Children's Stories by Grandma Dee Dee
by Delores (Dee) Ray
Westwood Books Publishing LLC

"After meeting with the Fairy of Dreams, we left Fairyland. For the rest of my life, the lessons I learned there came in handy."

Collecting dozens of short stories for children, this book invites young readers to be kind, considerate, grateful, and to exercise their imaginations at every opportunity. Each story features the perspective of a child on a journey, sometimes to visit their grandparents on the farm and sometimes to ride on the back of a frog as it journeys through the swamp to visit its friends. Some stories revolve around special times of the year, such as a delightful Halloween ghost story or a handful of Christmastime stories that perfectly capture the magic of the season. Some stories are told in a more modern era, while others are the stories of children who have gone on to grow into parents or grandparents of the children reading this book.

The scope of each story varies as well—sometimes only telling the activities of one person, sometimes including a whole family or friends, and at other times still focusing solely on the animal kingdom. These animal stories reflect a more typical fairy tale structure, such as the story of the all-white deer who is mocked and jeered at by his peers but is uniquely qualified to save the life of one of his frequent tormentors. Often by using a moral to teach a lesson, these tales can inspire as well as entertain the young minds they were written for. With so many stories to choose from and plenty of adventure, excitement, and unbelievable encounters, this volume of children’s stories is sure to have something to spark the imagination of every child.

While all are works of fiction, these stories run the full spectrum from realistic to fantastical, and it is not always readily apparent what direction a story will go. Time spent with grandparents making cookies and decorating for the holidays creates its own magic with wonderment and togetherness, while a story about a family of mice inspiring a church to turn its fortunes around obviously proves to be a little more fictional. Somewhere in the middle are stories about learning to not be afraid of thunder or to not make snap judgments about a person’s character without meeting them. These stories start with a foot planted firmly in reality before introducing elements of wonder and make-believe. This way, children will never quite know what to expect going into a story but should expect to be entertained at the end.

Many stories include one or more illustrations, each roughly taking up a half-page, and selected to fit the theme of the story more than depict any specific events. This creates a children’s book that is meant to be read together more than shared and shown with a group, as more time will be spent reading than examining the pictures. The strong family-focused nature of the stories also make reading together with a young child a more intimate experience, and stories about their own family can be shared as to how they relate to the families and neighborhood children highlighted in the book. Offering plenty of opportunities to teach children how to take care of themselves and others, the lessons that accompany many of these stories feel natural and organic rather than heavy-handed, and all of them provide a wholesome, loving environment that parents and children will love sharing together.

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