Oako's Heart of Gold
by Sandra C Addis

"The task of helping Boyd was upon Oako's heart.
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.

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