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Death at Dusbar College

Death at Dusbar College: A Story of Antyfas by Laura DiNovis Berry is set in the magical world of Antyfas, where 11-year-old Christiano visits Dusbar college with his aunt Laura. Anxious to solve the Grand Magician’s riddle, he sets out on an intriguing adventure. While on his way to solving this riddle, he runs into interesting situations, from talking frogs to floating hats and magicians. Will Christiano be the lucky one to solve the riddle? You’ll have to dive right in to find out.  

Author Laura DiNovis Berry has created a magical world with much thought, care, and precision that will captivate young readers’ minds. The author’s quirky imagination is expertly displayed on each page, making this magical realm come to life in the reader’s mind. Many parts in the book carry a theatrical appeal allowing the reader to clearly visualize the scenes and characters, almost like watching a movie. This book reminded me of Harry Potter but for younger readers and with a less complicated plot.  

The author has done a great job captivating the essence of young children down to how they speak and act. The author’s writing is easy to follow along, and she makes this a fun and engaging read with magic and adventure. The author has packed great detail in a short story and images to accompany the chapters. The reader will find themselves rooting for Christiano, who is determined to solve the riddle despite all odds. I truly enjoyed Christiano’s charisma and confidence.  

For parents and young readers looking for a fascinating read to take them on an enchanting adventure, this is the book for you. I highly recommend this whimsical read for middle schoolers fascinated by magic and mystery. You will have a great time exploring the world of Antyfas and the characters it contains.

Pages: 82 | ISBN : 1644564173

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I Want to Inspire and Encourage Children

Kathryn Hollingworth Author Interview

We’re on a Dragon Quest follows two children as they go in search of a dragon in the snow, collecting clues from magical creatures along the way. What was the inspiration for your story?

When I was a young child, my mother told me that she’d seen a fairy hiding among the potted plants in our yard. I really wanted to believe her, so I went outside to look for this tiny creature. Although I didn’t see a fairy, I drew pictures about my search for her. More recently I came up with the idea for We’re on a Dragon Quest, because I wanted to write an exciting adventure set close to a child’s home. The story takes place in the winter, as snow has a magical quality.

Why did you choose to leave the children in this story unnamed?

I left them unnamed because I wanted the children reading the story to pretend that they are the characters in the adventure, and therefore to become more involved in the quest.

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

The themes of the story are friendship and co-operation. I was also hoping to inspire a sense of wonder and encourage children to write imaginative stories for themselves

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

I am working on a lower middle grade series of animal story books. I am currently editing the first one and I hope it will be available in 2023.

This is an enchanting picture book for young children. This book tells an story about two young children, who go on a quest to find a dragon in their garden in the wintertime. They are helped by magical creatures along the way. The children find friendship in an unexpected place.

We’re on a Dragon Quest

One cold winter day, a girl looks out the window and sees a dragon flying down the street and landing by the fishpond in her backyard. She tells her brother, and together they decide to go on a dragon quest to find the bright red dragon. To find the dragon, they follow a pixie, talk to a goblin, and get directions from an elf. Finally, following the dragon’s footsteps in the snow, they find Frazzle, the dragon hiding in their shed, and she gives a playful roar.

We’re on a Dragon Quest is an enchanting picture book written by Kathryn Hollingworth and illustrated by Felipe Calv. Young readers will be mesmerized by the colorful and whimsical drawings. The colors used to highlight key story elements make reading this more entertaining as children will be drawn to the words as much as the pictures. I really loved the rendering of Frazzle; she is funny and playful, a combination that will draw children right into this book.

The wonderful rhyming lines tell this imaginative story in a way that children will be excited to see what characters the brother and sister encounter next. The flow of the story keeps the action moving while also allowing children to imagine and guess what could happen next. It really does feel like going on a quest in the traditional sense as each new scene brings them new information, a new friend, and closer to the goal, finding the dragon! Each new character shows a unique personality and a friendly and helpful attitude. Bringing in classic fantasy character types is a great way to introduce this genre to children and entertain adults who love fantasy novels.

We’re on a Dragon Quest is a magical picture book that preschoolers and kindergarten children will love to read. With meaningful messages of helping others, friendship, and encouraging imaginative play, this children’s book would be a welcome addition to a home or classroom library.

Pages: 34 | ASIN : B09XKDKWZ2

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James’ Ragtag Adventure in Questworld

James’ Ragtag Adventure in Questworld follows a group of five pals who find themselves stuck in a magical realm. They awaken the Goblin Queen and her army of goblins during an adventure gone wrong! Now they’ll need to find backup to battle her wicked majesty. Along the journey, they’ll come across fascinating and mystical creatures. Some good, some bad… Are they going to be able to defeat the queen? What is the origin of this mysterious land, and how did they get there? This adventure will have you on the edge of your seat. Follow James and his group of friends as they navigate the exciting world of Questland!

This adventurous book will have readers hooked from the very first sentence. One of the highlights of this story is the solid character development. This novel has a prototypical group of friends. M. Doyle has included the sassy one, the strong one, the brainy one, the shy one, and the leader. These familiar character types and themes will appeal to middle-grade readers as they can relate to the characters’ personalities and feel comfortable with the storyline.

M. Doyle has done an excellent job with pacing in this novel. There are pauses throughout, and it gives readers the feeling that they are sitting alongside the gang, resting and getting to know them better. The moments of rest come as a welcome break from the captivating and suspenseful action that the characters encounter in Questland. It seems like they discover new creatures and monsters at every corner and are constantly in danger.

James’s Ragtag Adventures in Questworld: Return of the Goblin Queen is a thrilling fantasy adventure novel for middle-grade children. This exciting novel takes place in a video game and is a great way to introduce reluctant readers to the fantasy genre and help them become avid readers.

Pages: 103 | ASIN : B093Z64K41

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Sailing the Milky Way

It is time for bed; the young child asks his parents to tell him the story of Yuri the dragonfly once more before he goes to sleep. Yuri is a dragonfly born of light and love, with a magical destiny ahead of him. This dragonfly goes on exciting adventures and explores the universe. Yuri is limited only by his own imagination and dreams, and these things take him all over; from sailing the oceans, playing in the wind, and even into space and exploring the Milky Way. This is a story of curiosity, courage, imagination, and love.

Sailing the Milky Way: A Passport to the Unimagined is written and illustrated by Eileen Ferriter. This whimsical and magical picture book is a delight for readers of all ages, with brilliantly colored images that pop off the page. Ferriter’s artistic style creates a world where children will aspire to use their imagination and create the visions they see in their minds. I especially loved the use of spirals in all the images; they represent a continuous flow of all things and tie into the title of the Milky Way.

This imaginative children’s book is written to inspire children to dream and create. Yuri shows extraordinary courage as he explores the seas and sky, venturing off into space to see what the Milky Way holds. The way Yuri explores his world is akin to the innocence of a child exploring their new environments, finding all the good and amazing things before them.

Sailing the Milky Way: A Passport to the Unimagined is a remarkable picture book that will mesmerize children with phenomenal artwork and a highly original storyline. Written for young children in preschool to kindergarten, this feel-good story will appeal to adults as much as it does to kids. This would make a great book for classrooms when introducing an art or creative thought lessons.

Pages: 24 | ISBN : 1977247016

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A Person Can Choose to be Good or Bad

Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait Author Interview

Stone Dragons Kingdom follows a city of people that are dragon riders as they try and protect their city and world from destruction. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for this story was to create a situation where a villain can have a change of heart. It shows, I think in a dramatic way, how allowing other people to help you can lead down a wrong path, as indicated by the Stone Dragons Kingdom, but also on a human level, we have Belinda who focuses on all she doesn’t have, rather than what she does have. If she could only reach that light inside her, what would change?

Learning she has strong and deep powers changes Belinda. What were some driving ideals behind Belinda’s character’s development?

Belinda is a very interesting character. She stems from a person consumed with being the best, but when she isn’t, she’ll go to the extreme to show that she is the best. In her development, I wanted to show, no matter what, a person has a choice of what they want to be, either for bad or good. With Belinda, I chose to show that she was only one choice away from changing her life.

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

Yes, but as always, they only come to light after I’ve written a story. I think the main theme of this one is redemption. The story starts out harshly for Belinda, even though others believed her to have changed, it took her a long time before she could shake her demons to find the person she wanted so much to become.

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

Thank you for asking! Well, The Stone Dragons Kingdom was supposed to be the last for this series, but… one of my characters had something else in mind! I’m currently writing The Spires of Dasny: 5 ~ The Northern Kingdom. It’s on pre-order now and will be released by Fall 2022.

It may not be the last of the series, either ~ the same character has been given knowledge of how their current kingdom will undergo change, and he’ll be instrumental to this change.

Author Links: GoodReads

Continue the saga of the award winning young adult bestselling series, The Spires of Dasny as Book 4 takes you on a journey to another kingdom. Belinda, an ambassador from the Spires of Dasny is now living amogst the Stone dragons and teaching the ways of the Spires to them, including the bonds made between dragon and rider. She stays with them after they healed her beloved dragon, Sezalor… or so those in the Spires believe.
It’s only after Seyra hears from the Truth Speaker, that she learns the truth behind Belinda. What she learns could not only destroy the Spires, but every other kingdom in their world. Belinda holds a magic so powerful, so destructive, there may be no way of stopping her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Belinda

Returning to Sezalor’s lair, I pause to connect to the Rocks. Splaying my hand open, I lay my palm flat against the wall immediately feeling the surge of power enter me.

“Time is short. As promised, you will have your own kingdom as long as you carry the Rock and Water energy for us to expand. We have been locked in one place for too long. Agola grew old and set in his ways, this is why you have this opportunity to expand with us. Use the energy we absorbed by the stone-encased Xi to bring our Stone dragons under control.”
A blinding flash cracks through the wall. I feel like I’m hit by lightning, my head screams in pain with an ache like it’s being crushed by an enormous hand. Behind me, the roar of Sezalor adds to the unbearable pain. Clasping both hands over my head, I beg for it to stop. Anything, please take this pain from me! Briefly, I smell burning. In my horror I look down to find myself being burnt alive before I’m hit by a wall of Water. Darkness.
Rebirth. I suck in First Breath. Expelled from the womb of Rock and Water, I stand on shaky legs and return to my chamber to dry. As my hands move the drying cloth over my body, I discover more scales covering me from my shoulders to the biceps. I grin. Large, stone scales. Who needs armor when I have these?

Stone Dragons Kingdom

With the stone dragons as its new allies, peace returns to the Spires, but not for long. An enemy seeking the Spires’ destruction rises from within under the influence of the Xi’s mind-controlling magic and the Rock and Water gods. Seyra, Queen of the Spires, finds herself in mortal danger due to the actions of this enemy but escapes in a dramatic turn of events. The Spires Kingdom makes it out of this sticky situation only to face old enemies in the form of the Xi people again, but the brave dragon riders and their beasts secure victory for the kingdom. Elated by the destruction of the persistent Xi sorcerers, the Spires make a startling discovery that would pit them against their most brutal opponents yet in their battle for survival.

Author Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait (C.R.C.) returns with her captivating tale of dragons, humans, and magic in this fourth book in the Spires of Dasny series, Stone Dragons Kingdom. With just enough backstory and new challenges, you don’t have to worry about not having enough context to understand what’s going on. The book starts with a bang. There’s a high-tension and high-stakes scenario threatening to unravel right from the get-go. But Cowperthwait is also proficient in building anticipation as she thrusts readers right into the thick of things. She knows how to set the stage and slowly dial up the tension in anticipation for what happens next.

Cowperthwait also shows impressive control over her story as she swings from one story gap to the next but keeps things cohesive and engaging. The storytelling is also compelling as Cowperthwait expertly humanizes her characters, thus making them relatable and memorable. With a simple yet beautiful and expressive writing style, the Stone Dragons Kingdom makes for a breezy and entertaining read from start to finish.

The Spires of Dasny: 4 Stone Dragons Kingdom is a riveting young adult fantasy novel. With plenty of action and thrilling suspense, readers will be drawn into the battles and feel connected to the characters while following their saga.

Pages: 211 | ASIN : B09BTG9DLR

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Kraken Crew

The Kraken motley crew of pirates have big plans to sail to Mount Doom and steal the gold treasure from the fierce dragons. This dangerous mission has never been accomplished before but Captain Kraken knows his crew is up to the job and with teamwork they can reach the island and get the gold. Banshee, Storm Boy, Elf Witch, and parrot sail the ship with Captain Kraken. Together they encounter several dangerous obstacles and each time, a member of the ship uses their special skill to help the crew escape. When they reach Mount Doom, it looks hopeless as the swarm of dragons comes out and attacks. Can the crew use teamwork and defeat the dragons or will they too end up at the bottom of the sea?

Kraken Crew is written and illustrated by Dan Malster. This picture book is written in a fun rhyme scheme that will draw in children and keep their attention. There is a good balance of scary situations with fun and laughter with the crew. The illustrations that go with the text are fantastic. The artwork is bright and colorful, the images have a lot of details that you can pick out from each scene. Each page has something hidden, a mouse, a worm, or a fun detail to highlight the power each crewmate has. My favorite little detail was the list of ship rules when the crew is eating, number six is “Captain’s hat is not a toilet!”

The moral messages presented in this creative story make this fun book spectacular. Malster shows that everyone has special talents that can be helpful and every person is valuable. He also shows that teamwork is needed to accomplish big goals, that no one person can do everything themselves.

Kraken Crew is a magical children’s fantasy picture book for kindergarteners and young elementary students. This enchanting story will enthrall children with musical rhymes and dramatic artwork.

Pages: 36 | ISBN : 1739824601

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