AutobiographyBallet | Books | Cyber Ashram | Dolls | Gardens | Kinesthetic | Meditation & Prayer | Recipes | Rhythmic Dance | See America | Sitemap | Spirituality | Stan Schaap | Stories | Yoga



Book Reviews and Summaries for Kids and Adults

Description: Description: Susan Helene Kramer
Susan Helene Kramer



Book Reviews for Kids
1.  ABC Word Book by Richard Scarry
All I See Is Part of Me by Chara M. Curtis
3. Alphabet Puppets by Jill M. Coudron
Berenstain Bears and the Big Question by Jan and Stan Berenstain
Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry
Best Mother Goose Ever!
Giant Golden Book by Richard Scarry
Best Rainy Day Book Ever by Richard Scarry
8. Best Word Book Ever! by Richard Scarry
9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter
Fundamentele bewegingen voor kinderen
by Susan Kramer (Dutch language)
12. Meditation for all Kids by Susan Kramer
Poems and Prayers for the Very Young by Martha Alexander
Prayers for Children by Eloise Wilkin
Richard Scarry's Best First Book Ever!

16. Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book
17.Yoga for all Kids by Susan Kramer

More Reviews
doll making - paperdolls - media - educational books - books for kids - instructional, inspirational for teens, adults


1. ABC Word Book by Richard Scarry


In 61 pages chock full of examples, Richard Scarry's ABC Word Book is a must-have for a child getting ready to recognize alphabet letters.
Description: Description: Richard Scarry's ABC Word Book
There are two features in particular that set this book above similar titles. Number 1 is it has pages of words with the blended sounds of 'ch', 'sh', and 'th'.

And, reason Number 2 is the short sentences on each page have the special letter for that page highlighted in red in every word. So, the child sees the letter or double letter combination being used in writing!

I was really impressed by all the colorful pictures demonstrating how the alphabet makes up words we speak.

If your child has challenges learning to read, this very basic and colorful text could be just the incentive to keep stimulated, interested and learning.

I highly recommend adding this book to your child's library!

Details - 61 page hardback; 9.25 by 12.75 inches; published by Random House (1971); ISBN: 0394923391

To order from go to

ABC Word Book by Richard Scarry

2. All I See Is Part of Me by Chara M. Curtis


Beautifully written by Chara M. Curtis and illustrated by Cynthia Aldrich All I See Is Part of Me imparts a message of how interconnected we are with all creation.
Description: Description: All I See Is Part of Me
Though written for children, it is inspiring for everyone. I found the short rhyming sentences at the foot of the pages easy to remember and uplifting.

In 1996 it was presented the Award of Excellence by Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine.

Most of the pages are created in beautiful color drawings that must have been done on a rough surface paper. That in itself gives the illusion of depth to the art work.

Also in the paintings I love the contrast between colors and the sharp line accents that form trees in the distance, for instance. Even though the pages are almost totally in color, where there is white showing makes these highlights even more effective.

This book is a visual experience and one wants to linger on the page even though the portion of text is read in a few moments. Both the reader and the listener will enjoy paging through this book as I have.

In this time on our planet where we hear about our world broken up into separate factions, I think it is important to show children that no matter what our outer differences, Light lives within the hearts of all. This book imparts that message perfectly! It gives us a view of life to look forward to when we will live on our planet as sisters and brothers harmoniously and without conflict.


Details - 32 pages by Illumination Arts Publishing Company; 11.3 by 7.8 inches; ISBN: 0935699074

This book can be ordered from at this link:
All I See Is Part of Me

3. Alphabet Puppets by Jill M. Coudron

Alphabet Puppets - Songs, Stories and Cooking Activities for Letter Recognition and Sounds by Jill M. Coudron is a 122 page paperback geared for use by parents or teachers with children ages 4 to 8.
Description: Description: Alphabet Puppets by Jill M. Coudron
Teaching the alphabet letters is presented by easy to make puppets who give practical examples through prose and song, and by making or cooking things beginning with an alphabet letter.

I think this is also a great book to inspire your own creative ideas, as you can take what’s on your dinner menu and make it into a lesson for an alphabet letter.

You can go to the park, see a duck, come home and make a "d" puppet for duck with the visual memory still fresh from the park.

Or, you can make a certain letter puppet, go for a walk, and then find something that begins with that letter. On and on.


Details - 122 pages published by Fearon Teacher AIDS; ISBN: 082240298X

This book can be ordered from at

Alphabet Puppets by Jill M. Coudron

Also by Jill M. Coudron

1. Alphabet Stories (Makemaster Blackline Masters)

2. Alphabet Fun and Games - Activities and Game Sheets for Teaching the Alphabet

Description: Description: Alphabet Fun and Games by Jill M. Coudron

Alphabet Activities, Original Ideas and Worksheets for Teaching the Alphabet

Description: Description: Alphabet Activities by Jill M. Coudron

4. Berenstain Bears and the Big Question by Jan and Stan Berenstain

Are your children asking about God? The Berenstain Bears and the Big Question by Stan and Jan Berenstain handles this timeless question from a spiritual approach.
Description: Description: The Berenstain Bears and the Big Question
In the story, the family goes off to "The Chapel in the Woods" where the minister does not preach down to them, but points out to them, for example, the beautiful attributes of the world we live in.

On the way to and from the chapel, brother and sister ask the questions we all asked while kids and may still as adults be searching for in our own spiritual quests.

This book may help your children verbalize their own questions. And, perhaps even clarify those same thoughts for the adults in your family.

For a Berenstain Bear book, this volume is particularly thought provoking in that it does deal with religion and spirituality. I haven't found any of the other books in the series that broach this timeless subject matter.

I have to give credit to the authors for their creative setting and storyline that mimic the path of spirituality through the images of walking through the forest path to the chapel.

Personally, I like way the story ends - with the question it leaves open for family discussion, and personal reflection and meditation.

This is a great little volume for families that are looking for ways to help their kids expand their spiritual understanding!


Details - 32 page paperback; 8 x 8 inches; published by Random House Books for Young Readers (October 12, 1999) ISBN: 0679889612

To order from go to

The Berenstain Bears and the Big Question


5. Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry's Best Counting Book Ever really caught my eye with its colorful and enticing cover - it made me want to look inside!
Description: Description: Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry
And I was not disappointed. Now, many counting books have numbers of items in bright colors, but here we have a more interesting story line.

Lots of different animals and items are arranged in groups of 1 to 20, and then by 10s up to 100.

I think this is a valuable book for children just learning about numbers and quantities. For example, does your child need to see what the number 5 or 50 (5 sets of 10) means? This book shows it visually, and very well, at that.

I highly recommend this large size happy and fun book as an aid to really help kids learn number and quantity concepts!

Details - 44 page hardback; 10.5 by 12 inches; published by Random House Books for Young Readers (August 12, 1975) ISBN: 0394829247

To order from go to

Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry

6. Best Mother Goose Ever! Giant Golden Book by Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry's cheerful illustrations bring 50 Mother Goose nursery rhymes to life in this 96 page collection put together by Golden Books.
Description: Description: Best Mother Goose Ever! by Richard Scarry
I learned to read by memorizing these nursery rhymes - eventually associating the verbal with written words. And when my children were preschoolers they learned about written words the same way!

An important part about this book is that with just one rhyme per page there is not an overwhelming group of words per page to become confusing.

Saying the nursery rhymes together is a great way to give your preschooler a good start on appreciating reading, and feed their self-confidence.

You probably know I really love Richard Scarry's contributions to teaching children to read, and to learn about themselves and the world, from the number of reviews I've presented on his other books.

Some nursery rhymes included are - Jack be nimble; A dillar, a dollar; Bobby Shafto; Georgie, Porgie; Hey diddle, diddle; Jack, be nimble; Little Boy Blue; Little Miss Muffet and London Bridge.

Combining the good quality of Golden Books and Richard Scarry, makes this a highly recommended volume of these traditional rhymes!

Details: 96 pages in hardcover; published by Golden Books (September 1, 1999) ISBN: 0307155781

To order from go to

Best Mother Goose Ever! - Giant Golden Book - by Richard Scarry

7. Best Rainy Day Book Ever by Richard Scarry


This large paperback has fun activities that children can do by themselves while learning early building blocks for academics.
Description: Description: Richard Scarry's Best Rainy Day Book Ever
My daughter had fun doing these activities, and I must admit, I still enjoy browsing a new copy at the bookstore!

The projects reinforce early math skills through practical applications. And because they look fun and interesting children are encouraged to practice their reading skills to follow the instructions.

Actually, the pages are so well illustrated that reading the instructions is hardly necessary.

Recommended for all 3 learning styles - visual, auditory and kinesthetic - a chance to look over the pages, listen to parent or older child read instructions, and practice small motor skills.

Details: 144 page large 10 and a half by 9 inch paperback published by Golden Books. ISBN 037582927X

To order from

Best Rainy Day Book Ever by Richard Scarry

8. Best Word Book Ever! by Richard Scarry

My children loved this large Golden Book, and I must admit I enjoyed looking at the pages, also. It is a fun way to learn the names of many objects.

The main characters are Kenny and Kathy Bear, and along with their friends they let the reader see many items that belong to specific locations.

I like that each place is illustrated in a different style. It is like reading several books at once.

The illustrations have a great deal of depth and intricacy - each time you read you see something new.

I feel this book is a fun way for a child to learn who may need reinforcement in associating names or words with objects.

I highly recommend this as an addition to your child's learning library! I wish I had been able to learn vocabulary this way, but in my day it was mainly with flashcards!

Details - 72 pages; 10.5 by 11.7 inches; published by Golden Books; ISBN: 0307155102

Available at this link from

Best Word Book Ever! by Richard Scarry

9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie Bucket, the main character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Welsh author, Roald Dahl, leads us on a journey into the land of chocolate through a series of adventures and misadventures.
Description: Description: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
There are many lessons to be gleaned from the tale and children of all abilities can learn something from thinking about the story played out by each of the main children in the story.

I think Mr. Dahl gives a strong case for cause and effect by what happens to the children in the book who embody overeating, being overly materialistic, watching too much tv, and chewing gum excessively. (I think it is also meant that adults substitute in their own bad habits in place of those of the kids.)

The story begins in a European town that houses a chocolate factory. The owner, Willy Wonka, wraps 5 golden tickets inside 5 chocolate Wonka bars for sale. Those who open their bar and have a golden ticket are invited on a tour of Mr. Wonka's chocolate making factory.

That is where all the trials and tribulations begin as the children act out their obsessive characteristics and get in lots of trouble. But our hero, Charlie Bucket, who is a child who embodies virtue ends up rising above their troubles when put to the ultimate test, and reaps a just reward.

It is a heart-warming story and a fine adventure. The book has also been made into the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." It has won numerous awards such as the New England Round Table of Children's Librarians Award in the USA in 1972; and the Millennium Children's Book Award in the UK in 2000.

This story has my highest recommendation!

Details - 176 pages paperback; Puffin; Reprint edition (August 16, 2007); 7.6 by 5 by .6 inches in size; ISBN-10: 0142410314; ISBN-13: 978-0142410318

Three versions from

The book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Audio CD

10. Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter

This Book of the Year, ABBY Award Winner, is a timeless story of a young boy raised in rural Tennessee by his half Cherokee Granpa and Cherokee Granma.

After 5 year old Little Tree's parents die, his Grandpa comes to take him to live in the hills and forest of Tennessee with him and Granma during the Great Depression.

Little Tree grows in love and respect for nature by learning how to live the harmonious ways of the Cherokee. A big plus for the reader is learning about the farming and hunting skills used to survive in the woods, and in this circumstance in history - such as how to clear land and grow vegetables in the forest.

Humor carries the story that education is far more than book learning, told through the style of anecdotal recollections.

The book is narrated through the perspective of a very wise child, unencumbered by material overload that may have come from growing up in the city.

The Education of Little Tree will bring many emotions to the forefront; a book you want to read just a little longer before putting down.

I recommend this as good read for adults, young adults, and for reading to school-age children. I have reread it almost annually.

It is a book that is instructional for depicting a time and place in American history, and at the same time it is fun and interesting to read because the pace moves along at a good clip.

Details - 228 page paperback; University of New Mexico Press; 8.1 by 5.3 inches; ISBN: 0826328091

Here is a link to if you wish to order this book:
"The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter"

11. Fundamentele bewegingen voor kinderen by Susan Kramer (Dutch language)

Fundamentele bewegingen voor kinderen met dansjes, meditaties en yoga door Susan Kramer - 16 Ritmische, basale, motorische vaardigheden, 9 dansjes, 9 meditaties voor ontspanning en 15 zacht bewegende yoga houdingen voor kinderen van alle leeftijden en bekwaamheden. Plaatsing: 477.8 Bewegingsonderwijs; Basisonderwijs; Didactiek. Volledig geïllustreerd, 108 pagina's. Nederlands taal.
Description: Description: Fundamentele bewegingen voor kinderen door Susan Kramer - boek
Deel 1- Ritmische basale motorische vaardigheden
Sleutel voor het klappen van ritmes
Een opmerking over de illustraties
Ver springen
9. Fietsen
Dansen als een paard
11. Wijzen met de teen
12. Huppelen
Menuet dansen
Schotse polka dansen
Polka dansen
Om te oefenen - 9 Dansjes
Deel 2 - Meditaties
Onmiddellijke ontspanning
Deel 3 - Korte meditatie verhalen
Anneke en Hans leren
een zitmeditatie aan het strand
een loopmeditatie langs de vaart
een dansmeditatie in het park
een ontspanningsmeditatie in de wei
een les over instant meditatie
Deel 4 - Zacht bewegende yoga houdingen
1. Het blad
De bloem
De krekel
De uil
De vogel
De eekhoorn
De hamster
De schommelstoel
De zeehond
De groet
De slang
12. De schildpad
De zeester
De kattenrug
De schommel

ISBN: 978-90-78099-01-7

Paperback boek koop hier via internet:


12. Meditation for All Kids by Susan Kramer


How to teach through description and illustration: sitting, walking, dance, relaxation, instant, music, running, swinging, biking and swimming meditations, plus a chapter of guided meditations on virtues, and a chapter of affirmations, inspirations and prayers. For tots to teens of all abilities. Useful resource for parents, educators, and interfaith clergy. 100 pages.
Description: Description: Meditation for all Kids by Susan Kramer
Included in text

Chapter I.
About Meditation for all Kids
Meditation and Spiritual Living
Meditation and Meditative Movement
Benefits of Meditation
Chapter II.
How to Teach Kids Meditation
How to Teach Sitting Meditation
How to Teach Walking Meditation
How to Teach Relaxation Meditation
How to Teach Music Meditation
Chapter III.
Basic Meditations for Kids

Sitting Meditation
Walking Meditation
Relaxation Meditation
Instant Meditation
Running Meditation
Swinging Meditation
Biking Meditation
Swimming Meditation
Chapter IV. Guided Meditations on Virtues
Guided Meditation on Friendliness
Guided Meditation on Being Compassionate
Guided Meditation on Being Honest
Guided Meditation about Being Kind
Guided Meditation about Sharing
Chapter V. Group Circle Meditation
Part I. Opening Verse
Part II. Short Meditation
Part III. Song
Chapter VI.
Dance Meditation
Part I. Stretching
Part II.
Dancing and Elements of Movement
Part III.
Quiet Time Meditation
Chapter VII.
Affirmations, Inspirations, Prayers
Special and Holiday Prayers

100 pages.

About the author: Susan Kramer has been teaching dance, yoga and meditation to kids of all ages and abilities for more than 30 years.

Available as paperback or ebook


13. Poems and Prayers for the Very Young by Martha Alexander

This little collection of 38 poems and prayers is just perfect for quiet time before bed. My children grew up with this little book, which, by the way, was sturdy enough to last for years.

One of the beauties of this children's book is that the selections are short enough to memorize and remember for a lifetime.

I like the fact that meal time prayers are included - my kids liked to have a variety of prayers to say grace. What better way for children to practice feeling appreciative than through little poems and prayers that easily come to mind.

I love the gentle illustrations by Martha Alexander. She uses just the right colors to bring light to each page. Her little people are delicate and bright and nice to look at. I've always thought they serve as models of how I should think and act.

I've even seen one of my granddaughters snuggled up on the couch turning through the pages even though not old enough to read.

Any child will look forward to some of the selections, or even the whole book, for their bedtime story. What better way to finish the day than with some uplifting verse or prayer for any of us, young or old!

Details: 32 page paperback; published by Random House Books for Young Readers (August 12, 1973) ISBN: 0394827058

To order from go to

"Poems and Prayers for the Very Young" - Selected and Illustrated by Martha Alexander

14. Prayers for Children by Eloise Wilkin

One of my favorite Golden Books - and I enjoyed many - Prayers for Children by Eloise Wilkin is still just as appropriate for young readers today!
Description: Description: Prayers for Children by Eloise Wilkin
You and your child will enjoy the traditional prayers, inspiring all the more because of the precious illustrations by Eloise Wilkin (1904-1987), who illustrated many in the series of classic Golden Books.

I like that the hardcover stays sturdy over the years - right into adulthood. You don't have to worry that the book will fall apart with much loved use. It your kids are rough and tumble a book's sturdiness is something to consider when choosing amongst several similar books.

The visual impact of each page is a comfort just to look at, over and over, as each prayer is developing spiritual guidelines for living.

About the illustrations - to me they are the best part of the little book - the children with soft whisps of hair, round cheeked faces and kind expressions all the children share.

I remember as a child I wanted to be just like the little girls in the book, so as an adult I have seen how important it is to give our children just the right books to read as they may be influenced, as I was, long past childhood.

I am so glad that the Little Golden Book series has endured over the years. It goes to show that which is worthwhile is a good acquisition for today's family.

I do recommend the addition of this little volume to your child's library!

Details: 24 pages in hardcover; published by Golden Books (November 19, 1999); ISBN: 0307021068

To order from go to

"Prayers for Children" by Eloise Wilkin

15. Richard Scarry's Best First Book Ever!

Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm learn about the alphabet, shapes, sizes, colors, counting, manners and more in this 48 page hardcover book by Richard Scarry. The publisher is Random House Books for Young Readers, the ISBN is 0394842502.
Description: Description: Richard Scarry's Best First Book Ever!
The illustrations are detailed with items in the pictures labeled for word recognition, or even for just a growing association with written language.

As most of us who have read Richard Scarry's books for young kids know, he has a knack for teaching basic living skills through his interesting animal characters. My children learned many lessons through his stories that sunk in more than when I told them how to act!

For a child with a short attention span, this book is perfect because just a couple of pages is enough to teach a particular concept or lesson.

And, I love sitting and looking at the detailed drawings that incorporate humor into the story.

I highly recommend this addition to your child's library!

Available through this link at


16. Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book

Parents, do you remember Pig Will and Pig Won't?

Each of the short stories in this paperback book use animal characters in a sketch that demonstrates how we get treated best when we say 'please' and 'thank you' and consider others' needs, too.

And that kindness gives us the soft heart we need to feel empathy for others - how they are feeling.

This little book teaches kids that when they are polite they'll bring a smile to someone's face and feel good themselves.

Another aspect of this book I like is it lets pre-readers or those having trouble reading words absorb the story by looking at the pictures, page by page, because the illustrations tell the story so well - just like the cliché "a picture's worth a thousand words."

The whole series of Richard Scarry's books for kids are both educational and entertaining - you'll find several reviewed here in the Learning Library.

Highly recommended!

Details - 32 pages; Random House Books for Young Readers; 8 by 8 inches; ISBN: 0394826817

Here is a link to if you wish to order this book:
"Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book"

17. Yoga for All Kids by Susan Kramer

Traditional yoga poses and meditation techniques have been adapted to help foster motor skill development, coordination, concentration, and stress relief for children, teens and adults of varying abilities or special needs.

The elements can be used as a group activity, or practiced individually. How to live social skills, and a dictionary of 40 one-sentence hints for happiness complete this book of techniques, providing a broad offering of yoga's nurturing.

A useful resource for parents, homeschooling, or teachers that want to bring harmony back into the classroom!

I recommend this text as an all-around resource with kids of all ages and abilities, as well as for adults to follow. After all, it is probably the parents who are reading the book first before giving it to their kids to browse through.

It has my highest recommendation, therefore, for all ages - for the kid in us all.

Instant Stress Relief
Moving Yoga Poses
1. The Leaf
The Flower
The Cricket
The Owl
The Bird
The Squirrel
The Chipmunk
The Rocker
The Seal
The Salutation Pose
The Snake Pose
The Turtle
The Starfish
The Cat Pose
The Swing
How to Live Social Skills
Happiness Dictionary
40 One-Sentence Hints for Happiness

83 pages

About the author
Susan Helene Kramer has been teaching meditation, yoga and dance to students of all ages and abilities since 1965.

Available as a Paperback Book or Ebook




All reviews, summaries and content on this site are copyright Susan Helene Kramer
and may not be used in any manner without express written permission.


DISCLOSURE: I am an Associate of and bought my own products.

page created June 23, 2009; updated September 18, 2012; updated July 26, 2014