Touch the Earth by Julian Lennon

Touch the Earth by Julian Lennon
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Childrens (Ages 0-8 yrs), Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

A New York Times bestseller that TODAY calls “beautiful” and “stunning!” Boys and girls can take to the air and learn how precious the Earth and her natural resources are.
This interactive book immerses children in a fun and unique journey. Jump aboard the White Feather Flier, a magical plane that can go wherever you want!

Just press a button printed on the page, and point the plane up in the air to fly, or down to land it!
Fly to the top of a mountain!
Send clean water to thirsty people!
Dive deep into the ocean (the Flier turns into a submarine!) to pick up pollution and bring back the fish!
Explore the planet, meet new people, and help make the world a better place!
The Flier’s mission is to transport readers around the world, to engage them in helping to save the environment, and to teach one and all to love our planet.
An inspiring, lyrical story, rooted in Lennon’s life and work, Touch the Earth is filled with beautiful illustrations that bring the faraway world closer to young children. The book includes words to a special poem written by Julian Lennon, specifically for Touch the Earth.

The first book of a bestselling trilogy that includes Heal the Earth and Love the Earth. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to support the environmental and humanitarian efforts of the White Feather Foundation, the global environmental and humanitarian organization that Lennon founded to promote education, health, conservation, and the protection of indigenous culture.

Sometimes we need to see the bigger picture before we can work on a smaller scale.

This book is fantastic in that it’s about the earth and how we can change what’s going on, but on a smaller scale. I liked that it’s lyrical and pretty, while educational. Lennon writes in a way that’s empathetic, but also sweet. It’s a love story to the earth, wrapped in a children’s book, and educational without being pushy. We need to fix the earth so we can all enjoy it. I loved it and the illustrations are beautiful.

If you’re looking for a book that’s pretty, educational and fun, then give this one a chance.

The Mystery Hat by Rune Brandt Bennicke and Jakob Hjort Jensen

The Mystery Hat by Rune Brandt Bennicke and Jakob Hjort Jensen
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Middle Grade (8 – 12 y.o.), Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Crow, Pig, and Beaver are taking a nice stroll in the woods when they come across a red hat sitting in a puddle. Whose hat is it? What mysterious circumstances could have brought it to this very puddle? Crow thinks that Bear lost the hat when he fell into a giant hole. Perhaps Bear is holding his breath underground, waiting to be saved! Beaver thinks he’s got a better idea. Maybe Turtle, who was wearing the hat, was snatched up and made into yummy turtle soup by a crazed snowman! Can Pig come up with a logical explanation so that the friends can be rid of all these hogwash ideas?

Imaginations run wild in this hilarious picture book from Rune Brandt Bennicke and Jakob Hjort Jensen. The Mystery Hat is sure to get a chuckle from all during the cold winter months.

Who wouldn’t want to solve a mystery in a peaceful winter forest?

It was amusing to see how Pig’s calm and rational personality reacted to the creative and sometimes dramatic things his friends said. He was nothing like them in many ways, and yet their friendships were strong and kind ones. This was one of the things that first drew me into the storyline given how warmly the narrator described every character no matter who they were or how they behaved. I was curious to see how characters with such wildly different personalities would get along.

There was a scene involving a snowman who wanted to add one of these characters’ friends to a pot of soup he was making that I thought was a little too scary for the younger portion of this audience. Some kids might find it amusing, but I would have been frightened by that idea as a preschooler. This is one of those situations where grown-ups should know their audience well and be prepared to tailor that plot twist to something gentler if needed. As much as I liked the storyline in general, I would need to think carefully before reading this to younger kids who are sensitive to things like mistreating animals.

I enjoyed seeing how Pig used logic and reason to figure out what really happened to the missing hat. He was a smart animal who clearly took his time to consider all of the explanations before offering his own opinion about what happened. Critical thinking also isn’t something I’ve seen addressed in many picture books, but it’s an important skill for everyone to learn.

The Mystery Hat made me smile.