Review: Whirl Wind by Jennifer R. Resetar (illust. John Powers)

This is a special book for me. It is targeted for children in the 8 to 10 age group (I think) and it covers two topics extremely well – school bullying and children with disabilities.

Jennifer R. Resetar has clearly got an intimate understanding of the topics and uses the theme of superheroism as the springboard to cover them. She does it well and it makes for a good story and provides lessons without actually teaching, thrusting it in one's face.. This was important for me.

John Powers is a caricaturist and his excellent skills with illustration supports Resetar's story very well. He chose a cartoon-like, naive style that perfectly matches the age group and style of prose. The cover extends this effect.

I sincerely believe that there isn't enough children's literature out there to help address attitudes and responses to the two key topics in this book. This work is sorely needed, and really should be picked up by schools and parents.

Five deserving stars.

Biased Review: A Magpie Called Will by Peter Rondel

I am a lucky person. As editor of IFWG Publishing I can be involved in great projects, and I have to say that it is wonderful to be involved in
children's books – especially if they are illustrated.

A Magpie Called Will is about a young boy, playing in his backyard, who suddenly is confronted by a magpie that talks. But that is just the beginning. I will say no more or I will give away a fantastical plot.

This is a very well written book by Western Australian author, Peter Rondel (I had the pleasure of previously reading top notch short
stories by him), and illustrator Frances Hutt from New Zealand – equally talented in her domain.

I would heartily recommend this to early readers – say, 8 to 12 years.

This deserves 5 stars.


A Poignant, Pregnant Pause

Wow, just a few observations, mainly internally focused.

Last night I was doing my usual Twittering, and one of my followees retweeted something that shocked me to the core. A woman who Tweets, asked for everyone to pray for her baby who just died. I needed to know more, but I could barely make myself click the relevant links. It turned out she was in the back yard of her home and her two year old son fell in the pool and died in seconds. It absolutely killed me and I wept – hard. I can only barely imagine what she went through.

I know that since having my own child I can barely see or read about children who suffer. It wrenches my soul, because I can so easily superimpose what it might mean for me. This is what got me more than anything, but also the immediacy of it. This woman used Twitter to impart her grief, and perhaps, seek some sort of solace. I am sure it had mixed results for her, for surely nothing can give her solace, and if there is some comfort, it would be from her own family. Also, the negative side of social networking tools is that weirdos and downright evil people come out of the woodwork, and I believe this woman was hounded by a few such despicable individuals.

I suppose this blog is more about me. How I react. Tragedies occur every day, and this poor woman is one of many parents grieving due to tragedy or worse. But it showed something about me. I have become sensitive – super-sensitive to child suffering and death, and this is because I love my little daughter to bits.

I know I would trade my life for hers without hesitation.