Short & Tall Tales that Kidz Might Love!
by Angellia Moore Swain
Trafford Publishing

"Therefore, I’ll dream big dreams today
And soon figure out a way.

Sixty-three rhymes, divided into four thematically arranged chapters, resonate with uplifting imagery, carrying the reader on a journey between rural and urban, mundane and magical. These short, stand-alone poems will effectively keep the attention of children, introducing them to fun, whimsical figures—from an army of ants to a girl called Neat-Neat. Interwoven among these tales of beautiful and eccentric characters are timely messages for today’s youth regarding empathy, the value of family, and the importance of self-love. Ever mindful of her young audience, the author, who is also an educator, includes charming asides throughout the book, such as comments and questions to stoke reader engagement, and several pages of reflective exercises, including space for children to craft a poem of their own.

Although the execution of Swain’s work sometimes misses the mark due to minor editing issues and inconsistencies in the arrangement of the pieces, these oversights will likely go unnoticed by younger readers. However, for what the work lacks in polish, it easily compensates for in warm, vivid illustrations and a poignant celebration of diversity. For example, “A Beautiful Girl” and “All Gangsta Like” extol individuality and confidence, while Swain’s powerful concluding work, “Room for One More,” encourages acceptance of all forms of diversity as a source of collective growth. This captivating celebration of inclusion will likely resonate with many readers, as will the joyous depictions of childhood in both rural and urban environments. Overall, Swain provides an encouraging and hopeful poetic compilation that will enchant children of all ages and backgrounds.

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