The Day Albert’s House Went Quiet details the life of a young boy named Albert who experiences a change in his home: peace and quiet. Albert wakes up one day and finds that his mom is not getting angry with him because of a missing sock and finds that his family too is not arguing or shouting. This is a big change for Albert, because he is used to chaos–so accustomed to it that he and his group of friends at school bonded over the chaoticness at home.
Author Dr. Debbie Obatoki has created a great children’s picture book that teaches young readers that there are always solutions to our problems. This story also illustrates how change is not always a bad thing, for Albert the change that happened was for the better and it strengthened his family. This book is a perfect way to start a conversation about change with your kids. The bright and emotive digitally rendered graphics compliment the light-heartedness of the story and will allow children to learn and understand different emotions. This is a wonderful story with a great message. The Day Albert’s House Went Quiet provides plenty of educational material in one feel-good story that will entertain any young one.
Pages: 46 | ASIN: B08SYN76R7
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Daniel’s Dreams: Monster Mountain follows a boy who goes on an adventure to a magical land filled with monsters that teach him an important life lesson. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
My inspiration is two fold. My daughter inspires me to write. She has such a creative and imaginative mind and I adore how innocent her thinking can be. The idea of her going to different places and putting on accents when she is playing filled me with such joy. I wanted other children to experience these feelings when they read my books. Reading is something that we have always done together since she was a little girl. It is something she loves to do and its a nice moment in the day where everything is just focused on where stories will take us. When we read together, I often wonder if I could write books like the ones we read together. As an English teacher, it was always something I wanted to do, but when the Pandemic hit and the world came to a stop, I took the opportunity to sit down and write something in the hope that it would be enjoyed and that it would help children all over the world. I always hope to make my daughter proud, and if she enjoys the stories I write then I am making progress with my dreams.
My second inspiration was children in general. I had always wanted to help children, which is why I became a teacher. When teaching became more about data and ticking the right boxes than it did about the children, I decided to leave my teaching job in a secondary school and joined a special educational needs school. It was there that I was able to be of more help, but I wanted to help more. It was evident that children were suffering more than ever with their mental health and that they needs a way of understanding. It was important to me to help children with mental health, as I too have suffered with mental health, and know just how difficult it can be to understand and to express. If I can help one child understand mental health then I am on my way to accomplishing just what I wanted.
The art in this book is exceptional and really brings the story to life. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Leanne Brown?
When writing the book I had in mind exactly how I wanted the monsters to look. I researched different mental illness, the colours that represent them and the key features. I then had a written description of what I wanted as well as a rough drawing of what I wanted. I then sent all this over to Bear With Us Productions who commissioned Yogesh to do the illustrations. I had seen Yogesh’s work before and really liked his style of illustrations. Yogesh read the descriptions and took guidance from me on colours and key features that represent mental illnesses. He worked his magic and I must say that I am over the moon with what he has created. They are just what I had imagined in my head. He really made everything come to life for me and the story. I am already looking forward to working on the next book with Yogesh. I can’t imagine the characters any other way than they are now. It is exciting to see how he will bring the new character Preston to life as he suffers with depression.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Children’s mental health is really important to me. I have worked with children who have suffered with mental health but have been unable to articulate how they feel and how to understand their feelings. It is easier to show a physical illness than it is a mental illness, so I wanted children to know that they are not alone and that there are numerous people out their suffering with a mental illness, and that there are thousands of people wanting to help. I hoped my books would go someway to explaining why a child might feel the way they do and how they can deal with those feelings. My hope is to continue to write books for the series of Daniel’s Dreams, focusing on one particular mental illness at a time. This will be done through the idea of Daniel returning to Monster Mountain and meeting previous monsters and new ones.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The next book is the second in the series of Daniel’s Dreams which will focus in Depression. We will meet a character called Preston who suffers with depressions. His monster friends find it hard to understand why he is behaving the way he does. They feel that Preston let’s him down a lot. Daniel tries to understand what is going on with Preston and gets the monsters to show more understanding. Daniel, too, needs to understand what depression is so that he can take this back the ‘real world’ where he wants to help his friends and next door neighbour, Josie.
The book is currently in the process of being finished off before it goes to editing and then production. I am hoping it should be out and available later on this year, 2021.
Posted in Interviews
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Where’s My Joey? by Wendy Winter is a heartfelt children’s story of a mother kangaroo that’s lost her Joey! She travels all over Australia looking for him. She talks to everyone, Mr. Echidna, the Kookaburra Family, even friends in Canada! As her Joey’s dinner grows cold, she worries that she may not find him.
Author Wendy Winter’s story is filled with adorable characters that were very emotive throughout the story, which is important to help children learn to recognize emotions. Each page is covered top to bottom illustrations that have a soft color pallet that compliments that overall soothing feel of the story. The pictures are beautiful, detailed, and some of them are ready to frame and hang up on the wall as art. I’m thinking of two scenes specifically; the one where the mother and her joey are sitting and reading together, and the map of Australia. These are amazing art pieces all on their own and the map of Australia helps the reader learn where certain animals live, and the geography.
The plot of the story sends the mother kangaroo on a hunt that serves as a great opportunity to introduce children to different types of interesting animals. It reminds me of the P. D. Eastman book ‘Are You My Mother’.
Where’s My Joey? is a cute and entertaining story packed with loveable characters and vibrant scenes. Where’s My Joey? is the most heartwarming and educational picture book I have read all year.
Pages: 31 | ASIN: B08L27P6NZ
Tags: adventure, australia, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, children, childrens book, ebook, education, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kangaroo, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, learning to read, literature, nook, novel, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, story, teacher, Wendy Monica Winter, Where's My Joey?, writer, writing
Fairy Dinosaur, by Rose E. Hils is a playful children’s story that teaches kids the importance of following their dreams. The book shows a cute fairy dinosaur presenting the many enjoyable careers to pursue. This magnificent book is filled with colorful art and an adorable dinosaur in various funny and charming situations. Children will have a fun time learning about different ways to make the world a better place.
What I liked most about Fairy Dinosaur was the simple but animated hand-drawn illustrations that pop with vibrant water-colors. Every page has some delightful bit of imagery and is filled with color, allowing the reader to better visualize each job and guarantees that this book will capture a child’s imagination. The rhyming throughout the story makes it easier to read and much more engaging. The book can help any kid find a hobby, and maybe a future career!
Fairy Dinosaur is a fun story that educates children about different careers and hobbies. It’s an easy read, and is filled with adorable characters!
Pages: 28 | ASIN: B08NTS71M8
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Little Dragon and the Rainbow Poo uses a unique idea to teach children about colors in a fun way. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
When my son was born, he was quite loud and his poo was always different colours. One exhausted night Little Dragon came to be.
The art in the book is very cute. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Ms. Amelia Gleeson?
It was quite fun, I’m not too artistic, so Amelia had quite a lot of freedom with the style. Once she’d come up with a character style we both like, we then started coming up with the scenes for each activity.
My favorite scene from the book was the one where the dragon was scared while watching a movie. Do you have a favorite scene from the book?
I like when little dragon is listening to jazz, but the final scene always gets a great reaction from my kids which puts a smile on my face.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently working on Missy M and the quest for oo. Not sure when this will be available, hopefully it doesn’t take too long for me to finish it (got writer’s block)
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Little Dragon and the Rainbow Poo, by Andrew Dunne is a children’s story of a dragon’s adventures that causes his poo to change colors. Every event causes his poo to turn into each color of the rainbow. Then, when he meets with his friend Daisy Doe at a show, he finds that his poo has turned a special color!
Dunne’s use of rhymes and colorful hand drawn illustrations all throughout the book brings this cute little story to life. This book reminds me of another children’s book Everyone Poops by ‘Tarō Gomi’, but with a much more fun and adventurous tone. The author rhymes each line with the color being used, which easily captures the readers attention and makes it more exciting to read. The hand drawn art is unique, but I would have liked to see more bright and vivid colors. Overall, the storyline provides a fun way to open up the subject of going to the bathroom with children that are potty-training or having issues using the toilet, while also learning the colors of the rainbow.
Little Dragon and the Rainbow Poo is an adorable story that kept a smile on my face throughout the entire book. The fun rhymes and storyline is captivating and will keep young readers attention. Little Dragon and the Rainbow Poo is a fun book for young children that will provide plenty of fun and educational material for parent and teachers.
Pages: 24 | ISBN: 0995393303
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Change can mean something different to everyone. It’s all about our age, our perspective, and the explanation.For Albert, it was almost an unwelcomed event. To others, it was a necessity.
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Trevor is not known for being serious. In fact, he is best known for the tall tales he spins. He is new in Wales, living with his grandparents, and making friends has been easy. His personality is one that lends itself to laughter, jokes, and many a light-hearted moment between friends. When Trevor and his pals are exploring the beach one day, something happens that changes all of their lives, and Trevor’s love of a good joke is getting in the way of his ability to communicate with the adults around him. When no one believes what you say, how do you tell them your friends disappeared before your very eyes?
Magic Islands, by Irene Edwards, is a fantasy adventure centered around magic, wizardry, and adventure. The imagery painted by Edwards is absolutely stunning and contributes to the beauty of a well-crafted fantasy. Edwards’s young characters are relatable and full of life. The humor woven throughout this novel makes it not only more appealing but serves to create a fun read aloud for classrooms, as well.
As a fan of fantasy adventures and a teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed Edwards’s work. It is a light-hearted adventure based on the wonder of magic. There aren’t many young readers out there who don’t become enthralled in stories of the impossible, and Edwards has more than successfully tapped into that demographic. Her young characters are bold and just the right mix of the real world and fantasy.
The wizards and witches in Edwards’s work transport readers to a fabulously designed land of spells, castles, and absurdly fantastic beings. Page after page, the dragons and monsters continue to keep the story new and refreshing. Combined with the witty exchanges between characters, the wide array of character types makes this an all-around fantastic read for young readers.
From cover to cover, Edwards enchants young readers, pulls them into a fantasy like no other. In addition to the wonderfully engaging storyline and humor peppered throughout, Edwards includes famous names and well-known pop culture references that further serve to hook readers. I would be remiss if I did not mention the marvelous sketches by the team of illustrators, Robert Brown, Tony Paultyn, and Gareth Edwards. I highly recommend Magic Islands to anyone looking for an engaging story for young fans of fantasy and wizardry. Teachers in grades 3-6, this one’s definitely for you!
Pages: 211 | ASIN: B07ZRYY8LX