” The winning begins when you start with a dream”

The book, Kittywimpuss Got Game by Debby Carman, is a great book for young kids. I would recommend this book to kids who would like to participate in sports, but just do not find the motivation to get out there and play with the other kids. The book is about a kitty who has no confidence in going out to play with his friends because he thinks he will bring the team down. His friends try and get him to play, but he feels that his confidence is lacking in his play. His friends get him out and tell him that it is not about winning, but getting out and just having fun.

I got this book from my basketball coach when I was younger and it taught my team that winning is not the most important part of the game. Sure, when we win it feels good, but she wanted us to learn that if we go out on the court and play our hearts out, nothing else matters if thats all we could do. One quote that she really emphasized was ” A winner is someone who just wants to play, participate, congregate and reach out of your way,” because all she wanted was for us to try our hardest. Good sportsmanship was always a key factor for our team no matter the score of the game.

I am sure many kids can relate to the kitty because they may think they are not good enough to play on a team. This book inspires kids to just get out there on a team because it is always fun to just play a sport with your friends. And also that you will never know if you do not even try.

This book is a specialty book, so it is seen only by special order.

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The Giving Tree

On the surface of the book, The Giving Tree, one can see the moral of unselfish giving. The book is about the relationship between a young boy and a tree. The tree provides the boy with parts of the tree whenever he asks for it. As he grows older, he requires more and more from the tree. The tree loves the boy very much and gives him anything he asks for. After all the taking, the boy leaves the tree as a stump where he can rest and the tree is left happy.

However, on the other hand, people view this book as a selfish boy stealing everything away from the tree and feels no appreciation towards the tree in the end. This moral could be tied to how children feel and act toward their parents. Children never really appreciate what their parents do for them and take them for granted. Some kids ask ask and ask for material things and never fully think how much their parents work in order for their kids to live a happy and healthy life. This book isn’t supposed to teach children the value of sharing so much as it shows that sometimes love and sacrifice go hand in hand. The parents live their child so much that they will do whatever it takes in order for them to be happy.

This book could be viewed in many perspectives. On is about the purity of the tree’s love, of its giving nature. The tree gives and gives until it can give no more because it just wants the boy to be happy. The tree never thinks about itself but for the happiness of the boy. Another view could be about the selfish little boy who is unable to see the beauty of the tree. He just takes from the tree and does not even feel satisfied in the end which leaves him unhappy. And the moral that I found the most important is to not abuse the kindness of your elders. Many kids are unable to see this message until they become older, but I think it is the most touching message in the book because we have all done it one time in our lives.

I would recommend this book to younger kids to teach the art of sharing, but in order to see the true meaning, this book would be more directed to teens.

“and the tree was happy”

A Bug’s Life

A Bug’s Life is about an ant colony working hard to prepare their food for the winter. Flick, one of the ant workers accidentally loses the food for the predatory grasshoppers so he goes on a journey to find warrior bugs to protect the ant colony. He mistakenly hires a group of unsuccessful vaudevillians from  a flea circus, who think they are being booked for a performance and have no idea he expects them to fight. But they turn out to have just the right stuff to help the ants fight the grasshoppers after all, and Flick gets to prove that he is a hero at heart.

This movie is perfect for middle aged kids because it teaches them about sticking up for yourself and not listening to what others say. Even though Hopper, the boss of all the grasshoppers, constantly threatens the ant colony, they learn to fight back and stick up for themselves to beat the grasshopper gang. It is inspiring to see the smaller and weaker characters to stand up for themselves to the bigger and stronger characters and actually defeat them. It teaches kids a lesson to stand up to the enemy and not let the bullies push you around.

However, kids could look at this movie in a different perspective. In the beginning of the movie, the grasshoppers pushed the ants around and the ant colony just listened to what they said. The ants would have to gather twice the amount of food for them by the “time the last leaf falls.” Hopper’s tone was threatening towards the ants which makes them scared and giving in to what ever they say. Kids may take this scene as a way of sounding threatening to order people around and make them do what ever you say. It is not the right message to be sent to kids, but it shows that in the end nothing good comes from being evil to another person. Even though the negative message of bullying is seen in this movie, the real message and moral of this movie is to stand up for yourself no matter how tough it may be.

I would definitely recommend this movie to middle aged kids because they could have these same problems with bullying in school. Kids can see this movie and look to it for inspiration if they are experiencing bullies in school or just the world and know that it it okay for them to stick up for themselves to fight off these bullies.

Keep Moving Forward!!

If you have not seen the Disney movie Meet the Robinsons, I would highly recommend watching it. The movie sends a great message to kids and adults about not giving up and to “keep moving forward.” No matter how hard a certain situation may be, failure is not the worst situation, but not even trying is. The important lesson is to learn from your mistakes and to improve upon them. This movie really spoke to me with their message and you should watch it too.

Lewis, an orphan wants to see what his mother looked like. So he invents a machine that looks through your brain so you can see your memories. But this weird kid says he’s from the future and warns him about a guy in a bowler hat. The bowler hat guy messes with his invention and it fails. He decides that he’s a failure and no one wants him. But the kid that warned him about the guy is here on a mission to find the bowler hat guy that wants to destroy Lewis. To prove he’s from the future he takes lewis to the future. But the time machine breaks and he’s stuck in the future until he fixes it. In the meantime he spends quality time with the family and learns about their everyday lives. But the bowler hat guy is about to alter time and it’s up to Lewis to save the future.

One flaw that I saw came with this movie was the depiction of orphans. In the movie, Lewis and Goob are depicted as the stereotypical orphans in movies. Constantly trying to impress the adopting parents, but always failing because of something that goes wrong, in this case is the mess up with the invention. The movies also shows that orphans seem like they are always sad and lonely because they cannot seem to impress the parents.

In one part of the movie, the family Lewis meets invites him to dinner. He tries to show them his peanut butter and jelly invention, but it fails again. Lewis gets down on himself because it failed, but they tell him that its no big deal because that is how you learn. Learn from your mistakes. They show him all the times they messed up, but they ” [kept] moving forward” and that is how they made it to where they are now. No matter the outcome, it is always better to learn from your mistakes than just giving up on what you are trying to do.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

The book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff sends a message about both sharing and taking which every kid should learn when they are at a young age. Looking back at this book brings back the childhood memories and as I got older I soon learned the morals of the story and it made me inspired to be a better person in general.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a children’s picture book with a cute mouse character and a young boy who gives the mouse whatever he asks for. The boy starts off giving the mouse a cookie and then he needs a glass of milk, but then he wants a straw and it goes on from there. The mouse keeps asking for items from the boy and the boy always gladly gives them to the mouse. And in the end it all circles back to giving the mouse a cookie.

This story is rather entertaining because of the childish illustration, but it also holds a moral to the story. The moral can be seen through either a pessimistic view or an optimistic view. The pessimistic view presents “the taker” which is the mouse. The mouse does not do anything for the boy, but rather takes total advantage of him and monopolizes him since he is so giving. The optimistic view is that one should possess empathy, respect, and basic manners. Even though the mouse asks for so many things from the boy, he just does it because he does it out of the goodness of his heart.

I would recommend this book to both children and adults to read to their children because as a child it was just a fun read and the characters are cute, but as you get older, the lessons about giving and taking become clearer and you actually learn from this story. I know I enjoy this book and you will too.