Madie’s Meadow

Hello and welcome to Madie’s Meadow, the official web site of the Life in the Meadow with Madie book series published by Timbara Books. Thank you for visiting Madie at her home in the meadow. Madie lives with her momma and poppa on the sheltered side of the pond in a lovely green meadow near Farmer Ellwood’s field. She has curly yellow feathers and big blue eyes. Madie is a curious little duckling and is always asking her momma lots of questions. “Momma, how did we get here? Who made all the pretty flowers and the big green trees?” One thing that Madie has never been short of is very interesting questions.

Madie with her Momma and Poppa standing by their home in the lovely green meadow by Farmer Ellwood's pond, and bid red barn in the background by the cornfield.

When Madie was just a tiny little duckling, her momma took her all over the meadow and introduced her to all the neighbors. Momma wanted Madie to get to know everyone, and there were many to get to know. Madie soon learned that she and her family are members of the Meadow community and that members of a community are responsible for taking care of one another. You see, in the Meadow everyone looks after one another and helps their neighbors when they are in need. In fact, helping a neighbor in need is what begins Madie’s adventure in this first installment of the series, curiously entitled Mr. Earl's Missing Eyeglasses. That sure sounds interesting, doesn't it? I wonder why Mr. Earl's glasses are missing. And just who is Mr. Earl anyway?

Story Plot

An illustration of Mr. Earl the squirrel precariously hanging upside down from a cylindrical, wire-mesh bird feeder hung on the branch of a tree by its long loop-shaped handle. Mr. Earl is holding on with his back legs only and, as he munches on the bird seed, crumbs are falling to the ground.  He is wearing a blue vest and a pair of glasses.

The story of Mr. Earl’s Missing Eyeglasses is centered around a community effort to help a neighbor in need. Mr. Earl the Squirrel, long-time neighbor in the meadow and one of the meadow’s eldest and most beloved friends, takes an unfortunate fall from one of Farmer Ellwood’s bird feeders and injures himself. During the confusion surrounding this traumatic event, the extremely nearsighted Mr. Earl loses his eyeglasses. Walking with a cane and unable to see, Mr. Earl cannot search for his missing eyeglasses or gather the various stores of food he has hidden in many locations throughout the meadow.

A small illustration of Madie duck. She has curly yellow feathers and bg blues eyes, and is wearing a small pink bow in the tuft of feather on her heard.

Madie, a smart little duckling and one of the youngest neighbors in the meadow, thoughtfully gathers community support to help Mr. Earl in his time of need. Madie and the group of caring neighbors enthusiastically march off to Mr. Earl’s but soon realize that doing good can be hard work and isn’t quite as easy as just wanting good. When the group becomes quite discouraged and about ready to give up, wise old Paddy Owl reminds them that Mr. Earl is depending on them, and takes this opportunity to teach them a lesson in selflessness, prayer, faith, and perseverance.

An illustration from behind of the group of characters, organized by Madie, as they expectantly march off through the rolling green hills of the meadow on their way to Mr. Earl's.  It's a sunny day and the beams of sunshine are shining through a distant tree to far the left of the blue horizon.  Madie is at the lead and farthest away from the illustrator's perspective.  She is immediately followed by Dalty and Laney on her right and Grandma Mimi, Grandma Dawna, and Darla Duck on her left.  Dalty is wearing a brown vest and a straw hat; and Laney is wearing a pink bonnet. Madie, Dalty, and Laney all have yellow feathers. Grandma Dawna is wearing a light-green shawl with pink fringe and a dark-pink bonnet. Grandma Mimi is wearing an orange shawl and a yellow bonnet.  Darla is wearing a blue shawl and a blue bonnet.  All three of them have light-brown feathers.  Katie and Chrissy Crane are bringing up the rear of the parade, with Darla's six fuzzy, yellow baby ducklings sort of corralled between them and the group at the lead. Katie is on the far right and is wearing a red, white, and blue baseball cap; and Chrissy, who is on her left, is wearing a unique-looking Australian-style tan fishing hat with several short strings hanging down from about its rim, each of which have a small ball attached at its end.  Katie and Chrissy are much taller than the rest of the group and have long dark-gray legs, long strong necks, and light-gray feathers all over their bodies except for the red feathers on the very tops of their heads.  Rita Robin is flying over head, sort of coasting on the wind with her brown wings spread wide in the air. One of Darla's baby ducklings who appears to have fallen a bit behind is running to catch up in the far, lower, left-hand portion of the illustration. Some of the characters look as though they are walking right off of the page.
A circular illustration of the group taken from up in a tree just behind Paddy Owl who is perched on a horizontal limb of the tree projecting toward the right of the illustration and looking down toward the group of characters on the ground.  The group standing on the ground are the same characters that marched off together in the previous illustration.  They all have their heads bowed solemnly in prayer and are holding hands while standing in an arc formation about the trunk of the tree in which Paddy Owl is standing above them on a limb. Paddy is wearing a brown vest, has his head bowed also and his wings crossed in front of him, as he leads the group in prayer.  Rita is perched on the left shoulder of Katie Crane.

Story Themes

Mr. Earl’s Missing Eyeglasses is a genuinely wholesome story, pleasant in nature, containing elements of humor, and interwoven with the themes of:

So, as you can see, Mr. Earl’s Missing Eyeglasses is a wonderful Christian-themed story that children of all ages will find enjoyable and enriching. It is not only a safe and fun choice for children and parents but one that also provides numerous teaching opportunities through encouraging and fostering discussion around many spiritual truths introduced in the storyline. This is a fine book for instilling in children at a young age the excellent qualities of a strong moral character. But you don’t have to take our word for it, when you can read the following book review performed by The Children’s Book Review.

Book Review

written by

Trevor Laurence Jockims

August 1, 2015

The logo of The Children's Book Review which is comprised of a small green seedling growing upward out of between the white pages of an open book. The background about this small illustration is a gradient pink color, dark at the bottom and lighter at the top, with a curved line separating the two areas. Apprarently, the lighter area is made to give the impression of a distant horizon. To the right of this small illustration are the words, 'The Children's Book Review' in light-gray capital letters, under which, in red letters, is the phrase 'Growing Readers.'

Participating in the rich tradition of parables that illustrate moral and religious teachings through animal tales, Life in the Meadow with Madie: Mr. Earl’s Missing Eyeglasses presents the story of a community coming together to help out someone in need. When elderly Mr. Earl the Squirrel takes a fall and hurts himself, losing his glasses in the process, Madie, a young duckling, encourages the community to come together around Mr. Earl in a spirit of helpfulness. Working together proves challenging, and the community learns that doing Good is much more challenging than merely wishing for it. Through it all, the community perseveres, finding the missing eyeglasses (in a surprising place!) and, ultimately, much more than that. By rallying around someone in need, the community comes together in a spirit of charity, building new bonds with one another and making a stronger community in the process. As a helpful bird named Rita recounts, having played her part, “I feel so happy inside to have helped Mr. Earl.”

The tale of recovering the missing glasses, and helping Mr. Earl get around with a cane and limited eyesight, contains various levels of moral teaching, including beautiful messages on the meaning of family and community, the ability to love one another beyond our faults, and—perhaps most fundamentally—that doing good is difficult work. This final message emphasizes the teaching that stepping out into the world to do Good is a necessary component of enacting Faith, one that is more difficult than passively wishing for improvements. Bridget Dowty’s wonderful illustrations serve to underscore the strong character development of the narrative, and also highlight key moments in the text in ways that children will certainly enjoy. The relationship between text and image in fact underscores another one of the great virtues of this very fine book: it will engage a wide range of children. The moral teaching is intelligently presented in a way to encourage discussion and further thought, an enriching process that will lead child and parent alike into continually enriching discussions of family, community, and faith. In every sense of the word, this is a truly insightful book.

Book Details

Each of the four chapters of Mr. Earl’s Missing Eyeglasses is a complete narrative, so that the story may be read to younger children a chapter at a time. The chapters are entitled:

Madie’s Neighbors in the Meadow
On the Way to Mr. Earl’s
The Search Begins
A Surprise for Madie

The fifty-five pages of this book are filled with meaningful text and high-quality illustrations. The story text alone is composed of over six thousands words and involves fifteen unique story characters. The professionally prepared full-color illustrations include thirty-eight scene illustrations, eleven character pieces, and multiple pieces of design artwork.

Purchasers of the 8.5 by 11.0 inch hardcover book will be pleased with the quality construction which will last for many years. The book is printed and case bound in the United States by Signature Book Printing located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Construction features include a Smythe-sewn binding, one-hundred-pound matte coated paper, and a lay-flat gloss film-laminate finish on the cover. In addition, each book is individually shrink-wrapped immediately after binding to ensure that your book arrives in pristine condition.

Life in the Meadow

with

Madie

Mr. Earl’s Missing Eyeglasses

by

Patty Luhovey

The closing illustration on this page is of Darla Duck and her six yellow baby ducklings waving goodbye. They are down by the pond which cannot be seen in the illustration apart from a tall wall of green cattails behing them.  Four babies are on the left of Darla and two on her right.  She is wearing her blue shawl and blue bonnet, which is tied in a bow below her orange bill with long blue strings that hang down to her mid chest.

Illustrated by Bridget Dowty

Teaching Opportunities

This is an excellent story for parents to read and discuss with their young children, as pointed out by Mr. Jockims' in his review. Many spiritual truths, although not explicitly taught, are introduced through the storyline in a manner that fosters and encourages further discussion of these topics with one’s children. Thus, the teaching opportunities in this story are plentiful and rich, especially for the parent knowledgeable in the Word of God. Please see the Bible Study page for links to a number of excellent and free resources. Please do not hesitate to email us at Wise Readers to let us know how you used the story to teach your children and to provide us feedback concerning the book and your children’s responses to the story and web site. We are always glad to hear from you.

In the Works

We are currently working on the development of a members' area, accessible for free to purchasers (past, present, and future) of the book, in which will be provided audio files of the author's reading of the story and a series of quizzes to aid in the development of solid reading comprehension skills. So, please remember to check back soon and we will send an email notification when it is ready.

Best Wishes

We hope you find the book to be appropriate for your family. Orders may be placed on the Purchase page. Thank you for your book orders and support. Best wishes to you and your family.

Patty

Darla Duck in a Blue Bonnet and Blue Shawl waving alongside her six yellow baby ducklings waving also by the green tall cornfield.