The Doing of Good Deeds
Tiny Tim and The Ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge is the children’s edition to your previous award winning book. What motivated you to turn your story into a book for kids?
Hello! Thank you so much for inviting me here. To answer, the adult edition of the book had several themes and lessons and was too complicated for younger children, but I felt children could learn a valuable lesson from a children’s edition. I selected one of the major themes of the book that children understand and can relate with readily.
What were some parts of the story you absolutely had to keep when condensing this for kids?
1) Kindness to others. Something we ALL can do that can change the world, in my opinion. 2) The lesson that WE continue the goodness that is in this world that we inherit from those who came before us. Life goes on and so must also the doing of good deeds from generation to generation. Of course, all the main characters are there: Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, Becky, and Jimmy!
The art in this book is stunning. What was the art collaboration process like with Voxillustrations?
Voxillustrations was such a great partner in capturing the essence of each page of story text in their art! I gave them detailed ideas of what I was looking for such as character actions, expressions, backgrounds, and the little details of Victorian life, and they worked hard to get each illustration just right for the story. This art style they call ‘Fantasy’. Love them!
What part of the classic Charles Dickens story speaks to you the most?
That we are all redeemable, no matter what the situation we are in, how hopeless things feel, or how far down we are. Thank you for letting me speak with our readers! It is such an honor!
Posted in Interviews
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Tiny Tim and The Ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge *Children’s Edition*
Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge: The sequel to A Christmas Carol (Children’s Edition) by Norman Whaler, with illustrations by Voxillustrations, is a picture book intended for children aged 4 through 10. Set in London, Tiny Tim is now grown up. He loves Becky, but her parents will not allow a marriage between the two of them. After many years pass, Tim has started to forget the lessons he learned from Ebenezer Scrooge. He forgets the hardships of his childhood–and appreciating the simple joys of life. After Mr. Scrooge passes away seven days before Christmas, Tim is visited by Scrooge’s ghost. Will Tim finally remember the true spirit of Christmas?
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is a perfect story for parents to share with their children this holiday season. It has a good lesson about generosity and kindness, and a message of faith through trials and struggles. Quotes about kindness at the beginning of the book, including from scripture and literature, reinforce the message of the story. This book can be enjoyed even if a reader is not familiar with the classic Charles Dickens’ story, since there is a quick overview of A Christmas Carol in the first page of verses. The rhyming verses are fun and young children will enjoy looking at the pictures as the story is read to them. I liked the change in font to indicate strong emotion in the dialogue, and I enjoyed the happy ending. I wanted to know more about Becky and her son, Jimmy.
I loved all the vividly colored pictures with bright pinks and greens and beautiful scenery and landscapes. My two favorite pictures were the scenes of the bedroom at night and in the morning. The glow from the candle was very realistic. It actually appeared as though light was shining out of the book in this picture, and also the one where the sun was shining through the bedroom window the next day. The illustrator’s use of perspective was very good and many pictures had an impressive three dimensional look.
There are nine Christmas carols at the end of the story with lyrics and sheet music, which are a wonderful addition to this book.
Pages: 95 | ASIN: B08MKJT2YH
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, children, childrens book, christmas, classic literature, ebook, goodreads, holiday, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, Norman Whaler, novel, parents, picture book, read, reader, reading, story, Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge, writer, writing
Oink and Gobble and the Missing Cupcakes
Oink and Gobble have very little in common, but that doesn’t stop them from being the best of friends. No matter what others on the farm may say about either of them, they manage to ignore it and live happy-go-lucky lives. When Oink’s cupcakes go missing, the two best friends set out on a mission to find the culprit. With Gobble’s love for logic and Oink’s overactive imagination, the pair is bound to solve the mystery–with some light-hearted moments along the way.
Oink and Gobble and the Missing Cupcakes, written by Norman Whaler and illustrated by Mohammad Shayan, is a children’s book filled with humorous moments between farm animals and best friends on their way to solving a mystery. Bright and colorful illustrations clearly convey the story line and further add to the plot. Included is a page with the names of each farm animal complete with labels.
I enjoyed this book, but I felt like the story line belongs in a book for children ages 2 to about 6 while the verbiage and some of the exchanges between characters I think might be above the heads of most children in that age group. I enjoyed the asides and the humor injected into the dialogue but found it more appropriate for older readers. I would recommend the plot of the story for young children, but the narrative is much more fitting for young adult readers.
Well-written and superbly illustrated this book will bring a smile to readers’ faces. I think this book is best read with parents or teachers as it presents many learning opportunities. Oink and Gobble and the Missing Cupcakes is a fun and funny picture book.
Pages: 30 | ASIN: B07YN4W37Q
Posted in Book Reviews, Three Stars
Tags: adventure, animal, author, book, book review, bookblogger, childrens book, ebook, education, elementary, fantasy, farm, fiction, friends, goodreads, kids book, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, Norman Whaler, Oink and Gobble and the Missing Cupcakes, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, story, teacher, writer, writing
Jack is stuck at home with the measles, but he is still up for adventure. When his mother insists that he rest and takes away his television and game privileges, he is stuck with books–his least favorite things. Imagination, however, is stronger than even Jack realizes, and soon he finds himself lost in one world after another as he gazes out his window. Will Jack put two and two together and figure out what his teachers knew all along?
Jack, written by Norman Whaler and illustrated by Nina Mkhoiani, stresses the importance of books and the impact they have on our lives without ever stating it outright. Whaler uses Jack to demonstrate the effect stories have on children and how, when instruction is administered effectively, they never truly realize how much they are learning. The way in which Whaler uses the changing clouds to spark Jack’s imagination is quite ingenious. The illustrations by Mkhoiani are vibrant and eye-catching and convey the story line well.
I recommend this short children’s picture book to any teacher in grades K-3 who wants to impress upon students the fantastic wealth of information that can be found in books. This quick read would make a wonderful read-aloud to kick off the new school year.
Pages: 24 | ASIN: B07B2DNQPX
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, children, childrens book, ebook, education, elementary, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, Jack, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, learning, literature, nook, Norman Whaler, novel, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, school, story, teacher, writer, writing
But The Sparrow Stayed
But The Sparrow Stayed is a bilingual poetry picture book that showcases the beauty of nature and birds, specifically sparrows and eagles. But the Sparrow Stayed is the first poem in the book and is a more poem about a sparrow that stays even though winter has come. Each hand drawn piece of art that accompanies each section of the poem shows the sparrow standing strong against a bitter winter. This poem is followed by another entitled First Flight which follows the life of an eagle and shows how one should be brave when afraid. Unlike the first poem, it is less abstract, but equally compelling. This is also accompanied by colorful sketches of an eagle in beautiful landscapes.
The poetry is delivered in two different languages, English and Spanish. Both exceptionally well done and is perfect for readers in both native languages but also for people who are trying to learn the language. I appreciated the sketches that accompanied each poem. They reinforced the idea of the poetry and gave it a hand crafted quality. Although I enjoyed the images I felt that they were a little dark or underexposed. If I had to choose a favorite, I really enjoyed the thought–provoking nature of But The Sparrow stayed. At the end of the book readers are treated to half a dozen sparrow and eagle facts that are informative and interesting. Nature lovers, bird enthusiasts, or anyone that wants to read delightful poetry.
Pages: 30 | ASIN: B08CRZYZ8Z
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: author, bird, book, book review, bookblogger, But The Sparrow Stayed, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nature, nook, Norman Whaler, poem, poetry, read, reader, reading, spanish, story, writer, writing
Humorous and Fun
Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black brings two strange men to the farm and peaks the curiosity of the two farm friends. What was the inspiration behind the idea for this kids book?
All the Oink and Gobble books are are short reads and meant to be humorous and fun and to put a smile on everyone’s face! The Men in Black are popular and familiar to kids and adults alike, but are still are a mystery to be solved!
This is book two in the Oink and Gobble series. What were some new themes you wanted to introduce in this book and what were some ideas you wanted to continue from the first book?
Oink is adventurous and interested in all the strange mysteries of the world, yet has a tendency to jump to conclusions with few facts. Gobble is focused on facts first and tries to bring logic to the investigations the two inevitably start. Though they look at things quite differently, they are best of friends!
What kind of mischief will Oink and Gobble get into in book three and when will it be available?
Without saying too much, Oink once again will jump to conclusions about a mystery of the world, and Gobble will try to bring reason to Oink’s thinking. I hope everyone will enjoy it! Should be out by July 2019.
Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website
Oink and Gobble were best friends and, with all the other animals on the farm, had a BIG secret they could never, ever let any humans know! But, did Oink let the cat out of the bag?
Posted in Interviews
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Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black
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
Posted in Book Reviews, Three Stars
Tags: alibris, alien, animals, art, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, children, ebook, farm, fun, funny, goodreads, illustration, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kids, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, Norman Whaler, novel, Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black, parent, picture book, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, story, teacher, writer, writer community, writing
A Christmas Carol
Norman Whaler’s A Christmas Carol is an exceptional retelling of a classic Christmas story. The story of stingy and selfish old Scrooge who learns through a series of ghostly visits that he has the power to ease the suffering of others and bring joy to those around him.
Norman Whaler tells this story in short rhymes that were spot on every time. The rhythm’s were short and succinct but still summed up the expanded story perfectly. Each page is accompanied by high quality art that supports the narrative and fits the book’s tone. The art is so good that I wanted to see more of it. I felt like some of the paragraphs, because they summarized so much of the story, could have been on another page with it’s own art to give life to what was being told. But this is a critique that comes out of the desire to see more of the exceptional artwork already displayed.
This is a retelling of a classic Christmas story that highlights Christian themes throughout the book with a deft touch. At the end of the book readers are treated to bonus material in the way of Christmas sheet music. I can imagine that this book would be a nice way to start a Christmas night with the family, with a story followed by songs.
If you love Christmas stories, especially the classic one of Scrooge, you will want to pick this up for the young readers in your home.
Pages: 34 | ASIN: B07QF4BPKG
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: A Christmas Carol, alibris, art, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, bible, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, childrens book, christian, christmas, ebook, faith, goodreads, holiday, illustration, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kids book, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, Norman Whaler, novel, picture book, publishing, read, reader, reading, religion, santa, Scrooge, shelfari, short story, smashwords, story, writer, writer community, writing