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Animals

Animals by [J. E. Lynch]

All was rosy for the Burnhams till they went on a year-long holiday. Three family members returned with a nightmare that would plague them for the rest of their lives, while little Eleanor never made it back at all. She simply vanished on a nice sunny day on the beach, only to appear in a cave far away from her family. That marked the start of a life-changing experience that saw her raised by unusual animals. Her training in the wild molded her into a ruthless young predator, not unlike her tutors. She soon found out that she was now an assassin created to carry out the will of her vengeful animal captors. Ellie embraced her new life, but her mind kept pulling up images of her old life that featured a happy family. Would she chase the freedom she once had, or would she stay a killing machine?

J.E Lynch’s Animals brings a startling folktale to life. The book’s intriguing plot piques curiosity early on and sustains it all through the story. It features animals running a covert recruitment program and feels like a metaphor reflecting our nature and actions as humans, like George Orwell’s allegorical novella Animal Farm. Even though Lynch tries to present truths in an unusual way, he doesn’t leave you scratching your head. His themes are clear, thought-provoking, and fascinating.

Lynch is great at stimulating the senses with very descriptive sentences, relying more on simple words than flowery language. I love how the author approaches the main character’s evolution. He leaves just enough clues to show there was a chance she could change course without making you feel it was inevitable. The animals also had distinctive personalities that resonated with me. I found myself rooting for some and scoffing at others, a sign that I was heavily invested in the characters.

I breezed through all 300 pages of this book. I’m not sure I’ve finished a book of that size in such a short time. I definitely have the story’s pace and intrigue to thank for that. And to top it off, the story ends with a smashing cliff-hanger. Good thing the sequel is out already. So, I don’t have to wait to get my paws on it.

Animals is a thought-provoking young adult novel that is daring, creative, and immensely entertaining.

Pages: 303 | ASIN: B07NQK2HXN

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Found Within Ourselves

Wendy Monica Winter Author Interview

Where’s My Joey? is a heartwarming story following a mother Kangaroo searching for her lost joey. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My inspiration to write this book came while teaching in Perth, Australia in 2007. Photos with the first draft of this story were sent to my young nieces in America a furry kangaroo photo album and they loved it.

The art in this book is beautiful and detailed. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Roxana Antochi?

It is wonderful to work with Roxana. She far exceeded my expectations with the detailed research she put into every aspect of her gorgeous illustrations.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The main theme (spoiler alert) is for me the profound wisdom that what we are truly looking for can only be found within ourselves.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have written the first draft of my second book. It will be a picture book about the nature of light and dark. Roxana and I are not pursuing it yet because we still have many plans for Where’s My Joey?. The coloring book was recently released. We are currently working on a hardcover version as well publishing the book in other languages.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram

Mother Kangaroo cannot find her Joey! Will she find the baby kangaroo before his dinner gets cold?  Who will help her in Australia? Does Koala, Emu or Kookaburra know where Joey is?

Who will help Mother Kangaroo in Canada?  Do Moose or Bear or Beaver have any clues?  Where’s Joey? Read and find out!


Written by a teacher who lived in Australia, this book is entertaining, engaging, and educational on many levels. (It has a secret spiritual message for those who want to discover it.) Filled with beautiful illustrations and a beautiful story, this is a book all ages will enjoy.

This is a book you will treasure for years and enjoy with your children (or grandchildren) again and again.

What Would Rocket Do?

What Would Rocket Do?: Volume 1 by [Kim Slone]

Want a glimpse inside your dog’s head? Want to see what he’s thinking? If so, this is the book you need to read! Meet Rocket. He’s a bulldog Shih-Tzu mix that lets you into his world through what he writes. You can learn about his likes and dislikes as well as getting to know his mommy, daddy, Jojo and Dougie. It can get crazy sometimes because they have a full house, so it’s never dull. He walks you through his playtime, his walking, when his mommy gets irritated at him for chasing the cats, and so much more. Come look inside Rocket’s life, and you might wonder what your pet is thinking!

What Would Rocket Do is a cute book that will keep you entertained with various candid photographs and a charming story. Reading the part where Rocket’s mommy was watching Star Wars, and he says that he loves the Ewoks and Chewbacca and he loves Yoda because he believes that he would be able to understand animals was such an entertaining section to read. This is indicative of the delightful humor throughout this book. Author Kim Slone has done an amazing job conveying Rocket’s thoughts and ideas in a way that seems so much like what a dog would actually think about. The reader is able to connect with Rocket by getting an inside look at what Rocket is thinking and what made him love his life. There are photographs of Rocket on nearly every other page of this book that bring the story to life. The photos remind of an Instagram feed where it captures the day in the life of a dog. The author’s writing is clear and the story is smooth and definitely something you can read over quickly and be left smiling.

Pages: 125 | ASIN: B089GB9Y6M

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Talk to the Hoof

Talk to the Hoof: A Kallie Collins Cozy Mystery by [Lisa Shay]

Kallie can talk to animals and in Talk to the Hoof by Lisa Shay, two horses show her visions which plunge Kallie and her friends into a potentially deadly mystery involving a missing woman and a dead body. It’s a race against time for Kallie to find the killer before another body turns up.

I do love a good mystery to solve and would normally reach for a crime or thriller book that would be less cozy and more crazy. But the author hit the spot with this cozy mystery book. From the start of the book, I liked the character of Kallie and was rooting for her to avoid being the next victim. Her ability to communicate with animals gives this mystery a twist that is just unique enough to keep me engaged throughout this intriguing novel. The mystery is not straightforward, it takes some riveting turns, but the simple language keeps readers well oriented in the story so that we always know what’s going on. Kallie needed to solve the mystery of the images the horses shared with her to solve the mystery of the missing woman and the dead body. In fact, it was almost like two mysteries for the price of one – or three mysteries if you include trying to solve the mystery of which man Kallie will choose. The author has a lovely, flowing style of writing which was a delight to read. I liked the group of friends who are there to support and help Kallie, each were compelling in their own way.

The characters were all well developed and easy to warm to – or dislike, depending on which character! I even developed a soft spot for the animal characters. I think the suggestion of a cozy mystery always makes me think of a little old lady solving mysteries and that vision put me off the genre. This book has changed my mind about the genre, and I will be checking out the first book in this series, as well as adding cozy mystery to my list of genres I enjoy. 

Pages: 182 | ASIN: B08NB7WKWC

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Sasha and His Red Leash

Sasha and his Red Leash: A picture book about safety and fun for dogs lovers (The secret Diary of a Lucky Pup 1) by [Yossi Lapid, Joanna Pasek]

 

 

Sasha and His Red Leash is the first installment of Yossi Lapid’s “The Secret Diary of a Lucky Pup” and introduces young readers to a cute little dog named Sasha as he interacts with his loving family. Of particular focus in the book is his relationship with the red leash his Big Boss Bob puts on him when Sasha is taken for a walk.

Joanna Pasek does a wonderful job of illustrating this delightful children’s book; the charming pastel watercolor illustrations throughout create a world with calming and serene imagery. Yossi Lapid is able to educate young readers about the importance of keeping their dog on a leash by using Sasha’s dislike of his red leash to spark conversation about keeping beloved pets on a leash while outdoors in order to keep them safe. This instruction is done in a child-friendly, participatory manner that presents different scenarios involving Sasha and asks readers for their input on Sasha’s safety. Sasha and His Red Leash is a fun and educational book that is a great story time addition for young readers who are between preschool age and 2nd grade.

Pages: 25 | ASIN: B0852C55DV

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Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black

Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black (Oink and Gobble Book Series 2) by [Whaler, Norman] Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black is a children’s story written by Norman Whaler. The story follows a duo of livestock buddies, Oink the pig and Gobble the turkey. Oink is an excitable young creature, and Gobble is more mature and a bit on the serious side. The two find some unusual things happening on the farm and Oink cannot contain his curiosity and must look for answers.

I think the story has a pretty good pace and flow for children, but seems to rise and build suspense and then end abruptly. I think there was some room for some more scenarios to play out following the “unmasking.” I did like the friendship between the pair despite their differences. I liked that the pig was overly curious while the turkey was more reserved. That made way for a nice back and forth exchange in conversation.

The illustrations were cute but the colors seemed over saturated. I think softening things up a bit would add to the playfulness of the farm. The “Men in Black” aspect felt borrowed and I was wanted to see some Oink and Gobble specific twists to the story.

I love the authors work and I think Oink and Gobble has huge potential to be something both whimsical and unique. I’d like to see Oink and Gobble in original story lines that give their relationship and whimsy potential to stand out. Overall, I enjoyed the book and I think kids will adore Oink and Gobble as they are both fun and funny.

Pages: 28 | ASIN: B07PBMNYKS

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Oink and Gobble and the ‘No One Can Ever Know Secret’

Oink and Gobble and the 'No One Can Ever Know Secret' (Oink and Gobble Book Series 1) by [Whaler, Norman]

The story Oink and Gobble and the ‘No One Can Ever Know Secret’ is a children’s book about a group of farm animals trying to keep a secret from the humans living with them. The two main characters, Oink and Gobble, spend all of their time together, and are best friends. When Oink goes to talk to Gobble, she thinks he is joking about the little girl that’s been watching him. He lets Gobble know that the girl may suspect that they can talk. They both get worried that their secret may be revealed.

Oink and Gobble and the ‘No One Can Ever Know Secret’ is a interesting story! It really grabs the audience’s attention. The book has a great plot that utilizes suspense and humor in exciting ways throughout the story. The characters are lovable and have their own unique personalities! The change in font size definitely made the story more suspenseful, and allows the reader to understand the importance of those words. This story is definitely good for kids that are still beginners at reading. There aren’t any huge words that would be too hard to understand. The art is cute, using bright colors to showcase characters that are really emotive. The pictures make the story even more enjoyable and makes it easy for kids to imagine each scene; as it’s a still image of an animated cartoon. This is a book that is easy for kids to enjoy, and is one that kids would want to read over and over!

Pages: 30 | ASIN: B07L5W3SS6

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Phoenix the Brave Bird – Trailer

It does not matter what your eyes see, just believe.

After the evil came to the woods and destroyed all that was beautiful and good, his hope was the only clue that Phoenix had when he went out for the unknown help to restore it.

That hope was the magical power of love and friendship, which made Phoenix find whom he was looking for, and although the solution seemed to be simple, the degree of conviction inside of him had the final word.

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