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Essie's Kids & The Rolling Calf - 3

RRP $13.99

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Clarion Review JUVENILE FICTION Essie's Kids and the Rolling Calf---3 Luke Brown CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 978-1-4565-7696-7 Mystery stories for kids have changed dramatically in the last few decades. Characters like Encyclopedia Brown and The Boxcar Children have been replaced by wizards, vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Innocent sleuthing of creepy houses has been replaced by elaborate battles with powerful supernatural figures. That's what makes a ghost series like Essie's Kids & The Rolling Calf stand apart from other children's series. Husband and wife authors Luke Brown and Berthalicia Fonseca-Brown have created a collection of books that lets kids be ... well ... kids facing ghostly circumstances. In this, the third installment, Essie's children-Gena, Betty, Myrtle, Junior, Leonard, and Karl-are enjoying a wonderful vacation and making friends with neighboring kids in the countryside around Clear Mount, Jamaica. But behind the idyllic background, a ghost roams the land-something called a "rolling calf," an unnerving, clanking ghost with red eyes. Karl can't shake the feeling that the rolling calf is after him in particular. After a terrible nightmare, he knows nothing will change until he faces that ghost himself. Essie's Kids is refreshing in that it has a spooky premise, but feels more like The Hardy Boys than Harry Potter. Even while Karl knows he must face an unknown and possibly dangerous adversary, he is surrounded by a family that cares for him. This is a world where kids go five miles to the perfect place to swim or girls spend the day jumping rope. When the adventure does get going, the characters never lose the camaraderie of friends, the touchstone of solid parents, or the importance of a lesson learned. Karl's world is such a pleasant one that many readers may long to see more. While we read about squeaky floors as Karl walks and girls playing hopscotch on squares drawn in dirt roads, the Browns do not provide enough description of the setting. Essie's Kids has many opportunities to show us Jamaica from a child's eyes-the homey bungalow where the family stays, the green and rolling countryside, or the clear, sun-freckled waters of the nearby river. These opportunities to give readers vivid images are longingly missed. The lack of description may be by design. The text is laid out with no illustrations and includes an area at the back for children to cultivate their imagination by drawing their own images. It's a nice touch in a book that's written with a simplicity that will appeal to younger readers, but that has the length to attract older kids. Essie's Kids is personal and heartfelt, and each book in the series contains a moral. In this installment, Essie tells her kids to be positive in the face of adversity. This kind of message shows that it doesn't matter if you're facing down a rolling calf, He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, or a bully in a school yard. Being positive is a universal lesson that can improve the lives of children-and maybe even that of some adults. Katerie Prior


Making A Place For Kids With Disabilities

RRP $421.99

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Dale Borman Fink, the author of the only book on inclusion of youth with special needs in before and after school child care, now presents the first book to examine the experiences of children with disabilities participating in youth programs alongside their typical peers. This book is the product of Fink's quest to learn as much as possible about one community's experience with the inclusion of children with special needs in youth programs. Using a case study technique, he probes into the issues and dynamics that influence the increasing participation of kids with disabilities in such activities as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and park and recreation programs.

Fink enters a Midwestern community of 14,000, which he calls Wabash, interviewing the parents, the professionals, the peers, the community leaders, and the volunteers about the participation of children with disabilities. How does a girl who relies on an augmentative communication device take part in a Brownie troop? What do other tee-ball players think about a teammate with cerebral palsy? Why does one family refuse to use the local drop-in recreation center? Readers will learn what practices are evolving and what opportunities are being overlooked. Fink makes his own biases and interpretations plain, and he shares part of his own biography along the way. But it is the voices and experiences of the people of Wabash, rather than those of the author, that invest this book with such power and such importance to all who are concerned with youth with special needs.


Being A Warrior For Kids

RRP $13.99

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Ever wonder what makes up a warrior? Or if you could be a warrior? This book is dedicated to the process of warriorship for kids. Where they can start, what they can do, and what it really means to be a warrior! This is a journey that once started, never ends. Begin your journey as a warrior today!


Maker Projects For Kids Who Love Animation

RRP $17.95

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In this engaging title, readers interested in animation will learn about the history of this art in motion, and discover who the worlds greatest animators have been and how they came to create their inspiring works. The book includes several imaginative Maker projects to inspire readers to create their own animation. They will be encouraged to choose the style of animation they wish to create and experiment with it to change it into a form that suits their ideas and concepts.


Kids' Kew

RRP $20.00

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There's just so much to do at Kewespecially for the twelve-and-under set. There are treehouses to climb, wild animals to spot, and colorful plants to discover. An action-packed visit needs the ultimate guide, andKids' Kew is perfect for both kids and the adults joining in the fun.
This interactive book overflows with bright illustrations and activitiesfrom wildlife watches to dinosaur trivia and from silly jokes to a sticker bookthat will delight any child. An easy-to-use fold-out map helps with navigation and marks the kid-friendly stops. And once the trip is over, the many quizzes, connect-the-dots, crosswords, and other activities help children savor the trip home. ThroughoutKids' Kew, adventurers will find out how they can be plant superheroes, as they learn why conservation is important and what they can do to help save the world.

With information on visiting the Gardens year-round, this official guide will make planning easy and delight kids looking for their own special souvenir.



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