by Bernard Ditchik
These delightful tales are sure to help your little ones settle down and drift contentedly off to sleep. Written by a grandfather for his own kids and grandchildren, these twenty entertaining stories feature lots of talking animals, including a kangaroo who teaches a pony how to jump, a little bear who wants to play baseball, a coyote who learns to fly, a magic balloon that takes a little girl all the way to Japan and back, and some resourceful ants who build a swimming pool so they can play as well as work. It’s full of positive images and plots that inspire creative solutions to various challenges. A lovely read-aloud adventure the whole family will enjoy!
With a collection of eighteen stories, this book holds a small treasure chest of bedtime reads. From adventure to a pinch of fantasy to lovely settings, these stories cover a nice spectrum and hold something for every small dreamer. Many of the characters include animals and are presented in a way children are able to sink into and experience.
Of course, there are all sorts of good messages wrapped up in the short plots as well, and these are ones very fitting to children. Still, they never over power the plot, and the sheer joy of diving into lovely, fantastic settings remains at the forefront of every tale.
The stories have a perfect length for their purpose. And there are enough of them, to keep variety while still enabling the reader/listener to go back to others time and again.
Summed up, this is a lovely collection of short stories kids (parents and grandparents) are sure to enjoy.
From “Jodie’s Magic Balloon”
There was a stand with beautiful balloons of all colors and shapes. They were on long strings and floated high in the air.
Jodie grabbed her father’s hand and pulled him right to the stand. When the man selling the balloons saw her, he winked and said, “I have a special magic balloon just for you, Jodie.”
“How do you know my name?” she asked, surprised.
“I’m a magician,” he said. “And when I made this balloon, I saw it had instructions stating that it was only to be given to a little girl named Jodie.”
“But how did you know that was me?”
“Oh,” the magician said with a smile. “That was easy. The instructions also said I would recognize her because she has the tiniest nose you ever saw and the sweetest smile. As soon as I saw you, I know you were that person.”
The man gave Jodie a very large and beautiful balloon. It had every color of the rainbow and sparkled like gold in the sunlight.
“Oh,” said Jodie. “It”s beautiful. But why is this a magic balloon?”
The magician smiled again. “When you crawl inside this wonderful balloon, it will obey everything you ask it to do. Would you like to try it?”
“Oh, yes!” Jodie cried excitedly, and she crawled inside the balloon. “It’s very comfortable in here. Now what do I do?”
“Just tell the balloon to go anywhere you like,” answered the magician with another smile.
“Please take me high into the sky, even higher than the clouds” instructed Jodie.
And here he is. . .
I didn’t begin my career as an author by writing stories. First, I was a storyteller. Let me explain. Many years ago, when our children were very young, I would sit on their beds at bedtime and tell them a story. Instead of reading a story written by someone else, I preferred to make up my own story right on the spot. They were stories about animals who learned to fly, children who talked to birds, alligators who were friends with elephants, and even one about a horse that learned to jump like a kangaroo. Our children loved them. So I made up lot of stories. Then there was a long period of time when there was no one who wanted to listen to my stories because they had all grown up!
But then, something wonderful happened. We had our first grandchild—and I became Grandpa Bernie. One day, one of my daughters said, “Dad, you have so many stories. I think other children would like to hear them.” That’s when I became an author.
At the age of 93, I am still playing tennis (doubles only) five times a week in a 60+ league. I have been married 64 years to my wonderful wife, Faigie, had three children, and five grandchildren. I continue to sit in my favorite chair, with a large pad on my lap, and a pen in my hand, lean back, and let my imagination soar.
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