Following is an excerpt from the Five-Star Review by Readers’ Favorite.
Little Hal: A Pygmy Hippo in Danger by Joan Diehl is a delightful story.
It is a perfect book for all children’s libraries and can be used in classrooms to teach about endangered animals and conservation. It makes a good bedtime story too. Books like this are helpful for kids and parents alike, as they make teaching easy and fun. The illustrations add color and movement to the story and help kids comprehend the author’s thoughts with clarity.
Factual material is intermingled with fictional characters in this story for ages 7-12. However, anyone who is concerned about wildlife conservation will appreciate the plight of the pygmy hippopotamus.
Mama Hazel has tried to make Little Hal understand that he’s a nocturnal creature. So many times, she has warned him that it’s dangerous to run around in broad daylight. Yet Little Hal loves his West African habitat so much that he can’t resist exploring it in the daytime. As a result, he barely avoids trouble. One day, he narrowly escapes from a hunter. Another time, Hal almost crashes into a fierce-looking warthog named Wesley. Then there’s Corky, a dwarf crocodile that swallows his prey whole. Hal isn’t worried, though. He’s too big for Corky to swallow.
Once Upon a War by Joan Diehl was a fascinating story. It made a change to read a war story told from the other side and I feel she told it well. It must have been difficult for the women left behind to fend for themselves. Joan has portrayed her feelings, as well as those of her children and the others at Schilling Manor, in a way that makes you feel as though you were there with them. Very good book, nice viewpoint on an otherwise wicked subject.
When my Air Force husband, Glen, was ordered to Vietnam in 1968, he helped me and our five young children move from Bryan, Texas, to Salina, Kansas. For sixteen months, our family lived in Schilling Manor, named after an Air Force base that had closed. Part of the former base had been converted into residences for families of military personnel serving in South Vietnam. During Glen’s absence, I was sustained by the friends I made in this waiting wives community. There has never been another like it.
Diary excerpts, letters, and newspaper articles offer glimpses of life at home, in the war zone, and on the streets of our cities, where political turmoil and denigration of the military prevailed. Sadly, the war was lost. More than 58,000 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice in the nation’s most unpopular war of the 20th century.