A Different Kind of Safari
A Different Kind of Safari, by Helen C. Hipp, appears to be a light easy read. But when you think about its message, it isn’t so light after all. Ray is shy, lonely and has a hard time talking to other people. He is unhappy because he feels different. However, when he goes on his safari, he learned that being different is okay. And he learned not to judge people or animals by their looks, but rather to get to know them first. This is a great lesson in any society and for both the young and not-so-young.
I found the format of the text and the pictures a little unusual. It doesn’t fit either the “standard” picture book or chapter book formats. However, it made me wonder whether that decision was intentional, to match the subject of the book. Younger children may need an adult to help them reach the deeper meaning of the book. Nevertheless, this book is excellent for both teaching and entertaining.
Holiday Traditions, Mystic Princesses Style
“PJ, we miss our families,” Breanna said. “It’s the holidays and we’d like to be with them, but they are so far away.”
PJ smiled because she knew a secret that she wasn’t sharing with the girls and said, “When I miss my family, I think of the things we did on holidays. It makes me feel like I’m back at home, even for just a few minutes. For instance, I always went to Christmas Eve services with my parents. It was beautiful, because at the end of the service, the lights were dimmed and everyone would light their candles one at a time. Once they were all lit, the church glowed softly. Our breath caused the flames to slowly flicker as we sang Silent Night. After we finished singing, we’d blow out our candles and quietly leave the church. When we returned home, my brothers and I would beg to open a present. And our parents always let us open one small gift. But we had to wait until Christmas morning to open the rest. After that we’d watch the Macy’s Day Parade while mom prepared a the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy and pumpkin pie for dessert. Later in the day dad watched football while we played with our new toys.”