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Summary: Maya and Genevieve are best friends. That means that Genevieve needs to find something truly special for Maya's birthday present. Toys don't seem to be the right thing. But what? Genevieve's mom says "listen to your heart?" Can that really help? This is an illustrated chapter-type book that teaches kids about trusting their intuition.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, middle grade reader, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 6 to 9
Age of Child: Shared with child who is six years old.
Young Reader Reaction: Our child listened carefully to the story, and was quick to comment about Billy's reaction to Genevieve's gift. S/He noticed the "big kid pages" at the end and asked what they said. As we read through the process for connecting with your inner self, our child jumped right in.
Adult Reader Reaction: We liked the idea of a story about birthday parties that has nothing to do with buying something! The author speaks to children on several levels: believing in yourself, trusting your talents, and persevering in the face of criticism. The "Heart Connection" is also helpful just for quieting your mind when stressed.
Pros: This is an illustrated book with a lesson in self-esteem for kids, presented in a way they can understand.
Cons: None. Except we weren't near the piano, so we weren't ready to play the music at the end.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a positive story for pre-readers and independent readers alike. The book could easily be one kids return to when they need that "reminder" about how special they are.
Educational Themes: The story sets a great platform for helping young children understand their "natural instincts." It also offers opportunities to talk about how we react when someone makes a choice different than ours. The instructions at the back for meditation create a take-away with lifetime benefits.
Notes: The Reading Tub, Inc. read an Advanced Reader's edition.
Gold Seal Winner 2007 Parent to Parent Adding Wisdom Award.