Saturday, November 3, 2012
Morris the Village Voice: A Gentle Reminder For Me, A Valuable Lesson For My Children
Doris Rueger uses a humanized advertising column to educate her young readers about important values and lessons that will help them in life in her new book, “Morris the Village Voice." Rueger, who is also the illustrator, offers her young audience valuable messages and lessons, like knowing and loving oneself, speaking up, asking for help, working together and much more.
In the center of a small village, an advertising column that highlights all of the latest local attractions stands tall and proud. The personified column goes by Morris, and throughout “Morris the Village Voice,” he shares all the things he loves about being an advertising column. Children would race around him and get so excited whenever a new flyer for the circus was posted, while parents could turn to him for the latest in news and events.
But when the village’s advertising committee and mayor want to replace him with an updated, glitzy billboard, Morris is heartbroken. Despite his pain, he asks two of his young visitors, Anna and Jason, for help. With the children, prayer and positive thinking on his side, Morris believes he has a great chance of standing in the middle of the village square for years to come.
Rueger used her grandchildren as a vehicle for writing “Morris the Village Voice.” Her love and admiration for them led her to create a story that she hopes will inspire and encourage their generation and many more to come.
“I want to teach children the value of living, learning and loving themselves for who they are,” Rueger says. “If you believe in something strongly, you can make a difference!”
She wants her readers, regardless of how young they may seem, to understand the importance of asking for help, standing up for themselves and their beliefs and self-acceptance. She believes it is these lessons that help us all live a healthy and creative life.
I was given the chance to read "Morris the Village Voice." After reading "Ella the Pink Elephant: Her Life, Love, and Fame" and "Adventures of the Little Red Fox" I had high expectations. I wasn't disappointed. I was a little slow getting into it though. Advertising and children didn't go together in my mind. I didn't understand where Doris was heading until I began connecting with Morris. I began seeing Morris as a person and I began "feeling" for him and all he was going through. I kept reading, witnessing the ups and then the downs of Morris. Once a proud "pillar" of the community, Morris was now in shambles. I was reminded of those old abandoned movie theaters that line main street in many small towns, forgotten after residents moved on to bigger screens and Imax. Their beauty and charm hidden in disrepair and dust. Morris was feeling like an old movie theater until the residents decided to get together and hang on to their traditions. I can't mention too much more without giving it all away, but Morris was a charming "character" that surprised me. It took a few pages, but then I realized just how important this story truly was. There is a "Morris" in everyone's life. We can embrace him or let go, moving onto bigger things that may not always be better. It's a great way to get children to appreciate customs and traditions. Just because something is flashy and new doesn't make it better. I am thankful for the reminder, and for the gentle way Doris explained this to my children. This story and lesson were completely unexpected. After I closed the book, I was left with a smile that stayed with me throughout the day.
“Morris the Village Voice” is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.
About the Author: A native of Germany, Doris Rueger received her master’s in literature and journalism in the United States. Rueger spent 30 years working in the scientific community and now writes and illustrates children’s books in New York.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored review and I received a copy of the book. A favorable review was not required.