My thoughts: The Calabash Tales follows a young iguana as he ventures from his home to discover new worlds - the world of the beach. He learns that he can swim and does so in the ocean. He learns to survive during a hurricane by making preparations for survival. He learns that there are others in the world different from himself and with different attitudes. He learns to be kind. He also learns that families are made of those who care for one another.
For a "picture" book the text is lengthy. It has chapter divisions and can be read to a young pre-reader or may be read as an early chapter book by a child with strong vocabulary. The story provides an opportunity for a child to learn some facts about iguanas and preparation and survival during a hurricane.
About the author: Penny P. Abrams moved to the Virgin Islands with her husband where they lived for 20 years after raising their family. While there, she made many friends including an iguana who sat on her foot as she read on the beach and then swam with her when she went into the water. When Ms. Abrams' grandchildren visited, they would collect bags of hibiscus blossoms to feed the big, old iguanas who lived at nearby Limetree Beach. Now living in Southwest Florida she seldom sees iguanas but does live in a bird preserve. She has another book, An Other Time, which may be purchased on her website, PennyPAbramssupportprose.com.
About the Illustrator: Millicent Nigrosh known professionally as "Mikki" is a well known artist working in multiple art forms, including sculpting, painting, and photography as well as jewelry design and manufacture. Her work as a silversmith and goldsmith has been sold nation wide as well as her fabric designs and paintings. Her success as a book illustrator has earned her name in the Library of Congress.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of The Calabash Talesn by Dorrance Publishers so that I could render an honest review. Opinions expressed are my own. The book may be purchased at: http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?dorrance+7XZRvv+index.html