The Green Gem by Susan Arts Book Review
In this second adventure of the Lydi & Sassy series, Lydi discovers the history behind a prized family keepsake, enjoys a great day at the park with her best friend, Sassy Pug, and attends a fun-filled princess birthday party! But sometimes, looking like a princess isn’t always the best thing that can happen, and Lydi learns that actions have consequences.
Being responsible, telling the truth, returning an item you took, and apologizing for mistakes are things that kids know they should do. Still, especially as children get older, these tasks are not always easy. Susan Art’s second children’s book in the Lydi & Sassy Series, The Green Gem, is a beautiful book to help children learn about the importance of doing the right thing, even when it’s difficult. This extraordinary book includes vibrant illustrations and a story that makes these valuable lessons easy for children to understand.
This picture book follows Lydi, a lovely little girl who discovers the history of her family’s treasured green emerald necklace. When Lydi learns about her family’s heirloom history, she is so excited that she wants to use the necklace on the day of her friend’s princess-themed birthday party. But, Lydi doesn’t ask her mom; she instead takes it without her knowledge.
As little ones read this book, they will learn meaningful and vital lessons about the importance of being responsible and accountable for their actions, especially when they don’t make good choices.
This beautifully illustrated book will not only reinforce the importance of wonderful lessons of responsibility and accountability, but it will be a delightful and fun-filled read for young readers. This is a must-have on your bookshelf.
Where Can I Find "The Green Gem?"
About the Author, Susan Arts
“My husband Ted and I met at work close to 40 years ago and have been partners in life and business for the majority of that time. We live in Amherst, NY, a suburb of Buffalo. Although we have no children of our own, Ted and I cherish our many nieces and nephews living both locally and scattered across the country.
We share our home with a menagerie of cats, and our yard with a wonderful mixture of neutered feral cats, a variety of birds, squirrels, raccoons, opossum and the occasional deer or fox – all of which snack on our apples and grapes long before we get to pick them! It’s our own little wildlife sanctuary and a wonderful escape after a long day of work.”
Rapid Fire with Susan Arts
Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Susan: I was one of those kids who liked to write reports. I’ve always enjoyed writing stories, although I have been told on more than one occasion that I can get a little ‘wordy.’ Must be why I talk a lot, too! For years, I’ve loved making special cards for my family and friends – birthdays and anniversaries. I enjoy being creative but never seriously thought of being a writer/author.
Q. What do you think makes a good story?
Susan: I think a good story comes from a good story. If your writing is based on a little truth coupled with a good imagination that can expand on even the smallest of events, that will turn out to be a great story!
Q. What advice do you have for writers?
Susan: I’m by no means an expert writer. But if someone is just starting, try to have fun with what you’re writing. Don’t hesitate to change, delete, add, or expand on your idea. I don’t think the first draft of any story is ever the last draft.
The Green Gem is the second in my Lydi & Sassy series, and I love this story in a different way than the first, but there were many changes made throughout the writing process in both books. Watch your flow to make sure it is a smooth read. I hope I’ve accomplished that for my readers.
Q. What do you love most about the writing process?
Susan: I start with an idea and begin writing. Then, another thought pops into my head, and I know that idea has to fit in someplace, so I type it in. It might not stay in that same spot, but the thought is there to grab and insert into the story at some point.
It’s a challenge to keep expanding on thoughts and ideas. I like a challenge. And even though my books are children’s books, not the great American novel, it was so fulfilling to see the story I envisioned come out of my head and land on paper (or the computer) because the ideas and words were just flowing. I find it amazing that when I’m on a roll, writing for what I think is just a short period of time, in actuality, turns out to be hours!
Q. What inspires you as a writer?
Susan: Those questions go hand in hand. My main characters, Lydi and Sassy, are based on a real-life sweet young girl and her pet pug.
I’ve been a family member of Alena and Lydia, daughters of two of my best friends Linda and Albert, since long before the girls were born.
Tragically, Lydia passed away from cancer at the tender age of 16, leaving behind her family and many close friends. Lydia was a vibrant young lady full of life. She lived a wonderful life and had so much more to offer, but that wasn’t meant to be.
I had a dream about Lydia one night and woke, not really remembering the dream, but having the strong feeling that I needed to write something about her. It was going to be a story to share with her family, happy memories of Lydia.
With their encouragement, the story turned into my first book, Looking for Something, inspired by some of Lyd’s favorite events. It is a fun, happy story – a tribute to Lyd and her creatures, both loved (her cat and pug) and not so loved (the squirrel that ate her garden) and a stone turtle on which she shared memories with her sister Alena.
Lydi found her pug Sassy in that book. Sassy joins Lydi again in The Green Gem.
Q. What do you love most about being an author?
Susan: I love the idea of a child reading one of my books and enjoying the story so much that they want to read more, be it my book or others.
There is a movie I enjoy wherein the grandfather reads a story to his grandson who, not feeling well, is home from school. It starts as a love story that the boy finds totally lame.
But as his grandfather reads on, the story grows, and the boy finds he actually enjoys it. When the grandfather wants to take a break, the boy insists his grandfather continue reading.
That is my hope that someone reads my story and gets the ‘bug’ to keep reading.
Q. Can you tell us about one of the most rewarding moments you have had as an author?
Susan: We were reading my first book to third graders at a local elementary school. I read the story, and Linda followed along, showing the illustrations. Looking up at the kids during the reading and seeing them pay such close attention to the story was fantastic.
But when I had finished reading, one boy came up to tell us that this was now his ‘new favorite book!’ His reaction to the story was just so cool; it made me incredibly proud to have brought that to him and totally made my day!
Q. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Susan: The Green Gem is about sharing and friendship, and that little thing inside us all that tempts us to try to get away with something, even though we know we shouldn’t. In the story, Lydi finds that in doing that ‘something,’ there is a consequence.
I hope kids enjoy the story and gain a lasting impression from Lydi’s dilemma, learning about actions and consequences. I also hope they leave the book looking forward to what Lydi and Sassy’s next adventure will be.
Q. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Susan: Not nearly as often as I would like; one grandmother did email me recently to tell me she gave one of each book to her two granddaughters, ages 5 and 9. She read them with the girls while visiting over a weekend, and they ‘had a blast!’
The girls were going on vacation the following week, and grandma wanted to keep the books at her house, but no, they were taking them with them on their vacation! I don’t think you can get better feedback than that!
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All in all, my family and I have really enjoyed this book and we know you will too! Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions about this review. I look forward to hearing from you!
* This book was kindly sent to me by Author, Susan Arts in exchange for an honest review.