The Adventures of Mali and Keela


“2010 Mom’s Choice Gold Medal Winner!”

A Virtues Book for Children

Written by Jonathan Collins

Illustrations by Jenny Cooper

Character and Values Education Resource
Mom’s Choice Gold Award Recipient: Category: Juvenile 1—Self help
Ages: 4 thru 8

– Published: Personhood Press, June 2010
– ISBN: 9781932181524
– Pages: 146
– Size: 7.25 x 9.25 (softcover)

This title is available at the below.



As Mali, Keela, and Bongo sail the South Seas from Banana Island to Glow-Worm Cave, caring, trust, determination, and peacefulness are just a few of the many virtues they explore along the way.

This collection of thirteen beautifully crafted adventure stories captivates the imagination while inspiring children to discover the best within themselves.  Each story visits four virtues, so that by the time our heroes sail home at the end of the book, fifty two virtues have been explored.

At the end of each story an interactive section contains age appropriate definitions of the virtues featured in the story in addition to well crafted discussion questions. This area stimulates discussion and helps adults and children alike find the meaning and the magic of the virtues in their own lives.  The index at the back of the book is especially helpful to locate a particular virtue that would be applicable in a challenging situation.

The Adventures of Mali & Keela is a Gold Medal recipient of The Mom’s Choice Awards.  This award program recognizes authors and companies for their efforts in creating quality family-friendly media, products and services.

The book has received enthusiastic praise from parents and educators alike, with the Walt Disney Outstanding Elementary School Teacher of the Year laureate, Dara Feldman, referring to it as “an inspiring, creative and engaging book where life lessons and heart-warming stories come together.”

Author Biography:

Jonathan Collins is a writer and illustrator in Christchurch, New Zealand, with books published in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.  He is also a professional Creative Director and Communications Manager.

Illustrator Biography:
Jenny Cooper is a children’s book illustrator with a background in graphic design. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand and has illustrated numerous picture books, including “The Mad Tadpole Adventure” by Melanie Drewery and “Duck Walk” by Joy Cowley.

She tutors at the University of Canterbury and Christchurch Polytechnic. Cooper’s illustrations are influenced strongly by her time spent living in Western Samoa.

9 reviews for The Adventures of Mali and Keela

  1. Cathy

    The Adventures of Mali and Keela is an inspiring, creative and engaging book where life lessons and heart- warming stories come together.  A joyful experience to be shared at home and at school!  I recommend this book with great enthusiasm!
    Dara Feldman
    Founder, The Heart of Education
    Disney’s 2005 Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year

  2. Cathy

    This book is a great addition to character education literature!
    Bruce T. Smith, M.D.

  3. Cathy

    We love this book!  My girls (eight) and I read the adventures eagerly.  They were calling me to story time each night because they couldn’t wait to see what happened to Mali and Keela today.  Not only were the stories entertaining but we also enjoyed talking about the virtues embedded in each story.  By the end of the book the girls were explaining how Mali and Keela exemplified the particular virtue in the story.  I will definitely share this book with parents and teachers.
    Kathy Flood, M.Ed.
    School Counselor

  4. Cathy

    I have been waiting a long time for a book like this!  Some virtues are difficult for young minds to understand, however, through stories children can develop a heightened capacity to understand these concepts.  These  stories are captivating and the illustrations add a wonderful touch to a well written story book.  Congratulations!
    Deena Ashoorian
    Assistant Professor, University of Western Australia

  5. Cathy

    This is a very educative resource for an early childhood classroom and families with young children will find this book especially beneficial.  The book’s organization makes it easy to use and its purpose is effectively communicated to readers.  Each story features four of the 52 Virtues and the thirteen stories ensure each one is covered.  After each story is a short section with the featured Virtues, their definitions, and discussion questions.  The index is especially helpful for teachers/parents who want to focus on a particular Virtue.  
    April Hale
    Elementary School Librarian 

  6. Cathy

    What a simply delightful book loaded with opportunities and guidance on how to open the door to having some great conversations with children.  I would highly recommend this book for families.
    Lynne Klap
    Trustee of the NZ Virtues Project Trust

    The illustrations are beautiful, and the layout inspired.  Parents will love this!  Thank you for your efforts towards raising a new generation of confident, responsible and joyful children!
    Ellen Montague Ramer
    Virtues Project Master Facilitator

    It is truly a treasure to have the gems of virtues between the covers of this imaginative and engaging storybook.  I especially appreciate the discussion pages following each adventure.  They stimulate conversation about the character attributes in the story and are a portal to experiencing and understanding the virtues on a personal level.  I love the illustrations!  Please extend my gratitude to the author and illustrator for sharing their gifts of creativity in service of humanity.
    Wendy Mather 
    Virtues Project Master Facilitator, Canada

  7. Cathy

    In Mali & Keela, Jonathan Collins shows us that the virtuous life is an exciting life!   My two girls loved to hear the virtues come alive in these delightful tales.
    Bethany Gonyea
    Author, “Spiritual Parenting: The Importance of Keeping Your Child’s Heart Open”

  8. Cathy

    My 10 year old daughter and I read the stories and answered the questions.  Amber found the stories to be fun and the questions interesting.  We found the questions were an excellent way to deepen in the virtues and I enjoyed discovering her level of understanding.  Most of the questions were excellent and appropriate.  Overall an exciting read with an effective follow up process that I found very useful as an educational tool.  I’m sure this resource will be welcomed in mainstream and in education.  Well done to the author!!
    Sam and Amber Te Tau

  9. Cathy

    As Mali, Keela and bongo sail the South Seas from Banana Island to Glow-Worm Cave, caring, trust, cooperation and peacefulness are just a few of the many virtues they catch sight of along the way.  Stories are one of the most wonderful ways to learn about the virtues and author Jonathan Collin’s “The Adventures of Mali and Keela” is no exception.  Collins does, however, offer something quite unique to deepen the journey we take with Mali and Keela.  At the end of each chapter, descriptions of the virtues taken from The Virtues Project along with exceptionally well crafted questions for each virtue help parents, teachers, and kids alike discover the meaning and the magic of the virtues in their own lives.  I look forward to the discussion these questions will launch.
    Barbara Swenson Goodwin
    Virtues Project Master Facilitator

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