Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Morris the Village Voice

Publisher:  Createspace
Pages:  32
Source:  review copy from author in exchange for my honest review
Genre:  Children's Picture Book

When a small village's advertising column is to be replaced by a flashy neon billboard, only the heart and perseverance of two young children can save him and keep him in the town's center.
Morris is a very proud advertising column.  Topped with bronze that has turned green over the years, he rotates in the center of a wonderful, small village and informs its inhabitants of thee important events happening in their tiny hamlet.   From puppet shows and concerts to sporting events and the much ballyhooed circus, Morris is a respected member of the community whose role is essential...until the mayor and town advertising council decide to replace him with a neon billboard.

Can you imagine?  Well, needless to say Morris is deeply hurt.  Enough so, that he decides to speak out and ask village children Anna and Jason for help.  He also prays to his guardian angel to protect him and bring back the love and respect of the villagers--he's not taking any chances! Anna and Jason clean him up, give him a fresh coat of paint and new advertisements, and start to spread the word about their community's formerly favorite citizen.  Soon the town's residents realize how they have taken him for granted and neglected to honor him for all he has done.  The question is, do they realize their neglect before it is too late?

My Thoughts
I look at almost every book I read through one of two lenses; what message can this book provide for my students or my grandchildren?  In this case, for my students I could teach them about personification since the author decided to give the advertising column human qualities.  This book also as a message about taking care of the things we have around us.  We need to care for our environment.  If we don't, who will.  This is the second book I have read by this author and I am very please with her passion for teaching a message that is subtle, yet important.  Another thing I really enjoy are her drawings.  She is the illustrator of her books.  Her colored pencil drawings are charming.  That was the first thing my granddaughter noticed about the books.  Her comments about how people were being mean and not taking care of Morris, told me she got the message.  I whole heartily recommend Doris Rueger's books.

Author Bio:
Born and raised in Germany, Doris Rueger attended college in the United States and graduated with a master's degree in literature and journalism.  After a thirty year career in the scientific community, she now pursues her love for literature by writing and illustrating children's books.  ms. Rueger lives in Bellport, New York.

Winner of the Summer 2012 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for "Ella the Pink Elephant".

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