Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book with a View April 2010

The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children
Author: Yvonne Perry
ISBN: 978-0982572207
Price: $15.95
Publisher: Write On!, 2009
Pages: 54
Reviewer: Rachelle Burk, Author of Tree House in a Storm (Stemmer House Publishers 2009)

The Sid Series, by Yvonne Perry, deals with hard issues in a soft manner. Spiritual and sensitive Sidney learns to understand and value those things that make him—and others—special: to understand death without fear, to accept those who are different, to respect nature, earth, and humankind. The twelve Sid Series stories guide without preaching and educate without boring. The sweet and simple illustrations are lively and engaging. Children, parents, and teachers will enjoy reading this cuddle-up-together book!

27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home
Author: Tisha Morris
Turner Publishing Company
ISBN: 978-1-59652-567-2
Price: $9.99
184 pages
Self-help genre
Purchase on Amazon
Reviewed by Yvonne Perry for WITS

I’ve read (or should I say “started” to read) several books on feng shui and found them too difficult to understand. I wanted something practical that showed me exactly what to do. I don’t care about Chinese history regarding feng shui and I don’t want to read complicated maps or worry about superstition regarding where I put things. What I wanted was an easy read with an uncomplicated solution to remedy troublesome areas that I knew needed help. That’s exactly what I got in 27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home.

I mean really easy things like changing the art on the walls, or tossing out a drawer full of old pictures, rearranging furniture, cleaning a closet, or adding a mirror or crystal. Did you know that ringing a bell can clear a room of negative energy? Simple solutions like these will get you started to remove stagnant energy and get things flowing again. I even learned how to bring in the five elements and found the motivation needed to take on a large project.

This straightforward book not only helped me understand how the surrounding environment relates to the various aspects of life and what I could to do change my environment in order to improve my life, it gave me the much-needed incentive to take action without dreading the process. Beware! You may decide to clean out your entire basement. I cleaned and painted my laundry room and completely revamped my workspace two days after reading this book! What can I say? I was inspired.

Based on the Bagua map that helps you see the specific relationships between parts of your house, Tisha’s interactive program teaches how to divide your living space into nine sections that reflects the Gua distribution. She doesn’t leave you with a bunch of ideas and no way to implement them. After showing you what to do and why, she tells you how to do it in the chapter titled “A Plan to Implement the 27 Things.”

I also like the size of this book. It fits in my purse and the print is large enough that I don’t need bifocals to read it! Be sure to check out Tisha’s feng shui app for iPhone in case you get inspired at work or while at a friend’s house!

Sewing a Friendship
Author: Natalie Tinti
ISBN Number: 978-0-9842625-1-9
Publisher: Tintinatie
Genre: fiction; children
Publication Date: 2009
Book Length in Pages: 88
Reviewed by Sarah Moore for WITS

There were countless ways in which I used my imagination with friends in the neighborhood when I was a child. The wooden fences that formed the border of my yard became a pirate ship and the grass was the dangerous water below. Our bicycles became transportation tools for an all-girls’ detective squad that could solve any crime on the playground. When we developed our dance routines in the basement, we really were performing for the MTV cameras. In the time that I spent alone, I poured out all of the creativity that developed in my young mind into countless stories that continued my daily adventures.

I recently had the opportunity to read a book by a young author that brought back so many of these wonderful childhood memories. Sewing a Friendship by Natalie Tinti is a beautiful story, both in its physical layout and its message, which I believe will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Natalie Tinti offers her readers the story of four best friends who are planning a way to celebrate the end of the school year. They decide to have a “pink sleepover” and are buzzing with excitement over the great night ahead when they encounter their nemesis and elder by two years, Kiki Shaver. Kiki tells the girls of an upcoming group fashion show in which they are too young and too small in number to participate. Rather than using the animosity that Kiki brings to the novel to place the girls against one another, author Tinti develops a way in which all of the girls are able to come together and find common ground. Through these efforts, Sewing a Friendship sends an important message to its readers about seeing through a person’s tough exterior and really practicing the sometimes difficult art of friendship.

The girls, who are all seven years old, are given an authentic voice because the author who created these characters is only ten years old herself. With encouragement from family members and friends, Natalie brought together her short stories and illustrations to form Sewing a Friendship. I am so excited to discover this young female author who is embracing her gifts and displaying the confidence it takes to share her personal creations with others. While I found great enjoyment in so much of Natalie’s work, I had a particular appreciation for her awareness of the diverse personalities that young girls possess and how they all have something to offer. Readers will meet a girl who finds her greatest pleasure in thinking about math, another for whom dancing is essential, and one who knows she is beautiful and wants those around her to recognize it. While there are conflicts between the various personalities, as we all encountered with friendships growing up, the girls find a way to embrace the others’ strengths and work as a team to enjoy a wonderful experience together.

Sewing a Friendship is a gorgeous book with illustrations by the author that will spark their own conversations by the readers. It also is a well-written story that includes relatable characters and language that doesn’t condescend or operate above the level of its intended audience. I am adding this book to the growing collection that belongs to my four-year-old daughter. I look forward to reading it with her in a couple of years, and I hope by then that Ms. Tinti has additional work to share with us as well.

Tree House in a Storm
Author: Rachelle Burk
ISBN-10: 0916144232
Price: $13.22
Publisher: Stemmer House Publishers; 1 edition (August 1, 2009)
Pages: 40
Reviewed by Yvonne Perry

This well-written book tells the story of two children, Kenny and Allison, who built a backyard tree house in which they spent much of their childhood playing and pretending.

When Hurricane Betsy hit the area, the family had to evacuate. When they returned, Kenny and Allison found that their tree house had been destroyed; but fortunately the family’s home was not harmed. Kenny planted an acorn from the old tree and it eventually grew into a sturdy oak that held a new tree house for his children to enjoy when they visited their grandparents.

What fond memories this book brought to me! As I read this story, I could see myself and my cousins playing in the tree fort we had built in the woods behind our house. I remembered the fun times I had as a young mother building a playhouse for my kids to spent hours imagining and dreaming.

I was surprised to learn that Rachelle Burk, the author of this children’s book, had actually survived not one, but two, storms in New Orleans: Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The delightful illustrations by Rex Schneider make this book come alive. Highly recommended as a story that kids and adults will cherish.

Purchase on Amazon

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