Orangutan: A Day in The Rainforest Canopy


Rita Goldner’s new book Orangutan: A Day in the Forest Canopy is a delight for young readers.  The story of Orangutan and Mother’s adventures as they seek food on a typical day will delight young animal lovers and adventurers.  A great book for reading to younger kids; it also provides older kids an opportunity to strengthen vocabulary and knowledge of natural history. The story is a fun read, but also delivers an important message to young folks about preserving our most precious natural places and fellow creatures, and it does so without being “preachy.” Kids and adults will both love Goldner’s wonderful drawings – simple, colorful, and expressive.

Of interest to both teachers and parents, Orangutan: A Day in the Forest Canopy is a great resource to address many of the Common Core Literacy Standards including:

  • Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
  • Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.
  • Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.
  • Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.


Dr. Josephine Kelleher, Instructor, Dept. of Teaching and Learning, Northern Arizona University


Educating all children on endangered species is one of the most important things we can do for future generations. With mind-expanding illustrations, vocabulary and concepts "Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy", is a wealth of information for children. It evokes strong emotions that will lead to the compassionate understanding of a species.

Elizabeth Collard, Founder/Director 'G.A.I.A.' The Great Ape Institute for Awareness


This beautiful book is a great first-look at the daily life of an orangutan. Children of all ages will be compelled to do all they can to help save the orangutans and their rainforest home!  


Richard Zimmerman, Executive Director, Orangutan Outreach


This fun and beautifully illustrated children’s book will delight and captivate the early reader who joins the young orangutan as he goes through a day in the rainforest…In a time when so many species are endangered, we need to encourage young readers to get interested and perhaps get involved in saving them for future generations.

Gary Shapiro, Ph.D., President, Orangutan Utan Republic Foundation





Making Marks On The World


Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 stars

Almost any child can relate to not wanting to do a History Report for school, but Rita Goldner provides great inspiration in her children’s book Making Marks on tthe World. Jackson loves art and realizes that he can paint his way through history to tell the story of man through the ages. Jackson’s adventure takes the reader from the earliest days of art with cave men and their paintings, then on to the Middle Ages with a bustling town and castle. Jackson also shares images of an Egyptian tomb and the Great Wall of China. Fast forwarding to the Space Age, Jackson paints the astronauts and shows the scene of the Lunar Landing and exploration. With his report finished, Jackson is back at school and pleased that History is, in fact, interesting.

Making Marks on the World is a unique approach to getting children interested in different events from history. Any child can identify with the idea that school is ‘boring.’ They will end up being surprised how much fun it can actually be with the brief explanations provided by Jackson, followed up with links to further information to expand their knowledge. Making Marks on the World is a wonderful combination of ‘literature’ and technology, and offers a terrific opportunity to capitalize on a teachable moment. Rita Goldner has provided the key to opening the door for children to learn more about their world while having fun coloring along.
I love this! It is a great way to allow children to explore further and learn more! This is an excellent, very well written book.


reviewed by Dr. Josephine Kelleher, Instructor, Extended Campuses, Northern Arizona University

Early in this delightful coloring  book and story, Jackson discovers that the only thing he really likes about school is ART!  And that it’s hard for him to pay attention when his teacher talks about history.

By the end of the story, Jackson has solved his problem by resourcefully combining his love for adventure and his love for art to produce his required history report.

Jackson embarks on a journey through time, using his imagination to enter the past worlds of history and paint what he sees. Goldner’s writing is simple, but lively and compelling. Kids will enjoy the “wormholes” at the end of each history scenario leading to the next one. Making Marks on the World  is a great read for all elementary students, but it will especially resonate with those who love to learn in non-traditional ways.

I look forward to further adventures with Jackson and his art!


reviewed by Gene Twaronite, Children’s Book Author and Educator

Making Marks on the World, written and illustrated by Rita Goldner, is a charming picture book.  I took an immediate liking to the story’s spunky protagonist, Jackson—a boy who lives to draw/paint and finds it difficult to pay attention in school. His spiky hair reminds me a little of Van Gogh.  Jackson’s travels back in time as he seeks to paint history are both fun and thought-provoking. There is so much going on in each illustration that I frequently found myself going back for another look to see what I might have missed. I loved the artist’s whimsical touches, as she has Jackson wielding a paintbrush in lieu of a sword as he stands around a table with medieval knights. Indeed, in his various expressions, I detect an appealing mischievousness and rebelliousness in Jackson—he’s the kind of guy you just know is heading for trouble. I look forward to finding out more about him in future adventures. A 5-star book that will appeal not only to children and parents, but to teachers looking for new ways to stimulate their students.


The Flying Artist


Reviewed By Michelle Robertson for Readers’ Favorite - Rating 5 stars

Jackson is a young artist who is intrigued by airplanes and how they work. He is going to take his first flight on an airplane and decides to find more information on airplanes and the process of flying. He soon came to realize that drawing/painting reduced the anxious feeling he was having about flying on his own. Will Jackson overcome his anxiety about flying alone? Will his love for painting help him get through his emotional experience? Come join Jackson on his aviation adventure and find out!

The Flying Artist ( Book 2 in the Jackson adventure series) by Rita Goldner is a charming and educational coloring book which introduces young readers to the concepts of flying, drawing/painting, and conquering fears. Children love to learn new things as well as find things to comfort them in their time of need. The author introduces young readers to both of those things by having the main character, Jackson, discover new facts about planes and aviation, and learning that drawing/painting helped soothe his anxiety about flying alone.

The book is highly relatable to other children feeling a similar emotion and looking for a way to ease it. A reader can expect to learn about the beginning of the airplane world by being introduced to the Wright Brothers and how they invented the first airplane, and the scientific information behind how it works. The book is not only a fun and exciting read filled with wonderful illustrations to color, but is chock full of information for those interested in aviation.

Reviewed by Dr. Josephine Kelleher, Instructor, Extended Campuses, Northern Arizona University

The Flying Artist, written and illustrated by Rita Goldner, is a warm, whimsical story that will appeal to young readers.  Creative drawings enhance the story of Jackson, who is about to take his first long flight alone.  To calm his jitters, he used his favorite activity, drawing/painting, to tell himself the story of flight.  This is the second in the Jackson adventure series – the first has Jackson using his art to create a history report for his teacher.  Goldner is on to something here – the combination of lively, whimsical pictures to color, a young boy who uses his special talent to confront problems, and some serious content about history and science, is a winner.  The Common Core differentiates between the skills for “reading literature” and “reading informational text” (to the chagrin of some educators), but Goldner deftly combines both skills in her coloring books about Jackson’s adventures.


Common Core Standards addressed by this grade level 2 to 4 story include:

Reading Literature (RL)

  • Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.  Grade 2 RL: Key Ideas and Details #3
  • Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.  Grade 2 RL: Craft and Structure #5
  • Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.  Grade 3 RL: Key Ideas and Details #3
  • Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g. create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).  Grade 3 RL: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas #7
  • Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions). Grade 4 RL: Key Ideas and Details #3

Reading Informational Text (RI)

  • Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.  Grade 2 RI: Key Ideas and Details #3
  • Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works)contribute to and clarify a text.  Grade 2 RI: Integration of knowledge and ideas #7
  • Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect. Grade 3.RI:  Key Ideas and Details #3





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