Author: Doris Rueger
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1-475296358

Philippians 2:3 states, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” In Doris Rueger’s children’s book, Morris the Village Voice, this Bible verse comes to mind regarding love, honor and respecting others and community property.

With twenty-five pages, this ten by ten inch paperback book has a drawing of bright yellow advertising column with two children on the front cover and several paragraphs about the book along with the author’s biography and photograph on the back cover. There are colorful, simplistic, childish crayoned pictures on every left side of the page and writing with a bordered background on the right side of the page. Some cut-and-pasted photographs are on advertising column itself for emphasis. The story is geared toward pre-school to early elementary school children with no scary or questionable scenes. Due to the length of reading, a beginner reader may have some difficulty or an adult may have to take longer than normal to read as a bedtime story.

This tome is about Morris, a worn and weary monumental column that is used for advertising space, placed in the pivotal part of town for everyone to see.  Written from the advertising column’s perspective in first person, Morris states how he loves having news and advertising to tell the community of events, sales and happenings.  His favorite time of year is when the circus comes to town and everyone views the colorful ads on his body.  During his heyday, the puppet-man, the ice cream man, and the organ grinder stand nearby and entertain him and the bystanders.

However, years pass and poor Morris feels unloved, dejected and lacking respect.  Birds dirty him, kids write graffiti on him and dogs pee on him.  His advertisements become worn, torn and easily forgotten so he prays to a guardian angel for someone to love him.  During Christmastime, Anna and Jason see his dilapidated structure so they talk to their parents, the mayor and the community and everyone pitches in and makes Morris a gleaming, shiny and important advertising column that everyone can be proud of again, just in time for the holidays.

This is a nice, innocuous story that encourages children not only to take care of their community but to care, love and respect it and others.  It would be a great book for a group setting to use and then discuss what can be cleaned, fixed or updated in one’s own neighborhood.

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