Eco-Justice Press | Aurora Books
This heartwarming story of a decades long international friendship began around a kitchen table in Moscow in 1989. As the Soviet Union was breaking up, five Russian friends got the improbable idea of traveling to America with three of their children to learn more firsthand about the West. They sent about 100 letters to randomly selected towns in the United States to express their interest in visiting. The small agricultural town of Garden City, Kansas, with an amazingly rich history of hosting foreign visitors, was among the first to respond and resulted in a memorable human connection that changed the lives of all of the visitors and host families, as well as the culture of Garden City. Their story of the adventure and growing understanding that followed is told from the point of view of one of the Russian visitors (Vera Penkova) and her host family (Barbara and Milton McMinimy). Their friendship continues almost 30 years later.
A Bumblebee for Tea
Written and Illustrated by Richard Sauer
Every Spring Doris enjoys working in her garden and drinking hot green tea on her back porch. However, this year a pesky little bumblebee interferes with those joys. The bumblebee continues to be a nuisance to Doris, who has had a fear of bees since her childhood. Then one day the bumblebee goes missing, and in her search, Doris realizes she must confront her fears. Follow Doris’ journey to discover if she can overcome her fear of bumblebees, as you read along while sipping your own cup of tea.
Winner of a 2018 Family Choice Award.
Pola’s Flower is a gentle yet powerful account of a young Tibetan girl’s relationship with her grandfather, Pola. Metog-ma and Pola live in the quiet and magical land of Tibet during the time just before the historical government take-over. Pola is a painter of Buddhist scrolls known as thangkas. He tells Metog-ma that thangkas have the potential for giving secret messages to those who meditate on the sacred images.
As a seven year old child growing up in a traditional family, Metog-ma recognizes her grandfather’s capabilities for penetrating wisdom. And so, she follows Pola everywhere. She asks Pola everything. She listens closely to his words. And she watches as he paints grand landscapes adorned with glorious Buddhas, stately mountains, lush blue lakes, and richly colored lotus flowers. Secretly, she holds her greatest wish: to be able to see the messages hidden in her grandfather’s beautiful paintings.
With mastery, Pola prepares Metog-ma for impending and grave losses through his art. Sometimes this entails hard lessons, but she follows his every instruction even when faced with strong feelings of fear and sadness. Eventually, like one of Pola’s lotus flowers growing out of the muck and mire, Metog-ma stumbles upon a wealth of inner strength and wisdom, aspiring to help others keep that which they love most alive in their hearts.
Pola’s Flower is absolutely lovely, illustrated by traditionally trained thangka artist, Lobsang Gyatso. Geared toward children of ages 9-12 years, it offers a respectful glimpse of Tibetan life at a time when their culture was untouched by the major historical changes. The story offers wonderful support for children facing major life changes, and provides adults the means to foster compassion and strength as they help their children deal with life experiences.
Pola’s Flower is a must-have!
In 1936, young Beverly Broy and her family relocated to Brussels, Belgium where her father was posted as American Consul. In 1941, all Americans were called back to the United States as World War II appeared to be on the verge of including America. In the time between, Bev, her brother Jim, and sister Anne, experienced loss, adventure, confusion, and change that forever shaped their future. Follow Bev, her siblings, and their young Belgian nanny on a journey, witness to countries at war and a family struggling to stay together.
The colors of spiritual destiny weave through human history like eternal threads in an intricate tapestry. As the modern world pines for unity to triumph over extremism, Islam’s spiritual leaders are turning to the past: to the convivencia, Spain’s golden medieval age in which the three faiths—Islam, Christianity, and Judaism—coexisted peacefully. The key to reviving this peace, they believe, is the Clepsydra, a 1000-year-old water clock capable of turning back the hands of time and streaming the message of peace through the hearts of all humankind. Some questions remain: Where is the Clepsydra hidden? Who will craft this message of peace? And what will happen when their time-bending tactics are detected by a spiritually advanced First Nations tribe from North America who believe themselves to be the guardians of time itself? These questions lead a diverse array of characters into the scintillating drama of action, reflection, and revelation, wherein the threads of interfaith partnership may be brought together once and for all.
A Hummingbird’s Tale:
Henry’s Great Race
by K.K. Wallace
illustrated by Richard Sauer
The fastest of birds from all around the world are about to get together for “The Race of All Races”. And, it’s going to happen within the local territory of a very adventurous little hummingbird, who has an incredible gift of flight. No bird of his kind had ever considered the THOUGHT of wanting to enter this race. But, he can’t help feeling that this is THE chance of a lifetime for him, to try and be a part of it.
Join his journey, in hopes that he doesn’t find himself in a situation that could very well be, “way over his head”.