When I sit down with my kids and open a new book; in the back of my mind I think, wouldn’t it be amazing if this book could be entertaining, smart, colorful, funny, have captivating pictures and thought provoking content for young children. Rarely does a children’s book capture all of these criteria.
Katie Mullaly’s writing and Toby Allen’s artistry in the Land of And is all of the above and more! It is an extremely creative and innovative travel book. It appeals to both children and adults. It is something special when you can read a book over and over and still learn something during your last read. You open the book and your first page is the Map of And. I don’t know about your kids, but when mine see a map they get really excited and immediately assume a travel adventure is about to begin. Even though we stayed in the same seat and were covered by the same blanket the whole time; this book immediately catapulted our imaginations to a level that needs to be visited more often.
Mullaly’s is also the author of Land of Or. In my opinion, this book has the potential of becoming the next Oh the Places You Will Go by Dr. Suess. Millions of parents and Life Guides have given Dr. Suess’ book to high school graduates, teenagers at a crossroad, young adults finding the transition from child to adult tough as a friendly “guide” for life. I believe Land of Or will soon take its place and can be given and understood earlier in life.
Mullaly teaches about choices and obstacles you may come up against and persuasions (for example the family favorite the Yabut) that may get in your way. My daughter, age 6 was fascinated by this story, completely engaged and full of questions during our reading and after.
Land of And is Mullay’s second book. It’s theme focuses on inclusion and acceptance. As I said before, I have a 6 year old girl as well as a 4 year old boy. It is startling to me that my young children are already dealing with inclusion/exclusion and acceptance/disapproval. This story is beautiful; the pages are filled with color, wonderful characters and life lessons regarding kindness, self worth, empathy, respect and companionship. My 4 year old son was concentrating on the pictures and the adventure of the characters (his favorite continuing to be the Yabut) and my 6 year old daughter would recap the ideas after a few pages to keep the story straight in her mind. While I believe they are on the young side of the “age appropriate” spectrum, they absolutely understood the themes Mullaly is outlining in a fun and creative way and will grow up continuing to read, learn and practice what she is preaching.
The life lessons Mullaly concentrates on in both her books are the foundation of an upstanding human. The earlier children learn these traits the better. With the focus of our future in technology, it saddens me that personality characteristics are losing their luster. I believe Mullaly is just the author we need to build our children’s self esteem and comradery and for that I thank her.
Insider Tip: Character descriptions and travel guides (for parents to use to talk about the journey) are also available on the website.
Where to Buy:
The Land of And http://www.landofchildrensbooks.com/land-of-and/
Written by Katie Mullaly
Published by Faceted Press
The Land of And book review is a guest post by Kim Pertel. Faceted Press supplied her with this children’s travel book for review purposes. All opinions are her own.