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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at

http://pennyreviews-chat.blogspot.com/

See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at

http://reviewsforpenny.blogspot.com/

Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blue Paint by Liam Maher Art by Bonnie Everett-Hawkes



Blue Paint by Liam Maher, with art by Bonnie Everett-Hawkes, is a story told by John, a young man facing a problem.  John is careful to do good work on his very first painting job.  However, a grumpy little man insists that John dripped blue paint on his new silk hat. 

John doesn’t see any paint, but two others do and support the grumpy little man’s claim for damages.  Afraid of getting in trouble, John pays for the alleged damage with his own money.  This is one of those storybooks you may want to use your catch phrase for:  Life is like that -- sometimes unfair and even unjust. 

Then John learns the grumpy little man has a bad reputation -- John is his latest victim.  He is angry and sees a chance to “get even.”  Later he tells his boss everything.  Believing justice still hasn’t been served, his boss has a plan to right the wrong.  The ending is satisfying – “all’s well that ends well.”

The illustrations by Bonnie Everett-Hawkes are colorful and insightful.  They show us things that John isn’t aware of until later in the story.  The artwork is in our American Folk Art tradition – stylized, humorous, and expressive.

An engaging story, Blue Paint also provides opportunity for important discussions of right and wrong.  Parents and teachers may ask kids:  If you’re sure you’re right, in a similar situation, but some say you’re wrong, what should or could you do?  What else could John have done?  Is “getting even” the best thing to do if you believe you have been wronged?  Are there other ways to deal with tricksters, con men, and dishonest people?  There significant lessons to be learned here.  Thank you, Liam Maher and Bonnie Everett-Hawkes, for this thought-provoking story.


 


12 comments:

  1. Sounds like a book full of talking points for parents/grandparents and the kids in their lives. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Hi Kai, thanks for your comment. I hope that folks will talk about situational ethics. When do you take action and what kind? We need to better prepare kids to deal with the "troublemakers" and "evil-doers" they will face.

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  3. I think Liam's Blue Paint, painted a great picture of handling conflict.

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    1. Hi Susan, thanks for your comment. Kids need help learning to handle themselves in difficult situations. Programs to help kids problem solve and learn about behavior consequences are essential.

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  4. Penelope, thank you for the great review and follow up comments. Also my thanks to Kai and Susan for the supportive points made.

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    1. Hi Liam, wishing you much success with this and your other great books! Keep them coming!

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  5. Great review Penelope! It sounds like a wonderful book, and best wishes for success to Liam. I was so impressed with his last book (The Plumber and the Wishing Well) and it sounds like he has once again delivered an entertaining read that also teaches young people so much!

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    1. Hi Melissa, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I, too, loved Liam Maher's The Plumber and the Wishing Well! Wishing you both success.

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  6. This sounds like a terrific book with meaty issues to discuss with kids. Congratulations!

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    1. Hi Nancy, Yes, there are important things to discuss here. Thanks for your comments!

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  7. Thanks, Penelope. Sound like an interesting book. I'd like to read it

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    1. Hi Susan, A appreciate your stopping by and commenting. Thanks.

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