Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're taking on a topic with a more somber note, and how it can be dealt with in a variety of ways in Children's Literature. The subject is death, and while it's certainly nothing that anyone really wants to dwell on, it IS a fact of life. It can be the BIG SCARY for anyone, but for little ones that unknown can be even more frightening. Today's two title selections are from two ends of the genre, but both deal with the matter in their own ways, making it less something to fear, and more something the understand. Ladies and gents, please set your sights on today's two titles of choice...
Page Publishing, Inc
About the book...
Boots and friends have enjoyed many fun adventures during the past two years. Now they are faced with an inevitable part of life. Cappy, the elderly mountain goat, is nearing the end of his physical journey. Granddaughter, Scarlet, is very close to her grandfather. When Cappy leaves the goat herd, without an explanation, Scarlet is frantic to uncover the mystery behind his disappearance.
Young Scarlet leads her wilderness friends in a celebration of life as she and her friends honor her beloved grandfather. Join Scarlet, Boots, Chinook, Sockeye, Pepe, Cyrus and Blizzard as they trek along the rugged mountaintop in search of Cappy and the secret cave.
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This story is for the younger set, and explores the concept of death through a tale of animal friends and family. Cappy is an elder among them, and is reaching a time in his life where adventures here on earth, are coming to an end. The journey he's about to take is solo, and while not something looked forward to, he understands and wants to make it easiest for those he loves...hence his trek to the Secret Cave. When his absence is noted, his friends and family are at a loss as to where and why he went, but following in his hoof-steps, they discover not only the reason behind his leaving, but how to move forward.
I admit, when this one came around for a read/review option, I was curious to see how things would be handled on such a sensitive subject with the intended audience. The story itself jumped around a bit at first, almost as if there were pieces cut before publishing that might have lengthened the tale, but made the transitions smoother, however when the time came for this mystery of life to be explained to his young granddaughter, I was in tears. It was beautiful and touching, and delivered with such tender simplicity. Scarlet would still miss her beloved grandfather, but she now understood it was something unavoidable that didn't just signify a loss, but a celebration of all the times they shared, and that in remembering, he'd be forever with her.
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About the author....
KAREN STRUCK discovered the joy of children's literature as she read to her daughter each night. She was inspired by the Harry Potter book series, and decided to take writing courses through the Institute of Children's Literature.
Karen is also a registered nurse and works in the aesthetic industry, performing laser treatments combined with injectables for skin rejuvenation. She works with her husband, Steve, a plastic surgeon in Atherton, California. Residing in Los Gatos, California, Karen has a daughter named Rachel and two stepchildren, Danni and Evan Struck.
The Great Peach Experiment, Book 1
Erin Soderberg Downing
About the book...
Sweet summer has taken a rotten turn . . .
After a tough year, Lucy, Freddy, and Herb Peach are ready for vacation. Lucy wants to read all of the books on the summer reading list. Freddy wants to work on his art projects (when he isn't stuck in summer school). Herb wants to swim every day.
Then their dad makes a big announcement: one of the inventions their mom came up with before she passed away has sold, and now they're millionaires!
But Dad has bigger plans than blowing the cash on fun stuff or investing it. He's bought a used food truck. The Peaches are going to spend the summer traveling the country selling pies. It will be the Great Peach Experiment—a summer of bonding while living out one of Mom's dreams. Summer plans, sunk. And there's one more issue Dad's neglected: none of them knows how to bake. . .
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This story is aimed at the Middle Grade set, and tells just what happens when our lives are disrupted, and we forget to keep living.
The Peach family is having a bad time of things. With the loss of their mother, every day has had new challenges arise, and some have coped better than others. Lucy has seriously stepped up to the plate to make sure her younger brothers are taken care of, supported, and feel the love. Dad, on the other hand, hadn't processed things so well. He's still providing for the family, but it's not so much a family unit at this point as it is four people struggling together while carrying the full weight of their loss. Enter a windfall of money (thanks mom!), a break from work for Dad (though he was pretty much volun-told to take it), and a crazy summer experiment that will either make or break this family...and I'm not even measuring it in dollars.
Some things are more precious than money in the bank, but seeing it through the heartache can be a task and a half. As mind blowing as a random food truck startup for one adult and three kids sounds, it was just the right recipe of potential and disaster to steer these wonderful Peaches in the right direction...back to each themselves and each other. Lucy was the glue, Freddy was the optimism, and Herb was the heart. Dad was...lost in his sadness, and this time on the road together with all its ups, downs, and in-betweens, despite looking like a royal mess at times, was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Join the Peaches on a trip they won't soon forget, while honoring the memory of one lost too soon.
Special thanks to Katie at Smith Publicity Inc, and Sara at Holiday House for the copies for review. (THANKS!) For more information on these titles, the authors, or their full catalogs, feel free to click through the links provided above. Both titles are available now, wherever books are sold.
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!