Dancing on Dewdrops, by Mark John Terranova, ISBN 9781478761969
Five out of five stars
There are two sections to this book, the first is a collection of short poems and the second a set of short stories. I found the poems nice and the short stories great, the poems cover many topics, but most refer to a boy growing up where there were open spaces to play in.
The short stories are in two categories, the first relate youthful experiences of the author when he and his brother went fishing with their father. His father worked six and seven days a week and spent nearly all his extra money indulging his hobby of saltwater fishing. The stories are not about bringing back a major catch, the topics are epic failures when what can go wrong did go wrong. Especially when inexperienced children are taken on fishing trips. The stories are amusing as often what goes wrong is far funnier than events that go right.
The second set of stories are two nature stories written for children. The first is about a community of panda bears in China and how they came together to select a new leader. In this selection process, the current leader Wise Bear is being challenged by Strong Bear. Their names indicate which characteristic is most dominant in each of the candidates. Each of them is issued a challenge and their solution strategies are a lesson in wisdom over strength.
The second story for children is about the community of butterflies in a time of drought. With very little water available one of the butterflies forms an alliance with a dragonfly in order to locate one of the few wells that has not dried up. Accessing the well is not easy, for it is in the middle of an open field surrounded by trees containing a large flock of birds that like to eat butterflies. Only through cooperative efforts between the swarms of butterflies and dragonflies can the problem be solved. This is a lesson in the value of cooperative behavior, not only between the members of a family but also between disparate groups that share a common purpose.
While the poems are good, the last two stories are excellent tales for children. Assigning human characteristics to animals always has a strong appeal to children and this book is worth purchasing just for that feature.
This book was made available for free for review purposes