Title: Come Back Dear Sun
Author: Geena Bean
Illustrator: Cheri Webber
Publication Date: January 3, 2013
Recommended Age: 3+
When the sun disappears for a long time, curious Kaylee cannot wait to have the sunshine back. Her imaginative plan unfolds like only an eight-year-old can conceive, and the wonder and smiles begin. She and her six-year-old sister, Mattie, along with their two friends, Fran and Lilly, plan an adventurous sleepover in an attempt to coax the sun into shining again. In a very imaginative way, they talk to the moon only to discover that the moon is very tired due to working overtime during the sun’s absence.
Follow Kalyee and her friends on their energetic quest to learn why the sun has disappeared and where it has gone. The insightful message of this story impresses both parents and children alike in order to grow appreciation of the world around us.
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Sneak Peek Into the Book
Kaylee and Mattie wake up to find that the sun has not appeared even though it is daytime. Using their imagination, they (along with their friends Lilly and Fran) devise a plan to speak to the moon to help solve the mystery of the missing sun. They meet up with the moon who tells them that the sun has gone away because nobody comes out to play anymore. The sun decided to go away where she thought she might be more appreciated. The children now have to put their heads together to convince the sun to come back.
1. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book? I like the pictures in the book, but I think the cover is a bit too dark. I like the very last picture in the book of the sun smiling and pointing because she’s being funny.
2. What is your favorite part of the story? My favorite part of the story is when the sun comes back at the end.
3. What is your least favorite part of the story? My least favorite part of the story is when the moon yelled at the little kids and told them to go away. It made me feel bad because I don’t want the moon to say that, but I also don’t want it to always be dark.
4. What lessons did this book teach you? The main lesson is that you should play outside more and do less indoor things like play video games and watch TV.
5. Overall, what did you think about this book? I really liked this book. It was a good story.
6. Who do you think would like this book? I think boys and girls 1 to 8 years old would like this book.
Son Rating: ★★★★☆
My Thoughts: Well, what’s not to love about the important message behind this book? You would have to have your head in the sand not to notice that technology is taking over our lives and kids are spending more and more time in front various screens such as TVs, computers, and video games. The result is, as aptly put in Come Back Dear Sun: “Children are far too busy today, forgetting about outside imagination and play.”
Come Back Dear Sun helps raise awareness of the changes in society from a time when kids had to be dragged indoors to eat and sleep to one of where we have to push them out the door to expose them to fresh air and get them active. I’m going to avoid writing a scholarly paper in this review about correlations among screen time, physical activity, obesity, behavioural problems, and so on and so on. But, I think we can all agree that less screen time and more outdoor time benefits children; and, this is the crux of the message underlying this book.
I think the author was very clever in tackling these issues in the book. She begins the book with describing how the children feel about living in darkness (of course, we completely relate to how a lack of sunshine for an extended period of time makes us feel here on the Wet Coast!) The children then have to use their problem solving skills and creativity to figure out how to make the sun re-appear. The moon sternly explains to the children (I don’t think he actualled “yelled” as stated above by my son) why the sun has left. By the end of the book, the children learn to not take the sun for granted.
Because this is a rhyming book and I’m usually a pretty harsh critic of rhyming, I can’t help but make a comment about the rhyming and cadence. Overall, I think that the author did do a great job. There are a few examples of “imperfect” rhymes (e.g., “while” and “child”), but for once, that didn’t bother me. It worked in this book. One thing that I did notice is that the rhyming scheme changed throughout the book. In some cases, the verses rhymed ABAB and in other cases AABB. I have to admit that it did sometimes throw me off.
The children in the book were four girls. I found this striking because I would expect that there would be a balance in gender among the characters (e.g., 2 girls and 2 boys). I asked my son if he felt there should be a boy in the story and his answer was “no”. So, if it doesn’t bother him, I guess it shouldn’t bother me.
The illustrations are all very kid-friendly. I don’t doubt that this was a tricky book to illustrate because much of the book takes place in darkness so many of the illustrations are somewhat dark. In fact, I find the cover to be a bit too dark for a children’s picture book. Young children are drawn to bright colours and I would hate for them to pass this lovely book by. I agree with my son that the most striking image is the very last one of the sun (image to the right). I think it’s striking because so many of the pages before are a bit dark and this page is in direct contrast with its bright and bold colours. It is, in short, a great way to end the book!
My Bottom Line: I love the message underlying this book and I appreciate how the author went about tackling the issue of children having too much screen time at the expense of playing outdoors and being active. I think parents, teachers, and librarians could use this book as a resource in beginning a conversation with young children (ages 3 to 7) about the importance of being active outdoors.
More Buzz About the Book
“Come Back Dear Sun is a refreshing book that children of all ages will love. In today’s society, so many children are consumed by technology and this book reminds them of the importance to get outdoors and play….” ~ 5-Star review from JRRead, Amazon
“A fabulous book about children spending too much time indoors. A great way to get across to them they need sunshine and fresh air too. This book will speak to young children in a way they will understand and get the message across easily. Ms Bean found a fantastic way to make kids listen to the message of play outside…” ~ 5-Star review from KissablySweetOne, Amazon
“A sweet rhyming story, reminding us of the quality time we should have with nature. A wonderful teaching lesson about the value of long-forgotten fun–outside play. Come Back Dear Sun! What a memorable, delightful title for a children’s book! It grabbed my attention when I searched for children’s books on Twitter. Looking at the cover of the cheerful moon delivering a letter from children, I really wanted to know what had happened to the sun. I followed the author, and as soon as I started reading this touching story, I fell in love with the enchanting, adorable characters, created by talented Geena Bean. Wisely illustrated and wonderfully written in a rhyming style, this book is a great addition to any home collection…” ~ 5-Star review from Mrs. D., Amazon
“This book is awesome!!! Come Back Dear Sun is filled with so many wonderful and creative story lines. With a story as cute as this one, I am sure that children will want to have this story read to them over and over again. In my opinion this book is surely to become a best seller for years and years to come. This book is a must have for any child’s library. Kudos to the illustrator for all the cute and colorful illustrations.” ~ 5-Star review from njgary, Amazon
“What a wonderful story! In Come Back Dear Sun, the sun seems to have disappeared and Kaylee notices before anyone else. She convinces her friends to help her try to find out what happened to the sun and convince it to come back. This story covers a topic that is near and dear to my heart as a parent and a writer, outside play. I don’t believe that TV, computers, and games don’t have their place, they do. Unfortunately, they can also take over our lives. This story, with its beautiful illustrations, helps kids to see that it is important to play outside and appreciate the sun. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fun story that speaks to these issues!” ~ 5-Star review from Christen B., Amazon
About The Author: Geena Bean
Geena Bean graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in English in 2003. Since then, she has been working within the nanny industry and creating children’s stories as she experiences them. Bean has been writing since she was in the 1st grade and has told many tales over time. She has been working with kids for over 15 years now and loves to share her commitment and adoration for story telling with each and every one of them. Her first children’s book, Come Back Dear Sun, was published and released in January, 2013. Since then, she has been visiting schools, libraries, and local bookstores throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania in hopes that she can inspire kids to always live up to their full potential by being creative, imaginative, dedicated, and of course, kind.
Google +: Geena Bean
* Giveaway *
Prize: We are giving away a print copy of Come Back Dear Sun by Geena Bean PLUS a $10 Amazon gift card/PayPal Cash to one lucky winner.
Contest runs: August 20 to September 6, 11:59 pm, 2013
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