This is a charming family writing project by a dad, Al Essaily, and his two children – daughter Layla Essaily, who gets the cover credit all to herself – and his son Adam Essaily.
Five short stories are included and they seem to be aimed at quite young children. They are all very short and would hold the attention of even a young child. The subjects are undeniably “kid-friendly” – being a super hero, birthdays, hide and seek and animals.
These are not complicated stories but they have a message. The first, Super Hero for a Night, is about an 11-year-old boy named Nelson who awakens during a storm and goes downstairs for a glass of water. Lightning strikes his house next to the window where he’s standing, and he’s knocked unconscious, landing on the floor. When he awakens, his parents and sister are nowhere to be found but he appears to have super hero powers, crashing through doors or knocking them down with a slight touch. He is able to save a young girl who is being carried away by a monster. He calls the police, keeping the monster at bay till they arrive. As the police are finishing up their monster business they tell Nelson he is a super hero. The rest of the story indicates it must all have been a dream…but it has an interesting moral to it, anyway.
Other stories also have morals or lessons to be learned. They are subtle but appropriate. One story, Hide and Seek, will make children think twice about hiding from their parents.
One dicey moment in Losing Your Best Friend made me worried for a moment. It’s about a 12-year-old girl whose best friend, her new dog Pebbles, disappears. Don’t worry, parents – there’s a happy and unexpected ending.
The only offering, which is more like a rhymed story/poem, is about a cat. Cats Just Wanna Have Fun it’s called – cute title, just not too terribly interesting although maybe I’m more than a few years too old to appreciate it.
The book is perfect for brief storytelling, perhaps at bedtime or naptime.