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.
Author & Illustrator: April Manning
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
“I am your Neighborwood
Land Ambassador – everyone calls me Lamb! It is my job to watch
over the Neighborwood. Let’s go see what is going on today. I think
you will find it is a lot like your neighborhood,” a young girl
states in April Manning’s book, Neighborwood – Earth Literacy for
This forty-four page square paperback targets preschool to elementary school aged children, promoting understanding the natural world. With no scary scenes but some complicated words to pronounce, the story may best be read out loud to beginner readers. With rudimentary colored pencil illustrations on almost every page, the tome is easy to follow and understand.
In this educational tale, Land Ambassador Lamb introduces her readers to the Neighborwood, a forest habitat with lots of trees, plants, animals, and insects. Explaining words such as habitat, community, niche, and diversity, she correlates the forest to where readers normally live, eat, sleep, and play.
As she shows animals in the forest live in trees, shrubs, and undergrowth, she clarifies how each critter contributes to maintaining and recycling the area. With animals in a classroom setting among foliage, they learn how food is gathered, waste is broken down, and new growth appears.
When the teacher gives them an assignment of writing to a pen-pal, Mouse heartily composes a note to House Mouse. The rodent mentions he lives in a burrow, keeps it cleaned out, hunts for nuts and berries, and plays games with his friends, a turtle and a bird. After a few days, the pen-pal replies he lives on a farm with a field of corn for food. He also has to keep his burrow clean, sleeps in the house when it is cold, and plays different games with his friends.
Another letter, written from a mockingbird to an African-Grey parrot, is stuck in snail-mail and may be the next book in the series. With no recap of learned words at the end, a list of pen-pal websites for readers to join is included.
As an excellent source to teach children early in life about earth literacy, Manning hones in on interesting information about our environment and how to protect it and the animals and plants that live with us.
Thanks to the author for furnishing this book in exchange for the reader’s honest review.