Around the World and The Magic Words are Californian author Ana Koza's first bubbly children's picture- books.
Around the World
Teaming up with illustrator Shaun Crum, Koza with Around The World explores the diversity of the human race populating a world that is physically greater and richer than we can actually perceive and know. As noted on the back cover, “it's easy for children growing up in America not to understand how many different cultures and places there are in the world.” To help children realize that there is mixed bag of humans, Koza has crafted an engaging and uncomplicated story stressing inclusiveness. Children read about a six year old Elie who informs his young readers that he enjoys making new friends when plays in the park.
It is here where he meets youngsters coming from varied geographical areas in the world or continents. For those young readers who are unfamiliar with the term continent, Elie explains that there are seven “big lands” comprising North America, South America, Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Young readers are invited to meet six of Elie's friends from different continents and these comprise Madhu from India, Mariana from Bulgaria, Eric from Australia, Jessica from Mexico, Pedro from Colombia, Abassi from Nigeria. The story ends with a description of Antarctica, a continent made of ice and snow. Each character is introduced through their unique dress or food, favorite sport, music, agriculture, and interests.
The book features a fairly large-print with a child-friendly font. Enriching the text are twelve striking watercolor illustrations presented as full pages which lends a creative quality to the story. And although there is only one narrator, the tale doesn't feel uninhabited.
Undoubtedly, Around the World with its constructive information serves as a launching pad in attracting youngsters in becoming better acquainted with children from diverse backgrounds.
Ana Koza lives with her husband and sons Ari and Eli in San Diego, California. She was raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. Ana has been interested in writing since she was in school.
Illustrator Shaun Crum is originally from Medina, Ohio. He has been drawing for as long as he can remember, and he has a degree from The Art Institute of Pittsbugh.The Magic Words
How often do parents ask their children what are the magic words, “please” and “thank you?” Most of us strive to raise well mannered children and it seems that we are forever working on reinforcing these magic words with our self-absorbed kids.
As Ana Koza mentions on the back cover of her book, The Magic Words: “As kids grow up, it's important to give them social skills to navigate the world with grace and poise.” Moreover, good manners are vital in helping children develop consideration and appreciation for others.
With The Magic Words, Koza combines her writing talents with illustrator Gisela Magarito to teach her fictional character, Tommy to practice good manners. Like many children, he forgets to say “please” and “thank you” when asking his mother for a variety of things such as if he can ride his bike to the park or for something to eat. Magic to Tommy means uttering words as “abracadabra” or “hocus pocus.” However, giving it some more thought, Tommy remembers having a conversation with his mother when she told him that when he asks for things or wants something, he must always say the magic words as everyone likes to hear these words and people will do things for you.
This book with its short text is a delight to read with its effortless relationship between the words and illustrations distinguishing it from the innumerable others treating the same subject matter that try so hard to prove a point or teach a lesson. In addition, illustrator Magarito's illustrations are a perfect compliment to the story effectively capturing Tommy's body language and mood as he ponders what are the magic words.
Illustrator Gisela Margarito is a Mexican freelance illustrator. She enjoys working on children related subjects and has collaborated with authors on storytelling, educational techniques and musical tuition books. Her illustrations combine digital and traditional techniques described as colorful and vivid, her goal is to feed children’s imagination through her artwork.
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