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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.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Diligence the Dragon by Kevin Scott Collier

Diligence the Dragon, written and illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier, is a “pre-Biblical Fable.”  It takes the reader back to the time of “Doubt,” before the Bible was written.  The story opens with a boy named Jezubah and a dragon named Diligence, living in harmony.  Though very different creatures, with diverse attitudes, they exist as friends.  While Diligence questions the origin and purpose of everything, Jezubah questions nothing.
aboutDiligence was Jezubah’s devoted friend and felt they were equals.  One fateful freezing night, Diligence lit a fire for warmth and asked “Who created fire?”  A Voice answered him, explaining that He had created everything and created Jezubah in His own image.  At once Diligence knew that there was a God above all.  He understood that his friend Jezubah, created in God’s image, was blessed.  

Diligence now knew he was created as the servant of Jezubah.  From that moment on, he ceased questioning and became God’s instrument to “open” Jezubah’s eyes to the Grace of God.  God marked the place where He spoke to Diligence with the Cross, which Diligence planted on his own mountain.

Dligence continued as a faithful servant to Jezubah.  The boy noticed that his friend no longer questioned, and asked why.  Diligence explained what God had told him.  He told Jezubah that he must believe and hope in order to see the world with new eyes from Faith.  When the boy grew to be a man, Diligence told him he must now become a messenger and spread the word of Faith.  As they left “Doubt” behind, they renamed it “Hope.”

This is a beautiful story for children just beginning their faith journey.  Kevin Collier’s warm and sensitive illustrations depict the bond between creature and man.  The story shows the path that man must follow from Doubt through Belief and Faith to Hope and trust in God.  This is another beautiful story from Kevin Scott Collier for young readers.

Available from Guardian Angel Publishing.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lonely Little Leaf by Jennifer Prus


Lonely Little Leaf, written and illustrated by Jennifer Prus, is a fun, rhyming, read-aloud-book for young children.  This type of rhyming book is exactly the kind of book that I love to read to children.  The illustrations are so simple and natural to children they will surely want to try their hand and duplicate them
about
The story is about “a lonely little leaf as sad as can be.”  It wants to come down from the old oak tree to play and dance with the other leaves and forest creatures.  In the story beginning, the lonely little leaf is green and firmly attached to the oak tree.  It can’t shake loose, much as it wants to.  However, as the story progresses through time, the leaf begins to change color.  At the end of the story, it will be free to follow the other leaves in dancing and rustling about, lonely no more.

This is a great story to explain to new readers how life changes.  Just as children change as they grow, so do leaves change with the seasons.  They are new buds in the spring, spend summer as green leaves, and change to shades of gold, red, orange, brown and then fall in late autumn.  This book is also perfect for cross-curriculum lessons:  learning to read with repetition and rhyme; art with the different colors the leaf changes to; and weather and science to explain how leaves change color and fall down each season. 

I know parents and teachers will enjoy reading Lonely Little Leaf to their children.  The rhyming and refrain will help young children chant aloud and follow along.  Thank you, Jennifer Prus, for this lovely, entertaining and fun book to read aloud at home and at school.

Available from Guardian Angel Publishing