Monday, December 07, 2009

Children's Writer Dawn Menge Returns to WITS Podcast

Author Dawn Menge will be joining author's assistant Sarah Moore to discuss her new release Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains this Friday. This will be Dawn's second visit to the WITS podcast, her first being last year to mark the release of Queen Vernita's Visitors. That initial book in the Queen Vernita series earned Dawn First Place in the Children's category of the 2009 EVVY Awards and an Honorable Mention in the Readers Views Awards.

Dawn Menge continues her efforts to teach calendar skills to children with Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Mountains. This time around, she also includes an emphasis on the environment as Queen Vernita and her friends explore a different point of natural beauty each month. As the week of each month proceeds, they observe or actively experience some aspect of flora or fauna. Each page of text is accompanied by beautiful illustrations that will promote the curious nature of children.

Please visit the Amazon website to purchase Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains.

Title of Document: Book Review
Book Title: Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains
Author: Dawn Menge
ISBN: 978-1-4327-1169-6
Genre and Target Market: children; fiction
Publication Date: 2009

Book Review by: Sarah Moore

In my capacity as someone who enjoys a profession in the writing and publishing world, I am always excited when an author whose work I have enjoyed in the past comes back with another book for me to review. As the mom of a three-year-old girl who loves her bedtime stories, I am particularly thrilled that author Dawn Menge has gifted all of us with another wonderful tale of Queen Vernita and her friends, who teach young readers through their daily adventures. In her first book, Queen Vernita’s Visitors, Dawn Menge introduced us to her title character and the decision she makes to have a different friend visit every month of the year. Menge continues this concept in her new release, Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains, and improves on a first book that itself is worthy of much praise.

Queen Vernita invites her friends back for another year of fun, but this time the destination is the Blue Ice Mountains. Queen Vernita and her guests use this beautiful location to learn interesting details about science and nature. As a former school teacher, I am a strong advocate of any learning tool that gets kids thinking about the world around them. Every page offers fun facts about a specific animal or place that I am sure will be educational to both parents and their children alike. On Tuesday in March, Christopher is there to learn that when ice melts and breaks away from glaciers, it is called calving. On Saturday in July, Queen Vernita and Susanna learn that brown bears can weigh up to 900 pounds. And, on Thursday in November, the two friends discover that sponges in the ocean are sessile invertebrates. Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains is well-researched and packed with information that will fascinate young readers.

Every aspect of Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains is expertly designed to be engaging and educational for children. The colors on each page capture a child’s imagination, with the dominant use of bold, primary tones in the detailed illustrations and the text for each month printed on a different muted color. We all know that if the pictures grab a child’s attention, interest in the words that surround them will more likely follow. Menge also effectively uses the important learning tool of repetition to teach children the days of the week, with each month featuring a different fact for Monday through Sunday. By the time you reach December, you may find that your child is calling out the months before you have a chance to read them. The fact that the author is currently working towards her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction is evident throughout the book’s format, word choice, and graphics.

Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains is a beautiful book that I am excited to add to my daughter’s collection. Even the youngest child will learn details about plants and animals that she will be proud to share with others while improving her calendar skills along the way. Perhaps even more importantly, readers will be presented with the idea that friendship is to be valued and openly appreciated. Queen Vernita is genuinely excited for each visitor to arrive and enjoys every moment of every month with a dear friend. What could be a better lesson to learn? Whether or not you have already had the pleasure of reading Queen Vernita’s Visitors, I strongly recommend that you discover the joy within Dawn Menge’s second offering. I only hope that Queen Vernita has more plans for her guests and, therefore, more books to come!

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1 comment:

Dawn Menge said...

As always I enjoyed the interview with Sarah. The Writers in the Sky staff are professional and a excellent to work with.
Sarah welcomed the characters into her interview and made in a very postitive experience for everyone.
I will continue to work with the Writers in the Sky staff as my award winning educational series developes.