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The Clever Swallow

by Christopher Lee
illustrated by Yoom Thawilvejakul

*** Gold Medal Winner ***
Multicultural Fiction - Juv-Young Adult
IPPY Book Awards
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The Clever Swallow is a children's book for young readers 5 to 12 years of age. It is based on eight popular Korean folktales written by Korean American writer Christopher Lee and illustrated by Thai artist and animator Yoom Thawilvejakul.

 

Size: 10 x 10 inches
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 36

ISBN: 978-0-9917419-0-8

"The Clever Swallow by Christopher Lee is a delightful, interactive book that exhibits both the charm of old world fairy tales and the pizzazz of the modern computer age. The book can be read from start to finish in chronological order or there are page insets that direct the reader to different chapters that can change the course of the story. Children, so familiar with interactive computer programs, may find this latter option particularly appealing. Each story is complete in and of itself, having a moral or lesson for the reader. There is a wonderful, imaginative stream of consciousness directing the action in the story as only a fairy take can.

Yoom Thawilvejakul’s illustrations are fanciful and sensitive, adding new layers to the reading experience. The rich layout and multi-colored hand printed letters add a personal touch. The screaming caps for emphasis are very effective and will stand out to the young reader as sign posts on the book’s journey.

My suggestion to parents is to read the book first in chronological order in order to fully experience the mood and characterization of the little swallow and the bear. Then go back and sample some of the playful new spokes in the story. At a first reading, I did try to follow some of the different spokes and experienced a disjoined feeling that went away after I had read the book in linear fashion. Be assured, however, that in whatever order story, you and your young reader are in for a treat."

Kathleen Clancy
poet and mother
April 2015

Pairs - Twins and Other Twosomes

by Evan Welty
illustrated by Hsingping Pan

*** Gold Medal Winner ***
Best First Book - Picture Book
Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
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Pairs are all around us and we usually assume they’re two identical things… but often they’re not… especially when the pairs are people! Follow a little boy as he takes you on a tour of his home, garden and family and spot the pairs along the way. Do you know any people that look just alike? “Look and see… they might just surprise you! We think you’ll agree.”

 

Size: 9 x 9 inches
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 24

ISBN: 978-0-9917419-1-5

"Pairs, Twins and Other Twosomes by Evan Welty is a charming children’s book. The narrator is one of a pair of twins but throughout the book we can clearly hears a mother’s voice explaining how things that appear to be alike are actually quite different at closer look. First, she is a teacher encouraging the reader to look at pairs of things and identify their differences, from shoes and toys to mittens, each made for a different hand. We hear that seeds that look alike produce different plants. Then the reader is invited to actively look for the differences in pairs of things in Hsingping Pan’s wonderful illustrations in the book. After this, the voice becomes quite personal and we hear of the narrator’s mother’s surprise when learning that she will have twins. The narrator explains how he and his brother are very different although they look alike. Finally the book comes full circle when the tone turns back to that of a teacher asking the read to identify pairs wherever they are seen, both in their day to day experiences, as well as in the book. The feeling of the story is both light and whimsical yet hearfelt. It is appropriately told in rhyming couplets consistent with the theme of pairs.

The illustrations are a delight in bold yellows, reds, greens and brown. They are full of action from smiling trees and seeds, flittering butterflies, and birds on the wing to growing gardens, tree swinging and exciting hot air balloon rides. There is a touching illustration of the mommy with two babies inside her as a child would imagine them. There is a symmetry enriched by the wonderful exuberance of the images where nature is personified in a way a child can easily understand.

All in all, this is a book your child will enjoy reading for the interactions, rhyming conversational voice and vibrant pictures. This would be a great gift for your child’s friends."

Kathleen Clancy
poet and mother
April 2015

 

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