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The Poetry Mouse

A little mouse named Evie lived in a quaint little town near the forest. This little mouse spent her days baking, mending clothes, and keeping her home neat and tidy. However, these things are not what gave her joy in life; instead, she did these things because that is what was expected of her. Evie’s real passion, which she spent hours daydreaming about, was writing poetry.

One day she heads off to the woods with her paper and pen in hand; she spots some rabbits and composes a poem about them there. From there, she writes more until she ends up at a bench talking with Brayden Fox. Now Brayden recognizes that Evie is talented and encourages her to think about what she really wants in life and focus on that, not on what other people think she should be doing with her time.

The Poetry Mouse, written by Derek R. King and Julie L. Kusma, is a beautifully written children’s story and collection of poetry intertwined together to create a whimsical book that children and adults can enjoy. The story of Evie the mouse is cute and adorable, with the watercolor images illustrating the pages. This is a story of self-discovery, breaking out of the mold that society says you must fit into. For children, it teaches them that they do not have to fit into stereotypical molds and that they can follow their passions in life and be happy. It encourages children to dream and take action to make those dreams come true.

The second half of this marvelous book is Evie the mouse’s poetry. Placed on the pages in the illustrations of her journal, it adds to the feeling that the little mouse is composing and sharing a part of her dream with readers. Each poem written about nature is filled with passion and wonder. The poem about the owl gliding through the night sky was my favorite. I can envision the downy feathers as they glide to the earth as the Owl moves across the moon’s silhouette. The poetry is organic, drawing the reader into a moment in time. They will glimpse nature in its pure form for that one breath of time. It is not often such simple poetry that can have the power to make you stop and visualize a single moment that, had it been mentioned any other way, would have been mundane. King and Kusma take the ordinary and transform it into breathtaking.

The Poetry Mouse is an astonishing children’s poetry book that will bring joy and wonder to children reading the story and looking at the beautiful artwork. Adults will find a more profound message in the story, one of following your dreams and stopping to appreciate the simple things in life. This storybook is one that readers will want to own and keep on the shelf for years to come.

Pages: 55 | ASIN : B0B69FGYMR

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Summertime with Snowman Paul

Paul is not your typical snowman; rather, he is alive and does not melt away with the winter snow. So, Paul stays with his friends year-round and participates in all their fun activities. However, summer is more challenging; a snowman does not do well even if he doesn’t melt away. So, his friend Dan comes up with a plan to help Paul survive summer and have fun too. But, can Dan’s plan really work and save summertime for Paul?

Summertime with Snowman Paul, written by Yossi Lapid, is a fun and entertaining picture book that preschoolers and kindergarten readers will enjoy. The full-page colorful and whimsical illustrations are done by Joanna Pasek. Kids will enjoy seeing popular summer activities in the book and will be able to understand why Paul is so sad to be missing out on them.

What I really love about this children’s book is the imaginative character of Paul. Kids are used to seeing other pop culture snowmen, but Paul is different, and I feel more relatable. Dan’s compassion for his friend Paul is also a wonderful message for children to read about. They learn how important it is to help out your friends and that not everyone has to enjoy the same activities to be friends. While Dan and his friends want summer by swimming and going to the beach, it just does not work for Paul. So instead of leaving him behind, Dan problem solves a way to make him comfortable and help him enjoy summer with his friends. The world needs more friends like Dan.

Summertime with Snowman Paul is a magical picture book that will have children and adults laughing and enjoying the antics of a snowman trying to find a way to enjoy the summer heat. Along the way, children learn a valuable lesson about compassion and friendship.

ASIN: B0B1HJ46YW

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My Work is Inspired By My Love of Animals

Author Interview
Author Interview Anil

Silly Animal Rhymes and Stories: Zoo Two is a book of not just poetry but fascinating facts about animals. What was the inspiration for this children’s book?

It’s my second book of Silly Animal Rhymes and Stories. Both were inspired by my love of animals, being a retired zoologist, coupled with my love of word play and constrained writing. The restraint here is the use of terse single rhymes per poem, which I call universes. I then enjoy adding silly stories and nonsense, plus some biology, to the poems.

I don’t specialise in children’s books. My other three books are not for kids, too difficult or too ‘adult’.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Kalpart?

Kalpa Joshi, the head artist for Kalpart, lives in Mumbai. All the artwork was provided by email, in response to my written descriptions of the ideas I visualized. She was very cooperative and allowed me to seek revisions of her initial sketches, which she then had her team convert to the final coloured images, again generously allowing me revisions. Although mostly all my own ideas, she often made good suggestions.

I really liked the poems Racial Harmony and Wake up, Sleepyhead. What is your favorite poem in this collection?

My favourite is Ape and Wolf in Concert. That’s not for literary reason but because I’m an avid supporter of Friends of Bonobos, the orphan bonobo sanctuary and rehabilitation and release sites in DRCongo.

Their social media sites presented a longer version of this poem a few years ago. It’s also my favourite illustration in the book.

Judged purely on literary grounds I don’t really have a favourite but am especially pleased with ANOLE, BORZOI, CANARY, MONKEYS and the 1st PLOVER.

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

I have another book of silly animal rhymes (without added stories) in production at Olympia Publishers (UK), my first book to be accepted by a traditional publisher. It’s entitled 101 Animal Universes and includes 25 repeats from the two kids’ book. It also contains a few adult rhymes so is not a kids’ book except with parental discretion. It should be out later this year, I’d guess within three months.

The next book I am working on (basically finished and awaiting some b&w illustrations from Kalpart) is another exercise in constrained writing. This time it uses Spoonerisms around which to weave silly to serious stories and essays, many for adults only. It’s entitled Haywire Way Higher: Spoonerism Couplets, Stories, Essays. If I cannot find a traditional publisher I’ll again self-publish with SBPRA, the publishers of my other four recent books. I hope to see it published later this year or in 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

Here are just a few of the Animal Rhyme stories inside:
ANOLE LIZARD becomes a Pig.
BORZOI Puppy is a riot.
CHINCHILLA has a Pet GORILLA.
GNUS steal shoes!
MOA didn’t make it to Noah’s Ark.
TORTOISE dreams of being a Ninja athlete.
WHALE ‘drops out’ and regrets it.
ZINGEL FISH meets Santa in my dreams.

Silly Animal Rhymes and Stories: Zoo Two

Silly Animal Rhymes and Stories: Zoo Two is a collection of animal-themed rhymes aimed at children. With a diverse vocabulary and introducing animals that are popular, as well as those who are hardly known to any, Anil conveys a message that is bound to raise nature lovers and animal protectors. In this enchanting book, young readers will meet Ross the Albatross, a love triangle between species, ants that face a grim demise, and other unexpected companions.

Two personal favorites of mine were Racial Harmony, and Wake Up, Sleepyhead. Racial Harmony features a cow and a sow that share their meals in the Taoist communion concept of ‘Tao.’ Wake Up, Sleepyhead, is about a sea snail Periwinkle, constantly tired and sleepy, is warned by the author not to let sloth get the better of them, lest they face the same fear as Rip Van Winkle.

Anil beautifully mixes child-friendly themes with more in-depth zoological knowledge which students from elementary to high school can enjoy. This approach transcends the narrow audience of most children’s books. Examples of concepts introduced in this book are those of metazoa, protozoa, and extinct animals. The author starts out each section with a cute poem, with only one rhyming sound per poem. After the poem, there is detailed biological information that is fascinating and not the kind of information you expect to find in a children’s book. This is a wonderful book for opening discussions with children and encouraging the desire to dive into the sciences. Combined with the brilliant and detailed illustrations by Kalpart, this magical book will entertain the entire family.

Silly Animal Rhymes and Stories: Zoo Two is a poetry picture book written for children but can be loved by all. This children’s book is not just poetry, but fun science facts and information that will appeal to older readers making this a book that can be loved and read for many years.

Pages: 95 | ASIN : B09NJP9XV3

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Perfectly Poetic

LogieBear wants to know if brown bears are perfect. His Grandmother’s answer surprises little LogieBear. Grandma Bear tells him that yes brown bears are in fact perfect, for brown bears, and that every animal is perfect for itself. Grandma Bear and LogieBear then go around the zoo and look at different animals while she shows him what makes each animal special, different, and perfect for them.

Perfectly Poetic: Zoo Animal Haikus by Katie Anderson and illustrated by Donna Greenmeyer is a whimsical picture book about different animals you can see in a zoo. Their stories are told through Haikus and highlight what makes each animal special. The accompanying watercolor paintings for each animal were beautiful and attention-grabbing. I especially like the panda painting, it was vivid and had a lot of personality. The layout of the book is clean and simple, perfect for picking one poem to read at a time for babies or children with short attention spans. Each poem can be read alone and talked about individually, or it can be read all at once for a comprehensive message. I can see a teacher using this in class assigning each student a poem to lead off on learning about an animal.

While I enjoyed all of the poems, the last one was my favorite. The message of everyone is different, and everyone is perfect is so important for children. It is stated so simply and clearly that preschoolers can even understand the concept. Individuality should be celebrated and that is what Grandmother Bear does as she shows LogieBear around the zoo.

Perfectly Poetic: Zoo Animal Haikus is a beautifully written children’s book with eye-catching illustrations and charming poetry that will draw in children with its fun facts and simple format. Kindergarten and young elementary students will love reading this kid’s book and exploring all the animals it introduces to them.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B09QXXDN96

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