Meet the Author - Carmen Rubin
"Carmen is the author of several children’s books and animated children’s programs. For decades, the Rutgers graduate and former teacher has used her voice to empower youth, promote literacy, and reinforce the importance of keeping music in elementary schools. She has worked diligently to bring diversity and inclusion into education – allowing children to see themselves in one way or the other in her work.
The author’s signature stamp is peppermints hidden throughout her stories. The peppermints are inspired by Carmen’s grandfather, a minister, who created the Peppermint Candy Club. It is a club where he passed out peppermints and called kid to action to be kind and show love to others. As she reads across America, Carmen continues to spread her grandfather’s message. When they see peppermints in the books, they are reminded to show love!"
I was given a copy of 3 of Carmen Rubin's books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
HONCHO HATES MUD
Published September 2018
Synopsis: Every pig loves mud, right? Not Honcho. She hates it! When the pearl-wearing boss from the West finds herself in a muddy mess, she teams up with a few farm friends to work her way out of it. Some days you can find her hopping a plane or daydreaming from an office in the sky. One thing’s for sure, Honcho is the perfect pig for the job!
Review: The saying goes, "You can't judge a book by it's cover" in this case, you can't judge a pig by it's name or environment. Honcho was not like every pig, she loved being clean and had big dreams. While other pigs made fun of her for being different she stayed continued on and followed her dreams. It's a great lesson to all to stay true to yourself. The story reminded me of babe, who also did not conform to the rules of the farmland.
THE GIFTED GUITAR
32 pages \ published in 2012
Synopsis: The Gifted Guitar is about a poor guitar who gives its gift to the wind. The wind carries it across the world and miracles happened to everything that hears the sound of the guitar. When the guitar returns home, a miracle is waiting for it too!
Review: A feel good story about the heart of music. Music has a way of lifting the spirit. The Gifted Guitar is a heartwarming story about touching lives with your gift(s). Both humans and animals were rewarded in a special way after hearing the melodies that this gifted guitar would play.
ASHTI MEETS BIRDMAN AL
32 pages \ published 2008
Synopsis: This lyrically heart-warming story is about Ashti Freeborn, a multi-cultural pudgy 9 year old who is smart, creative, and energetic. Ashti and her mother spend a day in the park and chase a unique sound that leads them to an old man who is singing and scatting with the birds he feeds every morning. He tells them about his love for Jazz and his concerns about the loss of his former school's music program. They come up with a great idea that will keep children and music connected and the school from losing its music program.
Review: Reading this story filled me with joy. Music brought the whole community together and built lifelong friendships. Music connects the young and old of all backgrounds after Ashti and her mom finds birdman Al in the park. Ashti seems to be very mature and empathetic. When music, art and other creative venues are taken out of community programs and schools our youth suffer. This story helps us to remember why music is so important. I also loved that the author introduces the reader to legendary Jazz/blues musicians.