Ava’s Triumph by Mary E. Miller and Linda Woo

Ava’s Triumph for the Heart

What does it take to cement a book in the hearts of its readers? I think it’s different and personal to everyone. Ava’s Triumph is one such book for my daughter and me. It’s Floss’s favourite read of 2022 so far and I defy anyone to not find a place in your heart for it. Ava’s Triumph by Mary E. Miller and Linda Woo is publishing by Ninewise Publishing on 6th April 2022 in the US.

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Miniature Obsession

For me it took me back to reading The Borrowers by Mary Norton as a child. Adventures of tiny people with all their fantastical miniature clothes, furniture and other items repurposed from objects they found around the house of the big people. I’d always loved miniature things and reading The Borrowers gave me an obsession for making small objects for my toys, especially miniature copies of my favourite books! Reading Ava’s Triumph and seeing the magnificent hand made items in the photos brought it all back.

Floss had a similar calling after reading Ava’s Triumph. She marvelled at the beautiful images and was amazed as I turned to the back of the book to show her that Mary had made all of the characters and props by hand and that Linda had taken many photos to be able to tell Ava’s story. Floss has always been into making and crafting and Ava’s Triumph spurred her on to start making objects for her toys.

Ava – Simply Wonderful

We loved the simple style of the story in the book. Floss was delighted that she was able to read the story herself. The font is a good size and ideal for early readers. The words are on a lilac background and do not overlap the images. This is very helpful for developing readers too.

Ava’s Triumph Synopsis

Ava’s Triumph is the story of Ava, an artist. She enjoys painting at the local park that is shared by the whole community for a variety of activities.

There’s an accident with one of her paintings and the story shows the heart-breaking emotions Ava feels about this and what she does next with the help of her friends to triumph. I won’t say any more as I don’t want to spoil the ending for you.

Emotional Regulation

When something doesn’t go to plan or is spoilt in some way this can lead to strong emotions in our children; it’s a problem that all children are affected by at some point. Children can show very strong outward emotions such as anger, become outwardly upset such as crying or internalise how they feel. This books shows how love, friendship and a mindset to persevere can help you overcome challenges.

I particularly loved Momma and Little Brothers sensitive reaction to the situation. The communities apology and rallying round are also lovely examples of how to support someone who is upset.

The Detail

I still can’t quite believe the detail of this book. Each of the characters and props are hand made by Mary and Linda carefully orchestrates the scenes to capture the best image. You must check out the official Ava’s Triumph website. It goes into glorious detail about how the book came to fruition and the hours upon hours that were put into every aspect. I loved seeing the inspiration behind certain elements in the book; it’s a fascinating blog read that I would highly recommend. Would make an excellent resource if using this book in school to be able to commence a creative project.

Bookish Play Ideas After Reading Ava’s Triumph

  • Use a canvas rather than just paper to paint with.
  • Create a felted animal. It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as Mary’s but it would be a lovely first sewing project. You could cut a bunny template (or another animal) then make out of felt twice and use a simple stitch to sew together with a little stuffing.
  • Repurpose or make little props for your own toys.
  • Photograph images of toy set-ups you create to make your own story board. You could always edit to form a stop motion film.
  • There’s a lovely page in the book (above) that shares Ava’s gallery/ inspiration wall. Set up your own wall to add your drawings and paintings to.
  • Set up a gallery at home or in school and invite family, friends or the local community to come and view your work.

Highly Recommend

The nostalgic feelings from me made this book very special but it was seeing Floss’s adoration and continual requests to share this book again that gives it a highly recommend from us. Floss is still now setting up little play scenes and photographing them. I love books that don’t just stay in your heart and mind while you read them. Books that are just the starting point for your own stories and adventures. They spark the imagination of all those who read them. This is one of those book. You can purchase Ava’s Triumph from the Ninewise site here.

Alternative Spellings

We live in the UK and a question I’ve been asked a few times in the past has been should I share books with American spellings with my daughter or should I avoid them? My answer to this is I’m very happy to share with her.

It’s important for children to know that there are alternative spellings to words in other parts of the world, just like we should explore other languages. I don’t want my daughter to be confused when she sees the word color or favorite in a book. I want her to be able to recognise and read it and know that the book she is reading was probably written by an American author.

Thank you Ninewise Publishing for sending this gorgeous book our way for review.

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