Little Daisy’s Worst/Best Day

Daisy Worst Best Day20f252b73c66e1ed19c11e6846035df8_k1jc_aqq4Little Daisy’s Worst/Best Day

Kathleen Edick and Paula Johnson, Authors

Wee the People Publishing, LLC, 2012

Suitable for ages: 3 and up

Themes:  Moving, Leaving Family, Friends and Pets, Starting New Schools, Making New Friends

Opening “We’re at Grandma and Grandpa’s house today.  Mommy’s home packing; We’re moving away.  This is the Worst Day I’ve ever had.  I don’t want to move?  It’s making me sad.” 

Synopsis:  A sister and brother are moving far away and leaving behind their dog, Daisy, who they’ve had since she was a puppy.  One day an older couple comes to take Daisy home with them to their big farm.  It is Daisy’s WORST DAY ever.  She won’t eat, play, and ignores her new family.  Then one day the new owner feeds her a bowl of spaghetti.  And the farmer takes Daisy for a ride through the fields in the back of his truck.  Daisy discovers a whole new world of digging, exploring and chasing rodents.  At the same time the children learn similar lessons and make new friends.  And they keep in touch with their grandparents by writing letters until they are reunited during vacation.

Why I like this book:  This charming book is part of the “We Serve Too!” series written in verse for military children by two loving grandmothers, Kathleen Edick and Paula Johnson.  The characters remain the same in all four books.  Relocation and moving is a theme shared by both military and civilian children.  And this is a true story about the author’s real-life “Daisy Dog,” who comes to live on their farm when a family moves.  The authors are very clever to use Daisy to help children express their feelings about moving.  This beautiful story will help ease the fear and anxiety of moving.  It offers hope that things will work out.  The illustrations are colorful and show a lot of love and emotion.   Visit the Wee Serve Too! website.

And, I want to give a shout-out for the other three Wee Serve Too! books I’ve reviewed:  A Child’s Deployment Book, A Child’s Reunion Book, and The Homecoming Box.  These are quality books that have helped many military children through tough times.  I have donated all the of my books to my local library.  They were thrilled to receive them and ordered another set for the other branch.

Resources:  The authors have a free discussion guide that can be downloaded free from their website.  Just click on Little Daisy’s Worst/Best Day to get access to the guide.  This book  is a great tool for discussing a move with any child.

This book has been provided to me free of charge by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review of the work.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

We Serve Too!

Kathleen Edick and Paula Johnson have written and illustrated a series of books for children who are coping with the deployment of a military parent. Kathleen’s son served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and she was eager to find a way to explain her son’s deployments to her grandchildren in a meaningful way.   Paula, also a grandmother, loved the vision and added her writing and rhyming talents to the stories.  Together, these two grandmothers have created a beautiful series of books that will help children and families deal with long deployments, reunions and homecomings.   Children will have fun with the rhyming.  The bold and colorful  illustrations depict a lot of action and emotion designed to help kids understand and share feelings.  There a three basic books in the series for children 2-9 years.  The characters remain the same throughout the series. The books have all won the Silver Mom’s Choice Awards Honoring Excellence.

“Children make a sacrifice of the parents’ time and attention which needs to be recognized by the American public,” says Kathleen.  “We need to care for and acknowledge that they indeed serve too!”

A Child’s Deployment Book

Opening/Synopsis:  “My daddy joined the Army, He’s away from me and Mommy: and I don’t like it…NOT ONE BIT!  Sometimes I even pitch a fit:  And sometimes I regret it!”  Told in first person, a little girl is very unhappy about her father being deployed for a year and  she thinks about the time they will miss together before he returns home.   He explains to her that he’ll be in a danger zone, and that he wants her to stay home safe and sound.  She thinks about him when she gets up, imagines what he’s doing during the day, and what he eats for dinner.  Bedtime is when she misses her daddy the most.  But, she says a prayer for her dad at the same time he prays for his family.  The book is an honest portrayal for kids, but it is also a book of strength, courage and hope.  Posted in the back of the book is “The Creed of the Soldier’s Child,” a wonderful tool to use or post for the child.

A Child’s Reunion Book

Opening/Synopsis“Home is where things get messy — my room, my playhouse, my brother!  Sometimes when feelings get messy too, we don’t know what to do with each other.”  Their father is deployed  in the autumn, and the little girl and her family celebrate Christmas early with Dad.  They celebrate Christmas again in the winter, but it’s lonely without him.  The little girl travels through the seasons, pointing out the things she misses with her Dad — hunting Easter eggs,  losing a tooth, and missing birthdays, and the Fourth of July parade.  As autumn begins to arrive, a it’s time for Dad to come home.  The children prepare a “Welcome Home” banner and greet him with other military families.  The girl is happy for a while, but her feelings become messy and she feels jealous at his paying attention to her mother, angry when he tries to tell her what to do.  The family needs time to become a family again.  A very realistic portrayal for families.

The Homecoming Box

Opening/Synopsis:  “We got a surprise at FRG, a great surprise I think you’ll agree.  We walked down the hall to the room just for kids, and there sat two boxes – boxes with lids.”  The sister and brother attend a program for military children at a center.  Ms. K. holds a decorated box in her lap, and invites the children to gather around her, reach into the box and pull out an item.  Ms. K shares her memory associated with each item.  She gives each child a box– Homecoming Box — to decorate and take home.  During the year they will put items of events and special moments they want to share with their deployed  parent when he/she returns.  Filling the box, helps the time pass for the sister and brother.  They can’t wait until their dad returns so they can tell him about their year.  This is a creative activity for children and helpful for parents during the adjustment period that follows a deployment.  There is an appendix at the end that gives directions on creating a Homecoming Box.

Kathleen and Paula formed their own publishing company, We The People Publishing, LLC, for the WE SERVE TOO!” books.  There is an inspiring story behind the creation of the books, and their journey to bring these remarkable books to children of service families.   The books are distributed through Complete Book and Media.  They can be purchased through the WE SERVE TOO! website.  I encourage parents and teachers to check out the website.  There is an on-line discussion guide for each book that can be downloaded for free and short videos about the books.   There is a booklet for children 6-10 years about Afghanistan, coloring books, “We Serve Too” dog tags, and free printable coloring pages and military branch stickers.

This book has been provided to me free of charge by the author in exchange for an honest review of the work.