Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Lynn Swanson has written a wonderful coming of age story about a young girl attending a prestigious dance camp one summer in "Summer Dance." Coming from a broken home with a deadbeat Dad, her Mom has given Sara a special treat of attending camp this year, but unless she wins a scholarship for the next summer, it will be a one time treat for the financially strapped family.
Sara shares a cabin with a diverse group of girls, all struggling with teenage angst of competition, boys, and dawning maturity.
With a dance background, Swanson is able to nail the growth of a child studying dance, to a young woman realizing that the ability of dance is a gift one must work relentlessly for:
"Sara felt like she had been doing it full out, but when the romantic waltz music began she realized she had more to give."
In an age where we see anorexia running rampant, Swanson's teacher tells her students "Your body is your instrument," reinforcing the idea that our bodies represent us, and should be respected.
Each of the girls are different and often find themselves at odds with each other. When the situation seems to be sliding to a "mean girl" place, the common thread of love for dance pulls them together to help each other to be the best they can.
"We've learned to dance alone and together, to step in for each other and to cheer for each other, to lead and to follow."
All in all, a terrific book of what can be achieved when we set aside our jealousy and pettiness, and come together to support each other the best we can be. In doing this, our own inner light shines just as bright and success will reflect right back at us.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
"Tilly was a silly goose," starts this adorable book by Eileen Spinelli that takes us through all the many things this wacky fowl does. She likes to kiss fish, take baths in apple juice, and sit on birthday cakes annoying the rest of the barnyard with her wild antics. They tell her that she must stop all her nonsense and behave like the rest of the group. Sadly, she complies with their demands. The group soon realize thet her behavior livened up the place, "Hetta Hen remarked, I haven't laughed since-when? - since Tilly chased the garbageman!"
Realizing they were wrong to make Tilly conform, all the animals apologize. Tilly resumes her harmless pranks, and once again entertains the entire barnyard with her shenanigans.
A wonderful tale pf appreciating our friends for who they really are and having the understanding that we shouldn't change them.
Beautiful and richly illustrated by David Slomin. Sweet book for some nice discussions on the meaning of friendship.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Last year I made a special guest appearance on Storytellers Campfire. You can listen to my interview below. I discuss some of my own adventures and inspiration for creating Captain No Beard!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
"Bad Apple" is a jewel of a book that celebrates individuality. Mac is a good apple. He helps his teachers, shares his toys and is very content in his world. One morning he wakes up different. A worm named Will has housed itself in his shiny interior. Mac finds his new companion fun. They fly kites and play games together. When the other apples see him, they call him names and shun him from the group. None of the other apples will play with him anymore, and worse than that, they call him a "rotten apple". He is altered and they persecute him for his difference.
Although he and Will continue to have a good time together, ever the good friend, Will leaves so Mac will be accepted by his friends once again. However, nothing is the same. Much as he's been accepted once again, it just doesn't feel right. Mac misses Will's companionship. Searching all their old hangouts, they find each other and realize, "he'd rather be a Bad Apple with Will than a sad apple without him."
"Bad Apple" celebrates individuality. Touching upon the obsession with appearance governing our culture, Hemingway allows that we don't need group approval. Difference can be pleasing and after exploring new things, we enrich ourselves as well as others around us.
Bullying is a hot button topic because so many brave people have had the courage to address it. Hemingway's easy to read text is a great platform for discussions on acceptance, friendship, bravery and tolerance. "Bad Apple", the book turns out to be a 'golden apple" of a read.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
My name is Carole P. Roman and I started writing as a dare from one of my sons. Using an imaginary game I played with my grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born. I have recently finished a book on yoga, three more Captain No Beard adventures and I've started a new series about children and their culture around the world.
Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for me. I'm still actively working in my family business and this opportunity has enabled me to share my sense of humor as well as my love of history and culture with the audience I adore.
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you'll visit often and connect with me on Facebook! You can also visit my website for more news and reviews! Until then...