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Picture Book Review: I Love You More

I Love You More
Written by Laura Duksta
Illustrated by Karen Keesler

A flip-sided book...like love, it never ends.

I recently received a review copy of this children's picture book. It isn't a story, but rather a conversation between a mother and her son. The question initially posed by the little boy is, "Mommy, just how much do you love me?" His mother replies in rhyme, "I love you higher than the highest bird ever flew. I love you taller than the tallest tree ever grew." She continues with many other sweet comparisons of love.

Yes, there are books similar to this one. However, this story breaks in the middle of the book and you must then turn the book over and continue reading from the other side. The conversation then continues as the mother turns to her son and asks him, "So, just how much do you love me?" And the boy begins, "I love you quieter than the quietest caterpillar ever creeped. I love you further than the furthest frog ever leaped."

The reason I enjoyed this aspect of it so much is because you get to see the difference in comparisons that they make. While the mother compares her feelings of love to ethereal things such as the wind and stars, the boy's comparisons are ones of more tangible, childhood wonders such as lollipops and kites. When the mother asks her son how much he loves her, it creates a wonderful opportunity for him to use his imagination and think creatively. This also adds a richer element to the story, as the loving feelings aren't just one-sided.

There are some picture books where the love is so heartfelt that it brings tears to my eyes, my voice cracks a little as I read aloud, and my children turn from the book to look at me and ask if I'm going to cry. This is one of those books.

Behind this book's creation is the author's personal journey. At the age of 11, Laura Duksta lost all of her hair to Alopecia Areata. For almost 20 years, she wore a wig to hide her baldness. On her 30th birthday, she "came out" as The Bald Chick, finally able to love herself enough fully, and allow others to love her as well. She has channeled this powerful love into her book, where she can now share her message of love with the world. You can learn more about Laura on her website.

After reading the book to my kids, I shared the author's personal story with them. They were very inspired by her and proud of her. They told me how they had wished she hadn't felt the need to hide for so long. I think everyone who reads this book with their children has been given an additional gift... a wonderful opportunity to talk about Laura's powerful message, and importance of self-love and personal worth.

Illustrator Karen Keesler earned the nickname "Hippie" from her love of people and the planet. She enjoys nature, surfing, gardening, yoga and meditation. She's also a vegetarian...as am I, so I happily relate to her compassion for all creatures. She is a professional photographer and illustrator, capturing her love for the world with her art.

This heartwarming picture book presented by "Hippie and The Bald Chick" is one of deep simplicity and highly recommended!

Debuting the week of November 5, 2007, I Love You More is now available in hardcover. You can find it in bookstores and Amazon.com.

Published by Jabberwocky (an imprint of Sourcebooks)

Calla: An inspirational new children's book!

Kay Earnshaw (editor of Kite magazine) has written and illustrated an inspiring new picture book titled "Calla".

Book summary:
Calla is a little girl who is facing an unsatisfactory situation. The family car is in the shop, so her weekly trip to the library is canceled, leaving her understandably upset. She decides to have a talk with her inner self, and attempts to find her way back to her joyful nature.

Calla uses the principles of Intuitive Listening, the Power of Now, and the Law of Attraction to guide herself out of a bad mood.

Book details:
  • Paperback
  • Full color
  • 36 pages
  • 7.5" square
  • Perfect binding
Copies of Calla are available online at:
Roots With Wings

Literary Child July 2007 Book Selection: The Giver

The Giver
by Lois Lowry

Join us as we begin our July reading selection! And don't miss the accompanying issue of Literary Child, filled with original word puzzles, family activities, games, crafts, recipes and more...all inspired by the book, The Giver!

Summary of the book:
Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now it's time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

Winner of the 1994 Newberry Medal

A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book
An American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
An American Library Association Notable Book for Children
Winner of the Regina Medal
Booklist Editors Choice
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Literary Child June 2007 Book Selection: Marigold and the Feather of Hope

The Fairy Chronicles: Marigold and the Feather of Hope, The Journey Begins by J.H. Sweet

Join us as we begin our June reading selection! And don't miss the accompanying issue of Literary Child, filled with original word puzzles, family activities, games, crafts, recipes and more...all inspired by the book, Marigold and the Feather of Hope!

Summary of the book:
Inside you is the power to do anything.

Meet Beth, who's just discovered something incredible...she is a fairy, a marigold fairy, to be exact.

But Beth must learn to be a fairy during an emergency! The Feather of Hope has been lost and Beth must enlist the aid of her dog, Peanut, in a daring mission to rescue it from a house occupied by dangerous gremlins. And if Beth, her new fairy friends and Peanut can't get the Feather back, all hope will be lost...forever.

Excerpt from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky paperback

For more information, visit The Fairy Chronicles online.

Literary Child May 2007 Book Selection: The Little Prince

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

Join us as we begin our May reading of one of our favorite book selections! And don't miss the accompanying issue of Literary Child, filled with original word puzzles, family activities, games, crafts, recipes and more...all inspired by the book, The Little Prince!

Summary of the book:
No story is more beloved by children and grown-ups alike than this wise, enchanting fable. One day, the author reminisces, when his plane was forced down in the Sahara, a thousand miles from help, he encountered a most extraordinary small person. "If you please," said the stranger, "draw me a sheep." And thus begins the remarkable history of the Little Prince.

The Little Prince lived alone on a tiny planet no larger than a house. He owned three volcanoes, two active and one extinct. He also owned a flower, unlike any flower in all the galaxy, of great beauty and of inordinate pride. It was this pride that ruined the serenity of the Little Prince's world and started him on the interplanetary travels that brought him to Earth, where he learned, finally, from a fox, the secret of what is really important in life.

There are a few stories that in some way, in some degree, change the world forever for their readers. This is one.

Excerpt from Harcourt paperback.

Literary Child April 2007 Book Selection: Treasure Island

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Join us as we begin our April reading of this well loved book selection! And don't miss the accompanying issue of Literary Child, filled with original word puzzles, family activities, games, crafts, recipes and more...all inspired by the book Treasure Island!

Summary of the book:
For sheer storytelling delight and pure adventure, Treasure Island has never been surpassed. From young Jim Hawkins's first encounter with the sinister Blind Pew to the climactic battle with the most memorable villain in literature, Long John Silver, this novel has fired readers' imaginations for generations. More than a rousing tale of treachery, greed, and daring, Treasure Island is, in the words of G.K. Chesterton, "the realization of an ideal, that which is promised in its provocative and beckoning map; a vision not only of white skeletons but also green palm trees and sapphire seas." Original and thoroughly engaging, Treasure Island continues to appeal to young and old alike.

Excerpt from Signet Classic paperback, Penguin Putnam Books.
(Originally published in 1883)

Book Review: The Complete Book of Baby Names

March is the month to celebrate names! The first week of March is "Celebrate Your Name Week". March 7 is "Learn What Your Name Means Day". March 10 is "Middle Name Pride Day". And March 27 is "National 'Joe' Day"...anyone who dislikes their real name can be called "Joe" for the day. (Not sure what people named Joe do on that day if they dislike their name!)

So in honor of this fun Name Month, I have a name book recommendation for you. It's called The Complete Book of Baby Names: The 100,001 Best Baby Names by author Lesley Bolton

This 677 page comprehensive guide to baby names is a fabulous resource featuring 276 fun category lists including names from children's literature, names with great expectations, middle names, unisex names, names that command respect, etc. There are popular names, including twin names (which are good to know, whether you are looking for a well known name, or trying to avoid one!). Popular names are also sorted by country. Aside from the many unusual lists, the bulk of the book is divided between girls and boys names in alphabetical order.

Looking for an international spy name? Lexine may be the name for you. How about an insect name? Try Cicada on for size. Feeling torn between a pirate name or a Muppet name could mean the difference between Avery or Beaker. This book covers practically all. There are so many fabulously interesting lists that I wish I could name them all here.

The Complete Book of Baby Names is such a fun book to thumb through, even if you're not pregnant! Baby name books are obviously geared towards expectant parents, but I find they are also fun for others as well. You can look up the names of your friends and family members to find the meaning behind their names. This book is also great for writers needing to create names to match their characters' personalities!

I thought I'd go through some of the characters in the books chosen for Literary Child last year and share their meanings, according to The Complete Book of Baby Names.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Axel - (German / Latin / Hebrew) Source of life; small oak / axe / peace

Pippi Longstocking
Pippi - (French/English) A friend of horses / a blushing young woman

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Dorothy - (Greek) A gift of God

James and the Giant Peach
James - (Hebrew) Form of Jacob, meaning "he who supplants"

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice - (German) Woman of the nobility; truthful; having high moral character

The Tale of Despereaux
Gregory - (Greek) One who is vigilant; watchful

Black Beauty
Ginger - (English) A lively woman; resembling the spice

The Moorchild
Bess - (English) Form of Elizabeth, meaning "my God is bountiful"

The Adventures of Pinocchio
Antonio - a variation of Anthony - (Latin) A flourishing man; from an ancient Roman family

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Nicodemus - (Greek) The victory of the people

A Christmas Carol
Ebenezer - (Hebrew) The rock of help

I find it so fascinating that the names of so many of the characters actually match their personality traits!

For more information on The Complete Book of Baby Names, please visit the Sourcebooks website.