August 23rd, 2018

Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Weekly Book Review

Every few days, once a week, a week and a half, every other week... something like that.  Anyway I'm trying to post book reviews at a fairly regular rate.  At the time I'm going through the files of Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers and posting reviews  from there.  Most of the time, reviews are of books by SASP members, reviewed by one or more members of the group.  Sometimes the author or a reviewer may no longer be a member, and on occasion our members have reviewed books by non-members, and non-members may have reviewed books by a member.
Anyway, here is the next one up.
Meadow Pond
Esther J. Hildahl

Reviewed by James Bartlett Parry

        In this charming children’s book Esther Hildahl has anthropomorphized all of the animals living in or around Meadow Pond.  They are delightful critters who have fears, doubts, happiness, and sadness, just as we humans do.
        Meadow Pond teaches us many lessons:  We learn much about the biology of frogs and other amphibians; we learn that putting aside differences and joining together to fight a common threat can save the day; and we learn to have respect for all of God’s creatures.
        You’ll jump right in as Web, Clarence, Polly, Skier, Grover and others have many exciting adventures which include battles against the mean Red Boat Kids and Hes-per, the snake who likes to eat frogs.  There is even a skiing turtle!
        Hildahl has done a wonderful job bringing these animals to life in this cute tale that she relates so well.  Although Meadow Pond is meant for children (ages 5 to 11), I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Reviewed by Kate Poitevin

This book is SO great!  It starts out in the tadpole classroom as the wonderful frog teacher, Miss Gertie, explains to her students how their bodies will soon be changing.  Then she tests them on the history of Meadow Pond.  Charming.  Next we meet the other inhabitants of the pond.  The story quickly gets exciting as we meet the mean Red Boat Kids.  Then there’s Hes-per the snake.  Ms. Hildahl has created a wonderful backdrop for her story with enough description to put a child right in the story.  The characters are rich and recognizable as we all know people just like that. There are lessons about avoiding dangers, bravery against bullies, about working together for the common good, diplomacy in negotiations with another species, and making a plan, even if it’s sounds too scary to pull off.  It has a great happy ending, as it should.  As an added bonus, Ms. Hildahl has filled the book with her own whimsical illustrations that call out for crayons to color them in.  A perfect book for grandmothers to have in their libraries.