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Malketh and the Undead

Three young knights in the king’s service, Raven, Romda, and Ravai, set out to investigate a mysterious threat deep in the mines of Gold Mountain. On the journey, they discover that the kingdom’s history has a significant part to play in the happenings of the now, as legends come to life before their very eyes. Encountering a deadly danger much more severe than the young knights ever would have thought possible, the team must summon all their courage to protect the kingdom from absolute destruction. Searching for answers and discovering the most unlikely of allies, the group gives its all to guard the kingdom they love.

Malketh and the Undead: Raven, Romda, and Ravai Book 2 by Dave Maruszewski is a concise fantasy adventure that packs an unbelievable amount of action into its pages. Somber Raven, the archer of the group, stalwart Ravai, the warrior, and fiery Romda, the mage, must work together to navigate the depths of Gold Mountain and discover the true nature of the threat to the kingdom. Raven and Ravai are best friends who tend to compete with each other, leaving Romda to act as a peacemaker and keep the group focused on their goals. However, threats escalate as the journey continues toward its conclusion, leaving plenty of room for more adventures in the lives of these upcoming heroes.

The story takes several pauses in the action to highlight an event of the past, giving readers more context to the tale. This novel does assume that the reader has read the first book in the series, so details are limited to past events, but these flashbacks help. In addition, the lighthearted narrative of the three friends embarking on an action-packed adventure to save the kingdom made this a fun read.

The author takes readers on a thrilling journey of magic and mayhem, making this an excellent fit for all who love a compact fantasy adventure. Malketh and the Undead is a tale of friendship and working together to overcome deadly odds. A story of camaraderie in the face of danger, this journey of three young knights at the threshold of greatness is filled with the promise of many more adventures to come.

Pages: 100 | ASIN : B0BT3FD25L

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The Witch’s Family

In this illustrated children’s book, The Witch’s Family, written by JJ Page, we follow a young Witch with a large family of pets that she cares for dearly and works hard studying every day. However, it soon all becomes too overwhelming for her, and she ends up getting sick. She is then taken care of in turn by her chosen family and friends. This is a magically fantastical story about friendship and family.

I absolutely loved this story; I didn’t want the story to end. Having friends and family, you can rely on is so important in life. We all need help from time to time, and it’s good to know someone has your back in times of need.

The book’s message was well thought out, and I could feel that there is so much world-building that isn’t even mentioned directly but is just given through the poetic prose of the text and the beauty of the illustrations. It reminded me immensely of ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ in all the best ways. The Witch’s pets, whom she called her family, were all so varied in species and size that they brought feelings of acceptance, which I feel is also an important lesson for young readers to understand.

The Witch’s Family is an inspirational picture book filled with the message of kindness, compassion, and caring for those in need. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone of any age because it is just such a beautiful story that is delivered masterfully. It would make an excellent addition to a home or school library to help young elementary children understand acceptance and compassion.

Pages: 44 | ASIN : B0BGW61M4B

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What If The Stones Came Skipping Back?

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Author Interview

Dragon Stones follows a brother and sister who go on an adventure and meet a dragon, only to almost end up as a snack. Can Aunt Edwina save them? What was the inspiration for your story?

When I was young my family would spend summers at our camp on the lake in Maine. My older brother was obsessed with skipping stones out into the lake. He was quite good at it. He was also maybe a little ADHD so my brother is definitely the inspiration for Ron.

Later when I was writing down “story seeds” as I like to call them, I thought about that time on the lake and I jotted down one sentence. “What if the stones came skipping back?”

The cover for this book is interesting. How did you create the cover for Dragon Stones?

I wanted a very contemporary children’s book cover design. I did a Google search on “Best children’s book covers 2020”, then I added the words forest and dark to the search. I found about 10 that I liked and based my sketches on those. Then I chose the sketch that popped from the others. Once I had the illustration complete, I added three text designs and posted them in my Children’s Book cover critique group. The edited version based on comments is what made the cover. It’s a process I use often.

What drew you to becoming a children’s author?

I was drawn to creating children’s books during my time at The School of Visual Arts in New York. I loved the illustration work I was seeing in children’s books and it strongly influenced art. Then, once I had children I was reading so many children’s books all the time that I began writing them, and other stories for young people.

Will there be other books with Aunt Edwina, if so when will it be available?

I do have another book planned but it may be a year or two as I have several books scheduled before that one. That title is called “Forever Snowman,” and I am hoping it won’t be too long before I get to it.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A dull visit to their Aunt’s house turns into a magical and thrilling adventure when Lizzy and her brother Ron venture into the nearby forest. An inviting path leads to a shrouded lake in the woods… Perfect for skipping stones, but who or what keeps throwing them back?

Dragon Stones

A brother and sister are stuck visiting their aunt’s house; while listening to the grown-ups talk, they grow antsy and bored. Finally, they are told to go play outside and eagerly run out the door. Heading into the nearby forest, they find a path leading to a spooky pond. They start skipping rocks, but the stones come flying back at them! Not only are rocks come back from the pond, but they are also hot and burn to the touch. So the two set off around the pond to investigate the cause of the mysterious rocks. What will they find lurking in the mist?

Dragon Stones by author Carolyn Watson Dubisch has written an excellent picture book illustrated in a whimsical comic book style. The characters are entertaining and relatable for young to preteen children. Ron and Lizzy are your typical children, and they eagerly set off on an adventure to cure the boredom of sitting around talking about lawns. The children’s curiosity is contagious, and readers will want to race around after them to find out how the rocks are returning to them and with a pattern on them as well.

I enjoyed the story’s direction; I just wanted more. I feel like Aunt Edwina could have presented so much more to the story and that the climactic moment was cut short. There is a lot of potential in this character, and I hope readers will get to see more of Aunt Edwina as I think she has a lot of mystery sounding her. Her ending comments will leave readers asking questions, and hopefully, there will be another children’s book to answer that question.

Dragon Stones is a magical children’s fantasy story that captivates young readers. The illustrations are bold and well done, the characters relatable, and the story is interesting. This is a great children’s book for a classroom library.

Pages: 41 | ASIN : B09YR5RRBP

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Mangrove Sands, the Enchanted Seaworld and Beyond 

Mangrove Sands, The Enchanted Seaworld and Beyond, written by L. J. Nilsson, takes us on a magical adventure in Southeast Queensland, Australia. Following along as Tommy, Maria, Jake, and Wanjee receive tutoring from their Sea World friends during their school year and learn life lessons. Wanjee also teaches Tommy, Maria, and Jake about her aboriginal Muandik language, culture, symbolic art, bedtime stories, and more. The children enjoy learning about Wanjee’s culture, and she enjoys teaching them about her aboriginal roots. The school year goes by quickly, and the children start their transition to the next chapter in their lives.

Mangrove Sands, The Enchanted Seaworld, and Beyond is the sweetest book I have read in a long time! I love that it is inclusive of Wanjee’s character. Learning about her aboriginal tribe, the Muandik, was an absolute pleasure. Some of the words that were used in her language, such as didgeridoo, were words I had heard before. However, I did not know where they originated from. It was a wonderful surprise!

Maria’s character was so sweet. She seems to be very caring and eager to learn. Tommy seemed like he was clearheaded and thought problems through. He is mature for his age. Jake’s character seemed like quite a few boys I know. He was competitive but a good sportsman. He was also handy with tools and musically gifted. All of the Sea World friends sounded absolutely amazing! I really wish I had a friend named Parlow to talk to. Parlow is very wise.

Overall, I loved the book very much! I would recommend it to children and adults alike. In fact, more adults should read more books like this! Then they can learn to have more compassion and empathy for other living beings. The only part that confused me a little was when the children lay in bed and said their code of silence. They would then float onto Parlow’s back. I wondered if it was an out-of-body experience, but I wasn’t sure because of a couple of places in the book. One of them is when Jake gets hurt. That was the only part that confused me. I suppose it is a magical realm, so it may always remain a mystery.

I want to add that I loved the note L. J. Nilsson wrote at the very beginning. I think they nailed their intention and were very respectful. Also, I love that they included resources throughout the book for further research on the Muandik tribe.

Mangrove Sands, The Enchanted Seaworld and Beyond is a children’s fantasy novel that adults can enjoy and learn from as well. This heartfelt book teaches about friendship, empathy, and honor, among other things, and does so while taking readers on an exciting adventure they will not soon forget.

Pages: 108 | ASIN : B087N5QGDT

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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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Lucky the Leprechaun on the Loose

Lucky the Leprechaun comes to visit children from the first of March untill Saint Patrick’s day. In this short time, he stirs up as much mischief as he can, without being destructive, to make children laugh. He loves to bring a smile to the face of children by leaving notes, hiding toys, playing pranks, and even making a mess now and then. If you see a rainbow you know he is near, watching and waiting for the next time to appear.

Lucky the Leprechaun on the Loose by author Maria Cedolini Thompson is a fantastic picture book that tells the story of Lucky in a style similar to the Elf on the Shelf story that children love. Lucky hides and causes mischief around the house and the school classroom. None of his antics are dangerous or damaging, but simple fun pranks that children will relate to and find entertaining.

What I loved about this magical children’s book is the writing style. Each page is written in the style of a poem, and they all flow together to tell the story. Many children’s books rhyme, but this feels like each page is a unique poem telling the mystical story of Lucky. The beautifully drawn illustrations by Daria Shamolina bring the words to life. Lucky’s personality jumps off the page and will make children want to run along on adventures with him. The colors and whimsical style are eye-catching and integrate seamlessly with the story.

Lucky the Leprechaun on the Loose is a remarkable picture book about leprechauns and the fun they have leading up to St. Patrick’s day. The unforgettable poetry and remarkable illustrations will make this children’s book a favorite for years to come. Teachers and caregivers will find this to be a great read-aloud and introduction to the holiday of St. Patrick’s day for preschoolers and young elementary students.

Pages: 34 | ASIN : B09MGFHSLQ

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