The McCleary Quadruplets

There is never a dull moment when you are raising quadruplets!

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May 22 2013

Rhoda’s Ocean – A Children’s book

A few weeks ago we received a children’s book to review and read with our children. What’s so special about this book? You might ask. Well, the actual story behind the book is what caught our interest. The book was written some time ago, way back in the 80’s by Betty Abbott Sheinis. Betty’s husband, Arnold, is a retired psychiatrist that has been painting for the last 25 years. He had contacted the owners of Gallery 55 to come to his house and check out his work. It was there, that they had discovered an illustration under a pile of laundry on the bed. The illustration was Betty’s cover for a children’s book. The owners of Gallery 55 wanted to find the rest of the book, but Betty was suffering dementia and couldn’t recognize her own artwork or tell anyone where the manuscript was.

A few weeks later after the gallery owners had came to visit, they found out that Betty had passed away on April 19, 2012. Since no one knew where she kept her stuff, the book was bound to be lost in time. Just two weeks later after she passed away, Arnold had woke up in the middle of the night remembering a secret hiding place where she use to put her favorite work. So in the morning Arnold went to check her secret hiding place and did find the rest of the book. And the rest as they say is history, the book was published and now the world gets to read the story behind the book as well as read the book itself.

Now on to the actual book review. Our children like reading bedtime stories so we read it to them as a bedtime story. They all gathered around in the boys room to sit and listen to the story and see all the illustrations in the book. The cover of the book was very smooth and they were intrigued by details in the cover illustrations.  We talked what the cover might tell us about the story.  They talked about the animals they saw and the different plants.  We then began the story.  The kids were in awe of the illustrations.  I have to say I was a well.  They are simply beautiful.  I read so many children’s book between teaching and at home that the illustrates caught me by surprise.  Most children’s book have great pictures but they may not be able to stand as artwork alone.  These illustrations could stand alone and tell the story without the text.  Of course the text gives many details that one could not derive from the illustrations.

The story is about Woodchuck named Wilma and Rabbit named Rhoda. They are best friends, and are total opposites. Wilma is into having everything neat and clean, while Rhoda spend most of her time dreaming. One of her dreams, is about a body of water so big you can’t see the other side and calls it the Ocean. No one believes there is such an thing, so Rhoda decides to paint what an Ocean looks like to her.

If you would like to read more about this book or purchase it you can to their website here www.rhodasocean.com also, you may buy the book on amazon.com. Below are a few pictures of the book and the Illustrations you would see inside. The kids absolutely loved the pictures.

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