Summary: A plucky girl encounters an enormous tree, discovers it includes all fruits, and decides, much to the chagrin of its current animal and insect inhabitants (no epiphytes, sorry!), to climb to the top to retrieve a prized tropical fruit, the mangosteen. On the way she makes a mess, though, and well to continue would be to spoil the reader’s adventure.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
The Tree Talks Back starts with a girl walking into the forest. A little ways in, she sees a huge, no gigantic, no humongous tree. The tree is so big that it takes her half a day to walk around it. Now the most interesting thing about this tree is that it contained a lot of…. Well there were a lot of…. And then…
You know it was a really big tree and I can’t tell you what was going on because I don’t want to spoil the story for you.
The Tree Talks Back is a beautifully illustrated, very, very funny adventure story. Interestingly, the play on words is what makes this a UNIQUE read.
Sssh–another thing that is unusual about The Tree Talks Back is that the tree…zzzzzzz.
Can you believe that girl. She was about to give you a secret. I had to put her to sleep. Ahem! No spoilers here!
This book is primarily recommended for First Time Readers (5-8) and Middle Grade Readers (9 – 12). But I think all tiny readers and some not so tiny ones will enjoy reading it.
BIO Bill Grigsby leads the glamorous life of a small college professor. ‘I could never write. I went to a ex-pharmacist-turned-handwriting analyst, and she said I should have been a doctor. At the time I didn’t know that simply meant my handwriting was illegible, so I went back to school. I found out the hard way that illegible handwriting and a PhD don’t grant a license to perform surgery. They don’t tell you that til you’ve defaulted on your student loans and lost your first malpractice suit.’
Speaking of student loans, his oldest daughter Esa announced after graduating with a degree in foreign languages that her true passion was illustration. ‘I told her I’d write up an old bedtime story and she could illustrate it. How hard can children’s books be to pen? Complete sentences, right?’
That’s how No egrets Publishing was born. Bill keeps his day job teaching sociology at Eastern Oregon University. ‘Lots of people are locked in to pretty narrow ways of thinking about the world, society, and their places in it. Some of what I do is trying to disrupt intellectual entropy. It’s not a great marketing strategy, but it’s therapeutic.’
Esa keeps her day job in the Portland schools, but her talent at translating stories into pictures, scenes and side stories comes out pretty clearly on the page.
Their stories are full of sociological themes. ‘Kids are a tougher audience than college students. You can’t hold a final exam over their heads. The subtext in The Tree Talks Back is subtle but universal, the visual adornments extravagant, and it will never be mistaken for an academic report.’
At the time I made up this story, I had been working and researching in Africa, and as part of that studying tropical trees and fruits. Our daughters were unimpressed with my day job exploits, and parents intuitively know that none of that matters to young readers at bedtime. Subtext is there for those with an interest, but the story always comes first, and this one–mind you the illustrator was part of that original bedtime audience–was a labor of love.’
This story is best read to a younger audience, older children will appreciate following the meter and rhyme (and the subplots hiding in plain sight in the pictures).
The Adventures of HyperKid v BullBorg is about a fourth grader named Morgan Wallace who is hyperactive and sometimes has difficulty focusing on the tasks of everyday life. He is self-conscious about being different, but he soon finds out what it is like to really be different after the rays of a meteor transform him into a cyborg with super powers. After the family doctor is unable to transform him back into a regular nine year old, Morgan convinces his parents to let him keep his powers to help people as the super hero “HyperKid”. His first mission is to defend his schoolmates from a bully named Brian Bullini on the playground, who also turns out to be a cyborg with powers and who assumes the identity of “BullBorg”. But Morgan ultimately discovers that you don’t need to be a super hero to overcome the difficulties you encounter in life, and you don’t have to be a super hero to help other people. He also learns that you can’t judge others by what you see on the surface, which leads him to realize that Brian is not a bully at all and that they have a lot more in common than it seemed at first.
While this book covers a wide range of serious issues beyond hyperactivity (bullying, intolerance, loneliness, and pre-judgment of people), The Advenures of HyperKid v BullBorg is also a fun super hero story with humorous characters involved in a suspenseful adventure story.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)
For me, an interesting thing about The Adventures of HyperKid v Bullborg. was BullBorg. You know he’s… Well he’s… But then… I can’t really explain it without giving the story away. Besides what I was going to tell you isn’t really true. You know, I mean something else happened that was so awesome while HyperKid was taking him to the Nurse’s Office. Oops, I almost did it again. I definitely shouldn’t tell you about the teachers, who provided the comic relief. Oh, and let’s not forget Dr. Popsicle. What? Didn’t I just say I can’t talk about that. You’re just gonna have to read it for yourself.
I can say this, the thing I loved about The Adventures of HyperKid v BullLBorg was the relationship between Hyperkid and his father which lead to a great relationship between Hyperkid and Bullborg. Ahhhh, what did I do? Oh well, you can’t keep everything a secret. I also loved the dynamic way their super powers were developed as well as their limitations.
The Adventures of HyperKid v BullBorg is a UNIQUE and SPECIAL NEEDS read because of it characters and their unusual situations.
The Adventures of HyperKid v BullBorg is recommended for First Time Readers (7-8) and Middle Grade Readers (9-11) not to mention all kids that have been bullied, pre-judged, discriminated against, etc., etc., etc.
BIO Emerson Daub is a fourth grade student who loves to play with toys and has a healthy interest in cyborgs and super heroes. Having already written a children’s book with his father Richard about their pet cats titled Spaulding and Zoom, Emerson expressed interest in writing a new book that combined two of his favorite interests. In writing this new book, Emerson, who has a very creative mind and active imagination, sat down with his father and in one sitting made up the story that would become The Adventures of HyperKid: HyperKid v BullBorg. Richard, who at one time had been a reporter but admittedly has very limited knowledge of cyborgs and modern super heroes, took extremely diligent notes and asked many detailed questions about the characters and the story. After this marathon session, Richard typed up the notes and gave them a voice. Over the following months, the father and son duo worked together to refine the prose into a tight but entertaining first person narrative. They hope the finished work will be enjoyed by all who read it and that it will serve as inspiration for everyone to rise above their personal obstacles and not let them hinder the pursuit of their goals and dreams.