Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Authors: Thomas Weck and Peter Weck
Illustrator: Len DiSalvo
Publisher: Lima Bear Press, LLC
“I … I was brushing my fur this morning and when I turned around to look in the mirror, my b-b-back was GONE!” Plumpton sobs in Thomas Weck and Peter Weck’s children’s story, How Back-Back Got His Name.
Part of the Lima Bear Stories by father and son, this over-sized hardbound book has thirty full color pages targeted toward ages five to seven years old. This story is about helping others and realizing being different is special. Illustrator Len DiSalvo has large drawings that cover the pages completely. At the end of the book, there are instructions about before, during, and after reading along with suggested activities such as a hunt for words, making disappearing ink, rewriting the story’s ending, and highlighting interesting words. There are a few misspellings for emphasis that may confuse beginner readers.
In this fanciful story, the miniature Lima Bear is awakened by his rabbit friend, Whistle-Toe, giving him a note stating their friend, Plumpton, is having an emergency. When the opossum looks in a mirror, his back is invisible, totally gone. So, Lima Bear, Whistle-Toe, and their raccoon friend, Maskamal, attempt to think like an opossum and help locate the Plumpton’s back.
First Maskamal tries to hang upside down from the opossum’s favorite tree, but that ends badly with Maskamal falling on a pile of leaves while Whistle-Toe gets trapped in a cage in the nearby Big Meadow. Trying to rescue the rabbit from the cage, Lima Bear has to hide from children playing ball in the field while Maskamal disguises as a muddy tree to sneak over to the cage.
The dirty raccoon is spotted by the children and also put in the cage. With Plumpton’s back being invisible, he sneaks past the children and releases his two friends. The friends praise and congratulate Plumpton, calling him Back-Back and saying he can do special things because he is different. After all the emergencies the friends endure, the opossum’s new name sticks.
With all critters attempting to rescue their friend, the child learns about working together and accepting one another by appreciating special talents and differences. The fun activities at the back of the book are creative for several different levels of learning.
This book was furnished by KSB Promotions in lieu of an unbiased review.