That Is How Things Are

Children - Concept
44 Pages
Reviewed on 09/28/2017
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Author Biography

Olga D’Agostino (known as Mrs. D.) is an award-winning children’s author (recipient of multiple Mom’s Choice Awards, Beverly Hills Book Awards, and International Readers’ Favorite Awards). She lived and worked in Lviv, a cultural center in western Ukraine, before immigrating to the United States in 1992. In 2012 she published her first children’s book, and since then she’s pursued a career as a writer. She speaks many languages, loves reading, writing, gardening, and traveling. Her award-winning illustrated children’s books include The Trees Have Hearts, Good Morning, World!, The City Kittens and the Old House Cat, Runaway Clothes, and The Royal Palm. She lives in Smithville, NJ, with her husband, Patrick. They have four children and four grandchildren. Her unpredictable calico cat, Nyda, has been the inspiration for many of her stories. Her books are available in print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and as e-books for most popular e-devices. For updates on Mrs. D.’s books, please visit her website:
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

That Is How Things Are by Mrs. D. is a book with two short stories, The Autumn Wind and The Kitten and the Sparrow, which explore the magic and beauty of autumn. In the first story, readers get to see the gray-silver headed wind rising from the hammock to see the garden painted with golden hues. The wind was disturbed by the beauty around him and annoyed that autumn is always in a hurry. He got angry and blew chilly gusts, shaking the trees around and scaring the leaves. The little kitten watches the cold wind tossing a single leaf, and the kitten wonders who will win; the wind or the leaf? The kitten is worried about his friends, the squirrel and the sparrow. The sparrow tells the kitten that he is moving to the woods with his relatives and they will fly to a warmer place during winter. Now the little kitten wants to know what winter is. Will the kitten be able to understand what winter is?

What appealed the most to me about the book is, apart from introducing the seasons to young readers in an interesting way, the author blends the two short stories and ties them together beautifully. The illustrations are stunning and colorful and I like the way the author has given the wind a powerful personality, making it easy for readers to connect with it. What a beautiful book for parents to read out during bedtime and what a charming book to use for read aloud sessions in classrooms and school libraries, especially during autumn!

Sharon Novak

This is an amazing book about two seasons, autumn and winter. Mrs. D has done a beautiful job describing what happens in autumn and winter in a beautiful poetic, metaphorical way that children will understand. The imagery that she uses to describe the wind and how he effects all of the fallen leaves and things that are still barely living as autumn sets in is beautiful. Mrs. D's descriptions are written with enough detail so that teachers and parents will be able to take time to discuss what is happening in the story with the children who are listening to the story being read to them. What a wonderful way to introduce these two seasons to the children.
As always, Mrs. D's stories have beautiful, bright illustrations that will keep the children interested as they illustrate very well everything that is being described. This, I personally have to say, is one of the most beautiful qualities of all of Mrs. D's books. I can still remember loving to read the stories where the illustrations were bright and beautiful.
There are so many good things to say here. Mrs. D does not just tell the story about the seasons in a boring, factual way. She integrates this story with a plot of a garden struggling to stay alive against the angry wind. In the second story, she includes a kitten who is watching all of the action of the wind from the window as winter is approaching. This will completely keep the children captivated.
I highly recommend this beautiful story that can be read by a teacher or parent to children or that can be read by young readers themselves. Easily, I give this story five stars!

Mrs Miller

I was fortunate to receive a copy of ‘That Is How Things Are’ direct from the Author, Mrs D for review.
The book contains two stories, ‘The Autumn Wind’ and ‘The Kitten and the Sparrow’ which the author has married wonderfully together.
‘The Autumn Wind’ creates havoc in the garden with his powerful breath, unleashing anger on the trembling trees and frightened leaves. A mesmerising story unfolds as the realities of autumn’s arrival are explored enabling plenty of interaction with young readers and listeners who can join in throughout the tale.
‘The Kitten and the Sparrow’ is a cleverly crafted tale from the young Kitten’s perspective on how the arrival of autumn is affecting not just the garden but also his friend the Sparrow. Again, a superb way of teaching young readers and listeners about the changes this season brings about and it’s knock on effects.
Alongside these two tales are the most stunning illustrations which perfectly capture the stories within. Mrs D’s books are a joy to read, over and over again. I just love they way the stories educate and deliver through a captivating and thoroughly enjoyable way that are certain to keep young readers and listeners engrossed.

Barbara Mojica

This book consists of two short stories that focus on the advent of autumn and winter. At the outset of the first story, “The Autumn Wind,” the wind is lying in a hammock about to awaken for a new season of work. He smiles at the beautiful garden which is enjoying the final days of summer. As the wind starts to howl, the flowers and trees shiver and shake in their battle to maintain a fragile existence against the inevitable change of seasons.

The second story, “The Kitten and the Sparrow,” is seen through the eyes of a kitten. This kitten is watching from inside a window as his friend, the sparrow, feels the sharp, biting signs of winter approaching. Soon there will be no food or protection from the harsh weather that approaches. The language is almost lyrical as we follow the personified characters play their roles. The colorful illustrations portray the emotions and mood as the seasons unfold.

Children witness both the beauty and power of nature told in a compelling narrative. Recommended as a read aloud, a bedtime story or beginning chapter book to be read by a child independently. Perfect book choice for a cool, crisp Fall day.

I received an advance review copy from the author and voluntarily decided to review with my honest opinions for no compensation