Sep 16, 2015

Recent Reads: Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half by Jeffrey Politsky

Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half: A Children's Book of Adventure by Jeffrey Politsky


Format: Ebook
Source: From the Author and Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.




Goodreads Synopsis: 
Children love to explore; it’s intuitive. And they tend to struggle when asked to confine their activities and behaviors to our adult-imposed rules and paths. Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half is a vibrantly and exceptionally well-illustrated adventure book meant to inspire children to follow their urges to explore and to appreciate diversity. The book starts off when “One day a little brown monkey with dazzling olive green eyes, a friendly smile, and a long curly tail asked his father if there was more to the life than just hanging around with other monkeys and eating bananas.” Before long he meets a lovely grey cat and a majestic blue pelican each on their own quests. Together, they explore a foreign island and when their journey takes them into a private swath of land, they befriend a local dog who takes them further than they ever imagined.

Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half emphasizes several significant values, which help us subsist and ultimately thrive: learning through independent exploration, the need for friendship, the importance of respect and tolerance for other cultures, languages, and lifestyle diversity, along with a healthy understanding of the powers of mother nature.
I have been reading more and more books for young readers and have been really enjoying them. So many are unique and have great themes for our youth. I think this is one of them. Chickadees... was a long book for the young reader - I think parents having to read it over and over may not like that, but who knows, I could be wrong. With that length comes a lot of adventure for a monkey, cat, and pelican who all meet and become friends while exploring and discovering diversity on a small island. 
 The book was entertaining although long-winded and the vibrant illustrations and animals will be great draws for children listening or reading the book. My only issues (reading the ebook) were that sometimes the darker and textured looking backgrounds made it hard to read where some of the text was placed. This is not the case for all the pages but quite a few of them.
Politsky explores diversity, curiosity and respect for those different than you, all great things to talk to children about. I think this would be a fun book for younger readers and parents.
My favorite thing about the book though has to do with purchases it - 50% of the proceeds will be going to medical research, that is a great cause. 
About the Author:
Dr. Jeffrey Politsky grew up in Toronto, Canada. He obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Toronto and his medical degree at the University of Western Ontario before moving to Vancouver for his residency training in Neurology. He moved to Boston in the late 1990’s to complete his epilepsy fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and has lived in the United States ever since. Today, Dr. and Mrs. Politsky live in New Jersey with their two children and two giant schnauzers. While he has written numerous articles and chapters related to the neurologic sciences, Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half is Dr. Politsky’s first serious non-academic venture.
Dr. Politsky began writing Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half on Formantera, one of the Balearic Islands in the western Mediterranean Sea off of the east coast of Spain.
“As I began pondering what makes free-form travel so interesting, I decided to try and create a story that would be appealing to youngsters. All of my back-packing adventures, like so many other travelers, had common themes: selecting a location, landing in a foreign place and feeling very foreign, attempting to understand the culture and fit in, survival, discovery, problem solving, raw happiness. I incorporated several of my own experiences in the text,” says Dr. Politsky. “I decided to weave into the story the linguistic nuances that my grandfather used when he would joke with my brother and me when we were youngsters – in essence we would ask him a question and he would answer using neologisms and in a manner that made absolutely no sense at all and then start laughing in a jolly fashion, quite amused with himself. I cherish my memory of my grandfather. His good nature and terminology stuck, much of it is incorporated in the book. In fact, some of his favorite expressions make up the book’s title.”
Dr. Politsky’s grandfather died in 1989 of complications related to multi-infarct dementia.
Tony Santiago illustrated the book with Dr. Politsky’s children and grandfather individually represented in the characters.
In 2011, Dr. Politsky’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is fine now; but the process was quite an ordeal. Anyone who has been through this or a similar experience understands this. Dr. Politsky sees and treats patients every day with epilepsy and related neurologic & medical conditions – in many cases illnesses appear like an unexpected storm and can turn people’s lives upside down and inside out like a tornado. By the end of 2012, Kim had been diagnosed, treated, and had achieved full physical recovery.
Fifty percent of the proceeds of the sale of each book will be donated equally to research programs dedicated to the study of dementia and memory dysfunction, and to the study of breast cancer.
To purchase a copy of the book, go to
Readers can connect with Dr. Politsky on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.


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