This series of five books for young gifted kids, Gifted Kid Book Series, is a delightful introduction to the five “overexcitabilities” that so often affect the life experiences of the gifted. Using five cheetah cub characters, each of whom represents one of these intensities, the stories explore how they affect both the children who have them and the other children they interact within their daily lives. The stories are simple and clear, but the implications are considerably more complex. Each story is followed by Child pages, with suggested activities for exploring the subject and Adult pages to help adults both understand these intensities and help the children they raise (or teach) deal with them and the social interactions the intensities create. The illustrations are wonderfully done and will appeal to the intended readers. These books do not “feel” like texts, and are a welcome expansion of my cheetah metaphor!
Stephanie S Tolan M.A. (Award Winning Author)
Deep, lasting, natural confidence is based on authenticity and the full realisation of our own unique talents and strengths. Gloria, Bronwyn and Pratima eloquently present insightful and vivid stories about high-ability in the wider population. Charming, accessible, and magical. The best part about the books to me is the far-reaching message; it is sustainable and can elicit a longer conversation that can go on and on with family, friends and through education!
Alan D. Thompson. Founder of Life Architect. National Gifted Children’s Coordinator for Australian Mensa. www.LifeArchitect.com.au
Gloria has a talent for using adorable characters to illuminate the delightfully nuanced thinking of gifted children.
There is a tenderness to the characters and a tone of celebration of their uniqueness that all children would enjoy. The parent section is thought-provoking and captures the essence of the joys and challenges parents and children face. Reading the books you cannot help but smile and I cannot wait to read them to my child. I highly recommend this book series to all parents of gifted children.
Dr Kirsten Baulch MBBS FRACGP GCBA
Mentor Extension Education Programs for Gifted Children
Gloria van Donge’s delightful story about Chevron, the cheetah cub and his group of friends, provides a way for children to identify with others’ strengths, interests and talents. Within the context of the cheetah cub’s experiences, there are many opportunities to discuss with children the implications of being different and finding creative ways to relate to others. Expanding upon Stephanie Tolan’s iconic story of the caged cheetah as a metaphor for the unchallenged gifted child, Chevron and the other cubs enjoy challenges, develop talents and successfully negotiate relationships. Insightful prompts are available to help adults guide children to explore their interests, think about ideas, discuss concepts such as identity and authenticity, within stories that hold great appeal for both children and adults. By reading about Chevron and his adventures, children are encouraged to find themselves and learn how to develop friendships. This engaging series of books provide a fantasy world in which children can safely examine real-world issues. What a wonderful way for caring adults to support gifted children.Michele Juratowitch, Director, Clearing Skies
I highly recommend this delightful book about Charlotte, the cheetah cub, emotionally gifted, intuitive and empathetic to the feelings of her brothers and sisters. She also uses her imagination to paint vivid mind pictures and restore her emotional balance. I could easily identify with her, when I find myself being sensitive to the emotional climate in situations and trying to make things right.
Gloria van Donge has really captured the essence of the emotionally gifted child in her carefully crafted description of Charlotte throughout this tale.
After teaching young children for over 40 years I understand that children as individuals grow to reach their full potential in the sunshine of warm acceptance and active encouragement of their unique abilities. Children encouraged to develop their emotional giftedness are a treasure, enriching the lives of us all.
This book, and others in the series, would be a valuable resource for parents and teachers, seeking to identify and understand giftedness in young children.
Lyndelle Sherrin, DipTeaching, B Ed St, Grad Dip Early Childhood Studies, B Nursing Science
The Gifted Kids Book Series is a beautifully designed and written set of books that will be of great use for parents and teachers working with gifted children and wanting to help the children understand themselves and build the confidence to be their true selves. Each of the 5 books looks at a range of different issues experienced by many gifted youngsters and adults. The stories are engaging and provide a great starting point to discussion of the various issues presented. They also contain notes for parents and teachers to guide such discussion. I highly recommend this series to those interested in nurturing gifted children.
Helen Dudeney - Nominee 2013 Australian of the Year
Australian Gifted Support Centre
In Gloria’s first book, ‘Coming, Ready or Not!’, I found it really delightful to see characters where differences were celebrated and enjoyed. Not only is Tiger a character who is different and has been included in the group, but there is Chelsea who has found a creative way to play the game and is not ostracised due to her unusual thought processes.
The parent section at the back of the book provokes thinking and could easily be used for children to look at the book in more depth, helping them
understand their own different learning and thinking styles. This book would be a wonderful addition to the social skills workshops I run for gifted and twice-exceptional children, to show the children that differences can also be accepted.
Lyndal Reid, Dip. Couns, Director - One Day Program, Educational Consultant & Program Facilitator
This is a fantastic, high quality resource. I’m sure a lot of families will benefit from it !!
Dr Johann Eloff. B Psych (Hons), D Psych (Clin) MAPS
Gloria, thank you for writing about giftedness. Parents and the community are often surprised to realise the complexity giftedness brings. They just see the academic achievements and the smarts and forget that these little people often feel other.
Margaret Condonis MAPS; Psychologist & Director at Family Relationships Service, Sydney.
Gloria is an author with a heart for serving gifted and talented children. Her stories build our appreciation of the rich tapestry of giftedness. Whenever Gloria talks about her stories, you get a strong sense that the characters are well-loved - and real. She has crafted a wonderful series for children that helps them grow their own self-understanding - and celebrate their own uniqueness's. - Diann and Alison
Diann and Alison Feldman are consultants in organisational learning, people development and corporate strategy.
Gloria van Donge has done a remarkable job writing her stories. These intriguing and fun-filled books not only entertain the child or parent reading them, but also help give them an understanding of the way a gifted child thinks and interacts. I only wish I had these available when my children were younger so I could understand them better. It is still very helpful now, even though they are teenagers, to read in story format how their minds work. Absolutely fabulous stories.
One would be forgiven for thinking, after reading and viewing the first few pages of this delightful children’s book that merely a sweet story about a little African cub was about to unfold. The book’s author, however, has also woven within its pages, an insight into the life and thoughts of the ‘Gifted child’.
The stage has been set in Africa, the home of five little gifted cheetah cubs.
‘Coming Ready of Not’, first of the series, tells the story of Chelsea who is gifted in creative thinking.
Little Chelsea develops her own way of solving a problem when playing with the other cubs. It is hoped that gifted children will identify with this little character’s processes, compare it with their own experience of solving problems and be able to modify their thought applications.
The design and layout of the book facilitate the ability of young children to follow and explore. A bonus addition to this story book is a question page that will help lead children into discussion about being gifted.
Children, parents, teachers and grandparents will all benefit from this thoughtfully constructed story. I look forward to future editions in this enlightening series.
Gloria van Donge has written a series of books to help children understand the nuances and value of their diverse strengths. Each of the five stories focuses on a cheetah cub’s high-level abilities—and ways of embracing them. Chelsea develops a creative hide and seek strategy, Christina struggles with and overcomes her perfectionist tendencies, and Chadwick learns how to fully appreciate his physical prowess. Charlotte uses rationalization and imagination as she wrestles with the intensity of her emotions, and Chevron finds a unique way to problem-solve and share his particular enthusiasms with others. The related material at the end of these “Cheetah Stories” provides impetus for further thought and discussion about what each cub has experienced and learned—and the applicability to children’s lives.
Beautifully illustrated by Pratima Sarkar, and enhanced by “design thinker” Bronwyn Olsson, these books are delightful to read, and offer insights into gifted/high-level development.
Dr. Joanne Foster, award-winning author – www.joannefoster.ca
In my 35 years of teaching, lecturing and consulting in the education field, I have not found children’s books that highlight the challenges, benefits and delights of gifted and talented children. It was my pleasure and honour to be asked by the author of The Gifted Kid Book Series to prepare materials to support the implementation of the books in Primary School classrooms and Early Childhood services.
As I read through the series of five books, I became absorbed in the stories and could ‘feel’ the complexities of life experienced by the gifted cheetah cub and those around him/her. It became clear that often we don’t identify the giftedness of children and the impact that being gifted may have on them, their family and friends. The value of supporting social and emotional development, celebrating successes, and allowing individuals to just ’be’ were the highlights of each book. The five books focus on five different areas of giftedness and the strategies needed to negotiate or compromise, so that personal friendships are nurtured and individual differences understood and accepted.
The books alone are beautifully presented and have many, many opportunities to extend learning at home or in the classroom. Gloria van Donge has gone one step further by adding supporting activities and suggestions to the back of each book to promote further understanding of the concepts explored in each story line. I highly recommend these books to all teachers and parents. Even if you think you don’t know a gifted child, the books are a joy to read and a support for all children.
Dr. Kathy Murray Training and Education Services; Academic; Classroom teachers.
Carol Bainbridge is the parent of one highly gifted boy who knows the roller coaster ride this brings, with its joy and fun, yet loneliness and frustration. She has provided advice to parents of gifted children for nearly 20 years. Her website: http://giftsforlearning.com
SAMAIRA from Gloria van Donge
It’s amazing to follow Samaira’s journey. She has taken three things she loves – games, bunnies and coding – and let her imagination expand to produce something new that will benefited others. This process of design and innovation is almost unbelievable in a 9 year old.
Her presentation skills are amazing. Her compassion for others is outstanding, especially underprivileged girls. Her enthusiasm is infectious. I am so impressed by her soft heart and I wish her every success in the future. Please visit her website, www.coderbunnyz.com to learn more about her amazing achievements.
What Samaira has done with the things she loves is similar to Chevron’s experience in my fourth book, Catch On. Samaira has kindly written the following review ==>