Monday, October 7, 2013

The Extraordinary Love Story of Aye Aye and Fedor; How Aye Aye Met Roibeard the Giraffe, by Ana Isabel Ordonez

I don't ordinarily review books online, but I continue to devour them voraciously. Children's books are somewhat rarefied ground for me these days, though growing up they were central to my existence. However Ana Isabel Ordonez was kind enough to send me the first two books in her children's series and I was so taken by their unusual nature that I decided, "why not write about them?" So I am doing that.

First off, I would think that these are ideal books for the intelligent kid who needs not to be talked down to, is intensely curious and loves a good yarn. That's what she/he will surely get with both The Extraordinary Love Story of Aye Aye and Fedor 46 pp, paper, Ruby Flower Publishing, and How Aye Aye Met Roibeard the Giraffe 41 pp., paper, Ruby Flower Publishing.

Ms. Ordonez has a doctorate in Animal Biology. That and her creative, insightful, artistic nature gives these two books a special tone. Ana wrote the stories and also did all the illustrations, which have a refreshingly naive, youthful quality that kids should identify with. I did, too.

It's all about Aye Aye, an endangered species of lemur, and her adventures. In volume one she meets and falls in love with Fedor, a rare white lion, when she wanders unwittingly into a zoo. She ultimately rescues the zoo inmates from their captivity after a powerful storm disturbs the equilibrium, knocking off roofs and scattering the human zookeepers. All the animals go to live in the Musical Forest, a hip place where you can get some jams going, be cool natural-habitat style, etc. (sounds good to me).

In the second volume Aye Aye gets to know Roibeard, a brilliant but maladjusted giraffe who has wings and can fly. Aye Aye is restless and uninspired but Roibeard is worse off--he cannot connect with people and has isolated himself, disgruntled with life. In the end Roibeard learns the virtue of giving and Aye Aye finds in turn fulfillment in helping Roibeard discover his way.

These are books with a didactic message--kids learn the value of freedom, of directedness, selfless concern for others, and love, and also begin to appreciate the collective value of each animal on this earth and the need to preserve their habitats. Ana has a warm way and a quirky humor kids will appreciate, as well as adults. The volumes are only the first two in a projected series. They are available in Spanish and French as well. Go to Amazon for info.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In For A Treat?

When somebody says, "you are in for a treat!" you tend to perk up. Life sheds its grey filter and the full color of existence appears momentarily, anyway, as sheer potential.

We grow up with more-or-less periodic cycles where treats are given out and time is punctuated. It can differ depending on your culture and persuasion. In the world I occupied there was summer vacation, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the Happy Holidays for Christians and Jews, and, more regularly, the weekends, Friday night and Saturday morning being especially looked forward to.

Right now my main form of amusement is to devilishly go where I shouldn't, splitting infinitives and ending sentences with prepositions. I can do this here, though quite obviously it is not something for which I am paid, nor is it something I am paid for.

That is my treat right now. And those fully periodized treat times of childhood mostly have gone. As you get older you may find that your expectations of continuity, of a life that is "fun," where you break the cycle of what adults did--like they went to work no matter how bad the weather, worked most of the summer, (I wasn't going to live like that, no!)--it turns out to be stupid stuff that existed in your young fantasy future, and all that just didn't follow.

But there are compensations. What? Elvis? No, not Elvis. Anyway those compensations are something YOU have to create, mostly. Good luck with it.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

If On Some Occasion

If on some occasion you see me pass by

And you know me

Say hi.

We don't know how many more winter snows, summer rain


Holiday cheers,

Or traversing halls,

We might see again.

For we are finite creatures

With some end to forever sogg the crispness

of autumn leaf with others

Piled neatly or no,

And we aren't sure where we will go

When our passings by stop


Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year

Another year coming and I wish all the best. Hurricane Sandy and another storm locked me out of all internet and phone connections for almost three weeks last quarter and I realized how much I take the net for granted now.

I've decided for my new yr resolution to try and post more on this page. All I have to say right now is that I am glad it's Friday, sunny, that I am alive and well, and that there is some sort of hope that things will be better this time next year.

Now I must also tell you that as a writer, I could use some work!@! Happy daze.