B08QRGXTRC
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When Grandpa visits, there is a whole world of possibilities that comes alive in the heart of one little girl who doesn’t only regard him as grandpa, but someone she can trust and depend on to be allowed to dream and explore, all in the realm of safety, because Grandpa’s love is just as special as her parents’ love.
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Song of the Blue Whale is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that educates readers on whales, whale hunters, ocean pollution, and what we can do to help whales and clean up our water.
This educational picture book surprised me with how many opportunities for learning were packed into so few pages. We’re first introduced to a whale with a barnacle on its tail. A cute image accompanied by a short rhyme. But readers are then taken on a trip through the ocean where we learn about the dangers whales face against hunters. With a few short simple rhymes readers are also educated on ocean pollution and provided some simple steps we can all take to help clean up. I can imagine this book being a great piece for teachers to include in their curriculum about marine biology and oceanography. The book is filled with beautiful art pieces of whales in the ocean. Some of my favorite art pieces from this book are from the bottom of the ocean looking up at whales as sunlight comes through the clouds and water. Contrast this with the dramatic scene where whalers are hunting and you really do get to experience the full range and beauty of a whale’s life in this book.
Song of the Blue Whale is a picture book that will educate as it entertains young readers. With magnificent art on nearly every page, any child is sure to appreciate the majestic nature of these animals and come away with a better understanding of what whales face in the open ocean.
Pages: 34 | ISBN: 1916184847
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Mimi’s Adventure, by Keith Wheeler is a wonderful children’s story of a little doll named Mimi who wants to go on an adventure. As she sits on the window sill one night, she wishes upon a star to go on a magical and amazing adventure. Just then, a balloon flies into the room and Mimi grabs on tight and the balloon whisks her away. She journey’s around the world, but as she realizes she doesn’t know where she is, she begins to miss the little girl she belongs to. Now, she wants to go home, but is unsure of how to get back!
Author Keith Wheeler’s story is filled with easy flowing rhymes and vibrant pictures that grab your attention. Each page has fun and whimsical illustrations showing emotive characters in various settings. From the little doll Mimi, to her little girl, and her little farm, every page is filled with sharp graphics that bring to life the different locations and settings found throughout this magnificent adventure. The book is filled with simple words, making this a great book for kids learning to read.
Mimi’s Adventure is an amusing and lively children’s story that will capture the imagination of any child who can imagine their own toys going on their own adventures, much like the Toy Story movie. With rhymes that are fun and engaging, and a character that will surely bring a smile to your face, Mimi’s Adventure is a book that is easily read multiple times.
Pages: 26 | ASIN: B078MW5XBG
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Chaos in the Cosmos is a children’s fantasy book that illustrates climate’s impact on Earth how we should respect nature. What were some sources that informed this book’s development?
Our greatest power, gifted to us all, is that of respect, not only to each other but also respect to the very precious globe we call Earth … the very ground we tread on daily throughout our lives.
So many adults around our world have not, seemingly, learned this concept of respect, preferring to remain on the side of inattention and inaction, and possibly of ignorance, wishing to demonstrate their power in a different way.
If, we as adults, fail to develop an awareness, how are the young minds of our children to be given the opportunity to fully understand worldly problems?
How are they going to take a grip on some of the more complex problematic world events, and even fully concern themselves with what certain threats will bring in the future years ahead?
How can young children be shown the best path forward to serve our planet and each other with the much-desired respect required?
If we take literature as a tool of learning, how best do children enjoy their learning?
I believe that for generations, children’s literature has formed memorable concepts in children’s minds, and has not always succeeded in the form of serious literature, but sometimes concepts can emerge from reading Fantasy stories of a light-hearted nature with a ring of desired fun to them.
In fact, that is precisely the effect I aimed for within the pages of ‘Chaos in the Cosmos.’ A light fast-paced story form, a story to giggle over and have fun with. A tale to hopefully bring together how the abuse of power, when used with inconsideration, can even rapidly destroy our world as we know it.
So, behind the lighter read is a thought process.
How do we answer our problems on Planet Earth?
Can the planet really suffer from something called Global Warming?
What is it? Why? How? When? So, what must each of us learn to do to play our part?
Here we are in 2021, in the middle of a Global Pandemic, which has scared kids and adults, kept children isolated indoors, not allowed them peer play. They have endured loss…possibly of close family members, grandparents, siblings, and even parents maybe. The cultural riches we all took for granted have been denied us… no parties, services, and so on. And so in the middle of this world’s ill health, there emerges chaos. Thus these are the days we are living through.
Plus we have a further world event crisis of Global Warming evolving on a daily basis.
Another real feature to our present-day is our discovery and probing of the Red Planet, Mars.
The section of the Mars visit is part of the adventure to learning, and it can be a matter of trend and future development within the classroom, as in the same way Global Warming can become a topic in its own right. I advise anyone who is searching for more suggestions for group discussions to enter Magic Islands via my web address at
https://cgofwales.co.uk for worksheet and pointers.
I have listed many ideas class teachers and parents can discuss with children. The discussions will bring out serious and fun issues in relation to the second book, Chaos in the Cosmos, from rights, wrongs and values, facts and fiction, questions and answers, tolerance and intolerance, the use of power, the funny, ridiculous, dangerous, imaginary. The need to separate fantasy from truths. The story can be used as a foothold …a matchlight to ignite the burning issues surrounding environmental and personal awareness. So if required it can become a tool from which laughter and mainstream learning can evolve.
This seemed like it was a very fun book to write. What was your favorite scene to write for?
One could say ‘Chaos in the Cosmos’ chose its time to be born, but, yes, it emerged during a time of grief and sadness, and therefore needed to sparkle in a comic way to lift the mood of the day.
In contrast to ‘Magic Islands, Book One’ where the magical powers of the Purple Wizards demonstrated an evil in them, a fearsome greed, whereby they wanted to achieve everything for themselves without respect for anyone or anything thing else. In Book Two, ‘Chaos in the Cosmos,’ I have tried to illustrate the other side of the Purple Wizards characters. I needed the story to show they were stupid, foolish, ignorant, lacking understanding or knowledge, and no better than a bunch of fools. If one gives power to foolishness, even if it is based on magical power, are fools ever really going to use their given powers with any respect?
The fun is found in words and deeds. These characters are now seen as the ‘Goons’ or ‘Mindless’ who follow and mimic their crazy leader, Izzy Odorous.
Perhaps, the Wizards’ depiction is both overwhelming and annoying. Characters with such silly behavioral patterns would be, I agree. It may be said that only a fool would deliberately be proactive towards leading the planet towards the extinction of its species.
So, now we understand a little more about the spectrum of the personalities of the Purple Wizards
Moving from the Purple Wizards, I enjoyed writing about the Baby Hook-Eyed Monster, Scratchit, who, as you say, becomes Stefan’s secret and whose lack of magical knowledge leads both Stefan and Megan on a terrifying journey to the Magic Islands. It is, in fact, Scratchit who raises the alarm of the heating seas, when he reports to the children that Global Warming is destroying the sea creatures and all marine life. I reckon children will love baby Scratchit.
I enjoyed writing this fun book for children, mainly because I knew there was a gap in the market, and a lack of light reading material on the subject for 7/8-11 years.
This book explores climate and nature in an interesting and engaging way. Why do you think this is important for children to learn?
Our world is changing rapidly. Young children are moving forward into a new era. It is important that they become aware of what their future will bring. If children are to grow and live in a future clean environment during their lifetime, the work towards that awareness must start now…Today.
Will you continue your Magic Islands stories in a third book?
The third book ‘The Kingdom of Now and Then’ continues with an invitation into a world of extinction where we will meet the once extinct and imaginary beasts as they jump off the pages of storybooks, legends, and the time of ‘Then.’ The Purple Wizards and the children are still involved in the magic of it all. In this book, there are more sides to the personality spectrum of the wizards as they try to adapt to a different vision. #amwriting.
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Twinkle, once a brightly shining star high in the night sky, is now alone on a journey to find himself again. He is like no one else now but refuses to give up his mission to rejoin the other stars and illuminate all around him. As Twinkle searches for the light he has been promised exists for him, he encounters one planet after another. Each of the planets explains in no uncertain terms that they cannot give him what he seeks, but each directs him toward Sol, the sun. Twinkle’s journey is long, and he is persistent; the lesson he learns is an important one.
Twinkle’s Starlight, written by Rachael Higgins and illustrated by Carole Higgins, is a beautifully illustrated children’s science fiction book that perfectly balances fact and fantasy. The sweet story of Twinkle’s journey to find his light leaves readers with the distinct feeling of hope, motivating them to persist in all things. Though an unlikely character and one who is different from any other in a children’s science fiction story, Twinkle fits in nicely with this genre and provides young readers with an oddly lovable character to champion.
As an elementary teacher, I was pleasantly surprised at the mixture of fiction and nonfiction in Higgins’s work. From cover to cover, teachers will be able to use Twinkle’s Starlight to easily illustrate elements of both fiction works and nonfiction text. I can see Higgins’s book being used as part of a science curriculum or as an integral part of an interdisciplinary text set for ages 6-10. Twinkle’s Starlight makes for a fantastic classroom read aloud.
Carole Higgins has done a wonderful job of illustrating Twinkle’s adventure. The paintings are quite striking and add to the nonfiction feel of the tale. While colorful and appealing to the eye, they are true to the images students will most likely have seen in their science texts. The illustrator’s style and choice of color schemes make the illustrations especially eye-catching. Every other page has a beautiful canvas painting of stars, planets and space that are all one-of-a-kind.
The stunning illustrations and touching story will have young readers asking for more from Twinkle. The message throughout Twinkle’s Starlight is a strong one and definitely one that will resonate with elementary students.
Pages: 27 | ASIN: B08LT9HH4D
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