Tate and the Lotus Pond

This enchanting fable follows Tate, our boy hero and Little-One, a lost baby spider in their search for Little-One’s home web on the mysterious lotus pond.

These unlikely friends accompanied by Tate’s Imagination face the dangerous Bully Fish, menacing Sumo Snails, the evil Kameko, a renegade turtle taxi driver and the deadly Steaming Vapors. They are befriended by the illusive Morning Glories, noisy Froglings, generations of Lotus Plants and the Parasol Ants.

This tale takes place in Japan and every effort has been made to be authentic in the use of Japanese plants, animals, ceremonies, traditions, and culture. Each chapter is introduced by a Haiku poem. The selected Haiku includes familiar and ancient works as well as contemporary offerings from youngsters and oldsters.

This book is beautifully illustrated and suitable as a read aloud book for parents and grandparents as well as a chapter book for readers ages 7 to 12. Adults have enjoyed it too.

Readers’ review

Ms. Cicero is a formidable storyteller with a vibrant imagination. Tate and the Lotus Pond is not only a children’s fairytale but a bonus of a story for adults too. In addition, the images in the book are breathtaking. I could look at them for hours.

– Deana Mallon-Kessin

Sour Grapes and Shadow

A Coloring Book

As a young social worker, Judy’s first position was at a County Children’s Home in Akron Ohio where children were sheltered who no longer fit in with their families as they had been neglected, abandoned, dependent and/or abused.

The home was established in the late 1800’s and housed 60 children. At its peak the home cared for 400 children. These children taught her a great deal about hope, resilience, and friendship as they struggled to find a meaningful life for themselves in the world.

Years later, the sight of a puny, bedraggled bunch of grapes and a carelessly tossed-away sunflower into an overflowing trash can triggered memories of the abandoned children of long ago. The story of Sour Grapes and Shadow was inspired by this image and by a commitment through stories to offer hope to those who did not start life with a sense of belonging.

This 8 x 10 coloring book has text on one side and a whimsical picture to color on the opposite page.

The Extraordinary Magic of Everyday Life

A bag lady, her raggedy talking teddy bear Jake and two other senior women capture the magic of everyday events through their unlikely friendship. Set against a backdrop of the local Tea Shop and Guest House, and with the help of homeless Viet Nam Vets, these women come of age in their 70’s with enthusiasm, creativity and purpose.

Readers’ Reviews

Finally, a book about older characters who still have exciting lives and are willing to take risks. J. Stanich

Title fits the story. Characters simple, material light but complicated. Good book club selection. H. Hornstein

A good cross-generational read. Quite inspirational. S.D.H.

Just loved it. So did all my friends. Pear Jontz (95 years young

Do Drop In

It ended in no time. The two men snarled at each other, threw a few more punches, then one went down. This time he didn’t get up …

The boy remained still, hidden behind a large dumpster. He knew the man on the ground was dead and the other gone but his heart continued to thump fast in his chest. He had been foraging for food when it began and quickly ducked behind the dumpster. Fights were common in the streets, what with drinking and drug use, the competition for food and shelter, and sometimes the sheer boredom of living in the homeless street community. The few street friends he had, like Lucy the crazy lady in an electric wheelchair, and Phil the Barber, shared their findings when they were particularly flush.

Generally these three (sic) ate at the Do Drop in…and enjoyed the generosity of Dan, the barkeep who gave them free refills on coffee. He allowed no other street people in his place but felt a deep affinity for this weird trio.

There was something special about them.

Readers’ Reviews

An uplifting story bold in a charming style. It is a fun read with some interesting truths. – Carol Groves

Wonderful insights into the lives of the homeless . – J. Wolfgang