The Magic Word
Elizabeth discovers she has no friends when no one wants to come to her birthday party. Elizabeth does not understand why she has no friends until she talks to her mom. Mom suggests Elizabeth learn to be more considerate of her classmates and teacher, and to learn to use the magic words “thank you” and “please.” Elizabeth is also told to start thinking more of others than herself, and to treat the other kids like she wants them to treat her. Elizabeth returns to school and does what her mother suggested. Will the kids respond and come to Elizabeth’s birthday party after all?
The Magic Word gently teaches children two important life skills: how to make friends and manners. Ms. Cannon writes in rhyme that is simply and easy to follow. Kids will love learning how to treat others kindly while reading this story. It is also a good read-aloud-story, perfect for pre-school and kindergarten classes. The illustrator has given the child characters wonderful expressions that are easy to understand. They are drawn in soft pastels. This short, 25-page book, delivers on every level. Written in one of the most difficult manners, poetry, the story is pleasant, the message clear and the illustrations fantastic.
This is Ms. Cannon’s third book. She was a teacher (really, can they ever stop being teachers?), and now a grandmother who travels around the country visiting grandchildren and writing stories. Her first two books are Santa’s Birthday Gift (an Idie Excellence Finalist), and Peter and the Whimper-Whineys. Ms. Cannon has a natural gift in her writing. The rhyming stories are charming and humorous. She gently sends her message to kids without preaching or moralizing. I would love to read something longer, maybe a chapter book for middle graders or young adults. No matter what Ms. Cannon chooses to write, she is a writer not to be ignored.
2011 Awards for The Magic Word
Peter and the Whimper-Whineys
Peter rabbit is a whiney little fellow. He whines and cries about everything. He is also cranky, stubborn, and selfish. After hearing Peter whine and cry all day about everything and everyone, meaning his little sister, Mom sends Peter to bed early with a warning. The Whimper-Whineys will take Peter deep in the forest to Whimper-Whineland if he keeps on whining and crying, and acting stubborn and selfish. Peter will live with the other whimper-whineys who are rude, selfish, messy, and just plain difficult to live with. Peter lays in bed thinking about his mother’s warnings. Suddenly, he hears a noise outside. Is it too late for Peter? Will the whimper-whiners take him to Whimper-Whineland to live? If he does go, which it looks like he will, can Peter find his way back home?
Peter and the Whimper-Whineys will become a classic in every home with little boys and girls. This is a wonderful tale told with humor and humor and more humor. Written in Ms. Cannon’s now trademark rhyme, the text has a singsong quality kids will love. The delightful tale exposes what whining and crying, multiplied numerous times and then put into one room, would be like. Peter realizes his actions are a bit annoying and is determined to leave Whimper-Whineland far behind. Any child reading this story will agree with Peter. The Whimper-Whineys make sure of that.
The Kalpart Artists help drive the story with their illustrations of Peter (who looks like a boy with floppy ears), and the Whimpy-Whineys, who look like old men more than rabbits. The illustrations capture Peter’s somewhat serene, happy home and then shift gears to the gloomy, dark, and strange Whimper-Whineland. Here, cute baby ducks innocently float on the surface of a pond. The whimpy-whineys sit on the ground encircling the pond, which their tears have create the pond. Boys will enjoy the whimper-whiney’s dinner party. It is not a place to take a date; if a whimer-whiney could get a date.
Peter and the Whimper-Whineys is a strange tale that must have originated from an equally quirky, yet brilliant mind. Ms. Cannon’s writing easily helps instill good behaviors and eradicate bad ones without preaching or moralizing. It must be a genetic quality. Ms. Cannon’s mother, also a teacher, originally told this story in class and at home. Ms. Cannon translated the tale, writing in rhyme. This story could become the favorite bedtime story on many small bookcases, sharing the space with The Magic Word and Santa’s Birthday Gift, an Idie Book finalist.