3 Sprites and a Bed: A Fairy Tale – Pacific Book Review

An imaginary story of hope, dedication and hard working values are combined with a bit of suspense in author Sandra C. Addis’ clever children’s book titled 3 Sprites and a Bed: A Fairy Tale.

Emily Richards is a young teenage girl when on day, returning to an antique store to pick up a package , she comes upon a bit of magic. There, in the back, roped off so customer would not touch was an old walnut hand-carved bed. What made this bed so special were these three wooden girl figurines, which would spin around on their wooden bases to the music of a waltz when a builtin music box would be wound up with a key from the rear of the headboard. Admired by all of the customers, this bed had one obstacle for which no one would buy it – it was simply way too expensive. The bed had a price tag of $3,000!

The magic was revealed to Emily by mistake. There, in the quiet of the closing moments of the antique store, the three wooden sculptures would come to life with magical power of Sprites, dancing and flying around the empty store, playing hide and seek and having fun. But the store wasn’t empty; Emily was there and she actually saw them! She was amazed.

This began a secret relationship in which the Sprites trusted Emily not to tell anyone, so as to keep their magical powers a secret. Emily was eager to agree, although for a young teenager it was very difficult for her no to tell anyone, especially here parents.

The plot thickens when another character, the Aqua Woman, has a curse that has a time frame of one year to solve a mystery – or else the Sprites would turn back to wood forever. Emily has to help them. The answer is to buy the bed, but coming up with $3,000 as a teenager was a challenge, as Emily was a year too young at the time to work. What I like is how Addis keep a “running tally” of the amount of money Emily had, and how much more she needed, and tracked this monetary friction pegged against the time frame of one year – the duration of time before the curse took its course. This is a very good lesson for children to learn how they need to save their money by foregoing the little things in order to save up enough money for a major purchase.

The book is laden with illustrations to imprint the story into the young minds of the readers, or those the book is read to. A wonderful story for bedtime, taking just enough time to elaborate on various interleaving themes adding complexity to the story, but never losing sight of the main challenge Emily faces.

The wholesome values of hard work, keeping secrets and the love of parents showing their daughter how much they would sacrifice for her are brought together in 3 Sprites and a Bed: A Fairy Tale.

Oako’s Heart of Gold – Pacific Book Review

Charming and heartfelt, Oako’s Heart of Gold will encourage any young reader, even adult readers, to treat everyone they meet with empathy. You never know what someone may be going through, but a kind gesture, even the smallest one, can make an enormous difference in someone’s life.
Oako is a tree; a magical, sentient, towering oak tree. Oako has a few special talents. First of all, he can talk to children. But there’s a catch. When the children who have interacted with Oako turn fourteen, they will no longer remember the conversations. Perhaps we all visited with an Oako in our young lives, but as we become adults we lose the ability to tap into the sense of childhood wonder an innocence that allows us to converse with magical trees. In addition to his ability to talk to children, Oako can also talk to other trees and animals, but they can only talk when Oako is there, because of
Oako’s magic. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Oako helps children with their problems. Some of these problems are more trivial than others, but the most important part is that the magical tree, with help from his angel, Tiny, makes a difference to children, sometimes even saving a life. Oako can fly from place to place, invisible, helping children in every new location. However, he has a single weakness that could eventually cause his demise, though he can always be saved by love.
This fantastical story is appropriate for young children to teens, and would make a perfect gift for young readers. It’s an excellent story for any child to read. The language is lyrical and simple, but not overly so, and the story is engaging and magical. As a bonus for readers, each chapter is a short story in itself. This is satisfying for young readers. The relatively brief chapters that offer a clear beginning, middle, and end will encourage even little ones with a short attention span. It’s an appropriate book for teachers to read to students or parents to read to children, and a chapter is the perfect length for a bedtime story.
In addition to the convenient organization, Oako’s Heart of Gold addresses many problems that young people may face. Oako encounter’s children that are struggling with poverty, grief, bullying, and even immediately life-threatening situations. Though Oako is tasked with saving each of these children, in doing so, he teaches each child a lesson. Most importantly that when they are struggling, they should ask for help from someone they trust, whether it’s a parent, pastor, teacher, or other trusted adult. Young readers may see themselves in one of the children in the book, or if they are lucky enough not to endure any of these life-lessons, Oako will help develop a sense of empathy and understanding for others. Perhaps they will be able to offer help or support when they see another child struggling.
Oako offered one lesson that I found particularly interesting and useful: in several instances, Oako encourages his young child to communicate with their teacher through a confidential, classroom journal. Often, when things are difficult, it is easier to share in writing rather than verbally, and the idea of using a classroom journal that only the teacher reads gives a trusted adult insight into the child’s life in a non-threatening way.
The unique and magical Oako’s Heart of Gold teaches children the importance of empathy, friendship, love, imagination, and trust. It’s an excellent read for young readers, and readers who are young at heart.

The task of helping Boyd was upon Oako’s Heart Shoosh plud… plud…

Oako is no ordinary tree: He can fly, make himself invisible to people, and speak to children under fourteen years of age. Oako’s magic comes from the love of the boy who planted him over one century ago. The friendly oak tree has seen much as he grew and now uses his wisdom and magic to help those in need. Guided by his angel fairy Tiny, Oako travels the world helping children with any of their problems, no matter how difficult they are.

A sentient tree is the unlikely but effective protagonist for a series of problem-solving short stories. Each story is only a couple of pages long, but packs an immense depth and range of experience into each paragraph. Neither Oako nor his author shies away from difficult and hard-to-discuss topics. In addition to your typical problems like bullying and lack of confidence, Oako also encounters children who are neglected by their parents, experience parental abuse, and even those who struggle to deal with death. Oako doesn’t make the problems disappear; instead, he shows each child how to resolve their own problem. This small book is packed with advice on just about every kind of issue a child run into, and the tales are written in a simple language with young readers in mind. In addition to providing real solutions to some very tough issues, Oako’s Heart of Gold places heavy emphasis on love, joy, and other positive emotions. Each child is special, the book says, and no problem is too big to overcome—no matter how old you are.