Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas -- "Make Magic! Do Good! by Dallas Clayton (Review)

Make Magic! Do Good!

  • Reading level: Ages 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763657468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763657468
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches 
  • Buy now from Random House for only $17.99.


"From from an exciting new face in children’s literature, Dallas Clayton, comes a book of illustrated poems full of wisdom, wonder, and whimsy.

A boy with a beard tries to stay six forever. A frightful monster lives a million miles away, but is equally scared of you. A magic rope hangs from the sky, next to a sign saying "Give me a try." In this brightly illustrated selection of playful, often provocative poems, ideas run the gamut from stopping your lightning-fast running to help others keep up, imagining a store that sells colors never before made, or admitting you’ll never know all the answers (and sleeping better at night). Following the runaway success of his self-published debut, Dallas Clayton’s quirky, captivating collection makes it clear that this rising talent, whose work has evoked comparisons to Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, and Shel Silverstein, exudes a spirit and style all his own."

Make Magic! Do Good!

My Thoughts:

I think I have stumbled across the next popular gift idea to give to graduates both young and old, as well as share with those at a crossroads in their lives.  Yes, this book, written by a new children's author, Dallas Clayton, was meant for young children, but the positive messages that resonate time and again in the nearly 50 poems that make up this book, can be applied to persons of all ages.  From seizing the day to the importance of making and keeping friends, Clayton does an amazing job at making poetry deliver importance life lessons to the reader.  I remember when I graduated, I was given Dr. Seuss' book, "Oh the Places You will Go," as were many of friends.  As we sat trying to calm our nerves by flipping through this children's book, waiting for our names to be called and to take the walk across the stage to receive our high school (and then college) diplomas, we took solace in the whimsical story illustrations, as we stood at a crossroads, ready to take the next step down a path that would lead to new and exciting adventures. 

As I sat reading Clayton's book, memories of my graduations and of all the accomplishments I have made through the years, seemed to fall into place.  I felt like his playful, yet poignant poems were written for me, as anyone can relate to them.  And, like Dr. Seuss' book, Clayton keeps the reader engaged not only with his play on words and powerful themes, but with his quirky illustrations.  Both children and adults will enjoy reading through Clayton's poems to find the underlying message of each.  The one message that holds true with all the poems is the importance of following your dreams, no matter how big or small.

This book is definitely once worth picking up and adding to your family's book collection. And, when you are in need of a great gift idea for graduates or just because, "Make Magic! Do Good!" by Dallas Clayton, will surely fit the bill, and make for an enjoyable read.  And, those lucky enough to read Clayton's book will aspire to achieve great things, as they "Make Magic! Do good!." :-)

About the Author:

Image of Dallas Clayton

"Called "the New Dr. Seuss," Dallas Clayton is known for his vivid use of colors, powerful themes, out-of-the-box-thinking and magical word play, Clayton has carved out quite a path for himself in a very short period on the book scene earning big name celebrity endorsements as well as multiple brand collaborations. Clayton makes his home in Los Angeles, but can be found touring the world relentlessly, reading to kids from preschool to college age, painting murals, playing music and spreading his message of the importance of following your dreams."

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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