Welcome book lovers! I have something a little different for you today—or more specifically, for the children in your life. Today I’m reviewing three books by children’s author Margaret Welwood.
~ Little Bunny’s Own Storybook ~
This picture book for children between the ages of three and eight tells the story of a little rabbit who takes matters into his own hands when he finds the library closed for inventory. Little Bunny’s Own Storybook is a celebration of libraries, literacy, family, and the initiative and creativity of children (both human and rabbit).
~ Review ~
This is a story that will delight and inspire young book lovers. What child cannot relate to the disappointment of anticipating a favourite activity only to find out that it won’t be possible?! But Little Bunny encourages children to see opportunity instead of disappointment, and to tap into their own creativity to entertain themselves, rather than always expecting others to do the entertaining. And the illustrations are lovely!
~ Scissortown ~
How would a small town—well-ordered and supremely manicured—look after invasion by a horde of pink-slippered “Slicers and Dicers” who cause the townspeople to hide all their cutting tools? And then, how does life go on when nobody can cut anything at all?
Although it is pure fantasy, Scissortown was written for another purpose besides entertainment—a faith-based application at the end gives two examples of children in the Bible as encouragement to show kindness and take the initiative. Scissortown was written for children from the ages of 4 to 8, but younger and older children—and their grown-ups—are enjoying it, too!
Also available without Bible references as Scissortown (Life Application)
~ Review ~
Children will enjoy the way in which this story stirs their imaginations as the well-ordered-and-trimmed people of Scissortown have their lives disrupted by the destructive Slicers and Dicers. Unfortunately for the people of Scissortown, their solution to this little problem proves to be just as inconvenient. Can you imagine the kinds of difficulties you might have in a town with no sharp tools, from pencil sharpeners and can openers right up to hedge trimmers and axes?
Beneath the subtle humour of the story is a serious message, though: Children can be valuable contributors to society through their ideas and actions. This story encourages children to have an awareness of what’s happening around them, and to think of ways in which they can help. There’s even a page at the end of the story prompting them to look around and ask, “What’s my job today?”
A story children are likely to both enjoy and remember.
~ Marie and Mr. Bee ~
Marie is a happy little girl who lives in a cabin in the woods, working and playing with her forest friends . . . until a not-so-busy bee entices her to neglect her work! Compassion, forgiveness, and a forever friendship follow.
By the following summer, Mr. Bee is too old to fly. But every night, Marie lifts her little friend onto her lap and reads to him from the Book of John and the Book of Proverbs.
Marie uses a wheelchair, which is clear from the pictures. However, there is only one reference to the chair in the text–when she wheels the ailing Mr. Bee back to her cabin after his expulsion from the hive. Some people appreciate the fact that the disability is present without being the focus. Others are pleased to see someone with a disability in the role of rescuer.
Also available without Bible references as Marie and Mr. Bee.
~ Review ~
I love that this story illustrates the main character, Marie, in a wheel-chair without drawing any attention to the fact. Not only that, but Marie is a capable girl who both works and plays during the story. Well, except for those times when Mr. Bee leads her to neglect her work . . .
It’s a simple story, in view of the 4-8 aged bracket it’s written for, but there are many little lessons for a savvy parent to pick out of this book: Marie and Mr. Bee both learn the consequences of neglecting your work, and the pleasure and satisfaction that can come from working together. The story provides an opening to talk about the ways in which we allow other people to influence us, and to contrast Marie’s decision with the example shown by Marie’s woodland friends, who all carried on with their own work even when Marie didn’t. But perhaps the loveliest example in the story was the way in which Marie reached out in kindness to Mr. Bee when he suffered the consequences of his laziness.
A lovely story on so many fronts.
I received a copy of these stories from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
~ About the Author ~
Great Aunt Lily taught me to read, my mother parked me in the book section of The Bay while she did her shopping, and my grade 12 English teacher encouraged me to write.
So here we are *several* years later . . . .
I have written over 100 traditionally published magazine and newspaper articles. I also edited a diabetes education guide that won first place in the reference category of the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards (2010).
And I taught English as a Second Language for years with stories as a mainstay.
Now a new door has opened into Storyland . . . the world I’m exploring with my grandchildren. My first picture book for children, “Scissortown,” is the only one I know of that offers a choice of inside back cover. “Marie and Mr. Bee” offers a choice of last page.
I also like to encourage young readers and writers–my site features stories and art by children 7-12 years old. You may wish to check out some of their interesting and colorful creations.
A weekly storytime with young children as well as time spent with my grandchildren have made for some interesting discoveries about children’s literature. I blog about these discoveries and review my top picks on Goodreads and other sites.
Locally, I help adults improve their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills one-on-one. I also offer editing and proofreading services.