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MirrorMask (children's edition)
Neil Gaiman
The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth
Ursula K. Le Guin
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
Maud Hart Lovelace
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde, Camille Cauti
Riders of the Purple Sage
Zane Grey
Vampires, Zombies, & Wanton Souls
Marge Simon
Old Turtle - Douglas Wood, Cheng-Khee Chee Douglas Wood visited our congregation last year. As part of a worship service, he read passages, sang, and played acoustic guitar while Cheng-Khee Chee's artwork cycled through on large screens in the sanctuary. The adult-heavy audience and worship setting were perfect, and absolutely beautiful. The emotionally evocative presentation of the award-winning children's book worked among liberal leaning, mainline Christian churchgoers. But as for the children? Well, let's just say the story and performance set a mood conducive to a nap filled with sweet dreams. Despite the book's gentleness and beauty, there's not much in Old Turtle to captivate a young mind.

Don't get me wrong, I love Old Turtle! Cheng-Khee Chee's artwork is to die for. Wood's mystical and, in the end, hopeful take on conflict, diversity, divine mystery and environmental destruction speaks powerfully to me as a left-leaning clergyperson. But between the maturish message and subtle, softly lined artwork, I can't consider Old Turtle a children's book. A picture book for world federalists and universalists perhaps, but not for most little ones.

Stick to [b:The Lorax|7784|The Lorax|Dr. Seuss|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327879938s/7784.jpg|886002] if you want an environmental message presented in a vibrant and child-centered way. And you can't beat [b:The Story of Ferdinand|773951|The Story of Ferdinand|Munro Leaf|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348133512s/773951.jpg|484402] as an example of gentleness in the face of violence.