March April issue of Awareness Magazine : Vinit Allen, Designing  a World That Works

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Awareness Magazine
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Kids' Reviews

by Lyda Whiting


BABY IN BLISS CD Created by The BLISS Team

Relax and connect with your baby or young child with this magical CD of gentle inspiring songs. This is a powerful and positive musical journey, embracing you and your little one in peace, beauty, gratitude, and joy. These songs are filled with love and connection to the true essence within each of us.

With titles such as Compassion, Freedom, Spirit, Faith and Love, each melody is unique yet flows into the next beautifully. The drumbeats are soothing yet compelling, and inspire dancing or just swaying to the rhythm. The words are uplifting and joyful, reminding the listener of their own true beautiful nature.

Created by parents as a way to give all the children a way to truly remember who they are, the BLISS Team includes Ragan O’Reilly, Alex Thompson, Rowena Cobian, Amie Smirni, Idris Hester, Daniel Alexander and Brandon Jarrett. The lyricists and songwriters are Tony and Gene Bue.

This CD would be beautiful at naptime and bedtime, and would also be a charming way to greet the morning. Appropriate for the whole family to share, this would make a lovely gift for new parents.

Recommended for ages 0-5.

Published by In The Loving Inc., this CD is available at your local bookstore.


HANNAH AND THE TALKING TREE Written and illustrated by Elke Weiss

Hannah was born with extra large ears, so she can hear the grass growing and the song of the wind in the trees. Hannah can even hear the last tree crying because it is lonely. She listens carefully to the tree, and they become close friends. When the tree is threatened with destruction, Hannah is determined to save her friend and tells other people about its plight.

When the other people learn to listen to Hannah, their ears grow as big as hers. Together, they plant more trees and bring beauty back into their world. And it all happens because Hannah listened.

The appealing main character will instantly win over readers. Children will identify with her struggle to overcome teasing about her differences, and will be inspired by her resolve to make a difference.

The book is filled cover to cover with charming illustrations in vivid hues, which bring the story to vibrant life. Readers will feel they too can hear the wind singing, the trees drinking water, and the ants marching happily along.

This book will charm children and adults alike. A simple and encouraging example of one small person making a big difference, this would be great for reading aloud to young children, and is also a good book for early readers.

Recommended for ages 3-7.

Published by Free Focus Publishing LLC, this book is available at your local bookstore.



Many young people want to make a difference and contribute to the environmental movement, but don’t know how to begin. This guide gives them a powerful and effective roadmap for getting organized, taking action, and helping to change the world.

This book coaches young people to go beyond living a greener life and network for lasting, positive change. A resource for making a significant impact on the health of our planet, this book gives advice on how to pinpoint your passion, set your goals, decide on tactics, and recruit people to your cause.

You will learn to use your consumer power to encourage businesses to go green and get ideas to create a more sustainable school. It also covers how to lobby politicians, hold a rally, raise money, attract media attention, and even how to run for office.

The book is also filled with the inspiring stories of some of the most successful young environmental activists. These role models have passed legislation, founding nonprofits, protecting local wildlands, and raising millions of dollars for sustainability — all before their twenty-third birthdays. Their stories and strategies will ignite the passion of a new generation of young leaders so they too can make a lasting impact on the world.

Recommended for ages 10 and older.

Published by Ten Speed Press, this book is available at your local bookstore.


U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS: GROWING MY LEADERSHIP GARDEN Written by Debra J. Slover, illustrated by Darlene Warner

When Hugh wanders onto the Leadership Farm, the young lost sheep begins to learn how to become a courageous leader. With the other animals as his guides, Hugh goes on a special tour to discover all the tools he needs. He visits Understanding Field, Nurturing Meadow, Inventive Roost, Quality Yard, Unstoppable Pasture, and Expression Pen.

He learns from George the goat in Understanding Field, Blossom the cow in Nurturing Meadow, and Robert the rooster at the Inventive Roost. Then he meets Asli the goose in Quality Yard and Howard the horse in Unstoppable Pasture. Hugh ends his tour at Expression Pen, where Allegra the pig teaches him to sing his own leadership song. Soon after, Hugh is ready to go back to his flock and be the leader he has learned to be.

This book can be read as it is, and can also be used as a guide to teaching children leadership skills. Each chapter ends with some questions to spark a discussion about the lessons learned. Adapted from the book for adults, “U.N.I.Q.U.E: Growing the Leader Within,” this book is designed for ages 8-12.

Published by Leader Garden Press, this book is available at your local bookstore.


THE ABC’S OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AND BEYOND Written by Steve Charney and David Goldbeck, illustrated by Maria Burgaleta Larson

This book goes beyond “A is for Apple, B is for Banana.” A two-page spread is devoted to each letter. On the left page, there is a photograph of fruits and vegetables starting with the letter, and a large capital letter on a colorful background. On the right page, there is a fun poem and silly illustration.

The second part of the book tells readers how and where the foods are grown and how to find and choose the best pieces. It introduces less common varieties of fruits and vegetables. Children will want to try making the delicious recipes (the book recommends adult supervision). There are jokes, websites for more information, and recommendations for more books to read.

The bright photographs and illustrations bring the text to life. The photographs introduce unfamiliar foods as well as familiar favorites. In the imaginative drawings, children and adults interact with bananas on parade and flying peaches.

The combination of facts and whimsy makes this an appealing book. The first section is fun for younger children, and the second section will interest older children. Everyone will enjoy trying the unusual recipes, and looking for exotic fruits and vegetables at the store.

Recommended for ages 2-8.

Published by Ceres Press, this book is available at your local bookstore.