The Young Masters Series books fully involve readers in a program that encourages self-reliance, self-confidence, and respect for self, others, and the environment. Each book is accompanied by a CD comprised of stories and songs (as well as bonus files for home and classroom Macs and PCs); it starts with a pledge for participants, “I promise to use my gifts every day in every way for I am a young master. Peace!”
The Invisible Power, Heart of a Lion, and This Little Light are volumes four through six in the series. They detail the quest of three aliens, Butaan, Phylos, and EEtha, who have come from a place far away in search of knowledge about “the powerful gifts born to the People of Earth.” The CD accompanying each book includes the story as read by a wise woman, and nine tracks of original music (some new-agey, some with an African influence). Actress Elayn J. Taylor is the sage/narrator who gently tells each story while kids can read along. Kye Fleming’s simple, happy illustrations bring life to Bunny Hull’s stories.
The Invisible Power is the power to turn thought into things — creativity. Using flowers and spiders as inspiration, the story encourages children to use their creativity both artistically and to make the world a better place.
Heart of a Lion tells about the different kinds of courage, and how believing in yourself (self-confidence) is the first step to conquering fear of the unknown. Whether it’s the first time to cross a stream or walk away from a fight (or even tell a bully to leave you alone), if you believe you can do it, you can. Courage also allows you to believe things that others may not and talk about the way you feel.
This Little Light is love, but not just for other people. It explains how people can love pets, reading, music, purple, or the planet Earth, and how love means taking care of something or someone. It emphasizes that we must love ourselves, for we will then have more love to spread around.
There are compelling lessons offered in The Young Masters Series, but they are offered lovingly and unthreateningly. It’s interesting to look at love, courage, respect, kindness, and other characteristics as powers with which we are born. What good are powers unless we use them? The Young Masters Series teaches kids to use their powers responsibly. The combination of story-telling and music is certain to be appealing to young children.
Bottom Line: Would I buy The Invisible Power, Heart of a Lion, and This Little Light? Yes, it’s hard to resist the combination of aliens and values.