Children’s Book of the Week: Thomas and the Lily Pond by Jane Whiteoak


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I am thrilled to introduce this week’s Children’s Book of the Week, Thomas and the Lily Pond by Jane Whiteoak. With enchanting animal characters, charming illustrations and a fast pace this enjoyable little book shows children how friendship ultimately will triumph over bullying tactics. Please read my review below.

Thomas and the Lily Pond - Book cover: Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

About the Book                                                   Thomas and the Lily Pond is a book about bullying for children ages 4-6 yrs. old. A group of animals are living very contentedly in a forest until the arrival of a large outspoken frog, named Bruno. He attempts to manipulate the group through flattery and ultimately directs his insults at a docile, hardworking Turtle named Thomas. The group follow the directive of the bullying frog due to peer pressure, ultimately getting involved in a food heist at night! Bruno’s ultimate goal is to take over the lily pond completely for himself; he is almost successful! Chaos erupts when a huge storm arrives and most of them end up fighting for their lives in the water. Thomas does not hesitate to try and save them.                                                                                                                                About the Author                                                                                                         Jane Whiteoak has worked in media and communications for over thirty years. After her son had completed University, she changed careers, went back to school and became a Montessori teacher. She has always had a great respect and love for children and had started writing books for children, in health related areas, for a Company when she first started working, years ago. Thomas and the Lily Pond is Jane’s first e-book. Martin the Christmas Mouse, will be on Amazon KDP within the next few weeks. It is her second e-book. The illustrator for Jane’s books was a former amateur and pro-boxer. Interestingly, Ray Henderson was also a professional graphic artist and did work in advertising. His father was a professional artist from Kent, England. Jane and Ray collaborate on books together; he has a unique style with  animated animal characters.

My Review of Thomas and the Lily Pond
Thomas the turtle has a life that verges on perfection.  Idyllic home, lots of good things to eat and wonderful friends. Until, that is, the arrival of Bruno; an over-sized, overbearing and overtly Machiavellian frog.
Bruno arrives unannounced at Thomas’ lily pond one day, and with much blandishment and no small amount of  intimidation, manages to draft all the other animals onto his team, with each soon vying for his attention. But sadly, he turns on Thomas, whose friends, eager to stay in Bruno’s good books, and slightly overwhelmed by him, side with Bruno against Thomas and drive him away from the pond he loves so much. Bruno’s motivation is two-fold. He not only wants the pond for himself but he also wants the little animals to do his sneaky bidding. Thomas, he declares, is too ‘pokey’ to be bothered with.
I am pleased to say, Bruno does get his comeuppance and there is a happy ending.
Aside of the well-written narrative, another notable thing about Thomas and the Lily Pond are the illustrations by artist Ray Henderson. Original, colourful and bold, they complement the story beautifully – and there are plenty of them. There are some lovely descriptions by the author of the various animals too, making it easy for children to learn about different species.
At a time when we hear so much about bullying, Jane Whiteoak’s delightful book would be a most appropriate addition to any child’s bookshelf.  But it is not only about bullying – the story is also about friendship and how doing the right thing usually wins through in the end. It is a great little book to read aloud to small children, and I can just see them all cheering in Thomas’ corner. Nobody likes a bully!
Whilst the book is perfectly suited to the age group it is aimed at, I also feel children up to ten or more will enjoy it too.
I highly recommend this book and hope to be able read more of this author’s work soon.

Buy on Amazon    Flurries of Words    Author Page-Amazon    Under The Whiteoak Tree

Thomas and the Lily Pond - sample image- Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

GO away Thomas, let our new friend live here on his own.

Thomas and the Lily Pond - sample image - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

They stuffed themselves so much that they could hardly move…

Thomas and the Lily Pond - sample image - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

Everyone returned to the peaceful life they had once known, deep inside the forest.

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Guest Post: Take Aim and Target Your Children’s Writing by Valerie Allen


Carte Blanche by Amelia Curzon

As a children’s author myself, I am particularly pleased to welcome this week’s Guest Blogger, Valerie Allen. Valerie, who also presents workshops on the same subject, shares her philosophies on targeting specific audiences, and what to take into account when doing so. Welcome, Valerie, and thank you for being my guest.

To successfully reach their target audience, children’s writers must keep in mind four basic considerations: the child’s age, grade, reading level, and interests.

Age Level                                                                                                                             Most children enjoy reading about characters who are a few years older than they are…

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Children’s Book of the Week: A Dog Called Dog by Harri Romney


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A Dog Called Dog, this week’s Children’s Book of the Week, is a delightful book for young children.  Filled with appealing illustrations, drawn by author Harri Romney herself, the book shows children why sharing is so much better than being selfish. Please read my full review below.

About the book                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dog goes out for his usual walk one foggy morning.  His friends come to find him, but the unsociable hound is eating his bone, and barks at them to go away until he’s ready to play.  Dog eventually realises that his friends were trying to find him to come along and share their wonderful feast, but now they won’t share…Dog must rectify this situation.

About the Author by the Author                                                                                                                           I’m from the smallest county of Rutland in the UK.  I’m the author and illustrator of quite a few children’s picture books.  My trademark seems to have become, that I  create picture books which are mostly written in narrative verse, plus do hand illustrations using traditional pencils and paint pens.

My Review of A Dog Called Dog

A Dog Called Dog is an enjoyable little rhyming book filled with very charming illustrations drawn by the author herself. Well written and easy to understand, the young reader is taken on a walk with ‘Dog’ as he goes to the park and meets his friends, one by one. Quite determined not to be interrupted by any of them whilst enjoying his bone, he refuses to play with them. He soon realises what a mistake he has made.

The short narrative is well-written, and amusingly, the same sentence is repeated throughout at the end of each page, “Leave me alone to eat my nice bone. I don’t want to play, so go away!” reinforcing Dog’s attitude.

More importantly the book demonstrates to young children that being selfish and not sharing doesn’t pay dividends, and it is possible to distance friends this way. Dog’s attitude is not acceptable.

Although this would make an excellent book to read aloud to small children, emergent readers would have no difficulty reading this on their own.

It is sweet, visually pleasing and entertaining!

Buy amazon.com       Buy amazon.co.uk     More Books by Harri Romney      Website

An image from A Dog Called Dog - Children's Book of the Week on mungaiandthegoaconstrctor.me

Three dogs sat round a table;
there was one empty place,

An image from A Dog Called Dog - Children's Book of the Week on mungaiandthegoaconstrctor.me

Reginald sniffed him out at the park,
so grumpy Dog yet again would bark.

An image from A Dog Called Dog - Children's Book of the Week on mungaiandthegoaconstrctor.me

A rude dog called Dog had a privileged life.
He was spoiled rotten by the doctor’s wife.

Children’s Book of the Week: Who Will Hug the Sun by Ey Wade


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Who Will Hug the Sun - Book cover - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

Short, sweet, and uplifting. Those are the first words which spring to mind about Who Will Hug the Sun by Ey Wade. This informative, and somewhat touching little book which will surely engage any child and I am delighted to able to feature it this week. You will find my full review below.

About the Book

Who Will Hug the Sun, tells the story of a little girl who loves hugging. She is told the story of the antics the sun went through to get her first hug. It is the first in a series of picture books titled ‘In My Sister’s World’

About the Author

Ey Wade considers herself to be a caged in frustrated author and self-publisher of nine thought provoking, mind bending books, an occasional step-in parent, a fount of  knowledge, and ready to share. The single mother of three grown daughters and now the ‘Lovey’ of a beautiful grandson. Find out more about Ey at Wade-In Publishing

My Review of Who Will Hug the Sun

I love books from which a child can take something away with them, and this one offers just that.  A little girl called Mhia wants to hug the sun and finds herself listening to her mother’s tale of how the sun had wanted a hug too, and how difficult it had been for her to get one. The narrative cleverly gets around to explaining a total solar eclipse in ways little ones can easily understand.  A valuable and simple snippet of science for the young! The sketches within the book are nicely executed and go well with the story. The story itself is endearing and actually quite moving and, as Mhia says, everyone needs a hug! This is a well-written and enjoyable book which I would recommend to parents as a read aloud book for their younger children.

 

Buy on Amazon                    Buy on Barnes and Noble                   More Books by Ey Wade

Picture of the sun watching children with their pets - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

“She saw the children hugging their pets”

Picture of the sun holding fluffy clouds - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

“One day the sun grabbed the fluffiest cloud and held it close”

picture of the moon watching the sad sun - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

“The moon watched the sun from afar and felt saddened by her tears”

Children’s Book of the Week: The Adventures of the Frog Prince by J.R. Barker


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My choice for this week’s Children’s Book of the Week is the fun read, The Adventures of the Frog Prince by J.R. Barker. This is a quick and witty read which I would deem suitable for 8/9 year olds and upwards. My review is posted below.

The Adventures of the Frog Prince Book cover - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa ConstrictorAbout the Book 
The Prince had problems; he was stranded in a moat and was trying to come to terms with being small, green and surprisingly springy.
He must try to find out who wants him out of the way and why, whilst avoid being eaten by things that are bigger than him.                                                 Will he ever be human again?

About the Author

Jo Barker has been writing short stories for many years as a hobby and has now finally published. At the moment she is writing children’s tales but there are plans for other books. Read more…

My Review of The Adventures of the Frog Prince

The Adventures of the Frog Prince is a story about an arrogant, irresponsible and selfish young prince who wakes one day to find himself outside his own castle, inside his own moat, and no longer inside his own body. As the title suggests, the Prince has become a frog. Unable to comprehend why this should have happened to him, though he does have a few ideas, he sets out to find those responsible for this unwelcome transformation. Realising there are quite a few royal subjects he has offended, he starts to make a mental list of names. He surmises one of these people must be a witch. But how many witches are there? And where are they hiding? And how will he be able to tell if they really are witches or not? Finding the culprit may prove even more difficult as the castle is full of guests from all across the kingdom who have tuned up with their daughters to hear who the Prince will choose to be his bride. But then, amongst these guests, he unexpectedly finds the most unlikely supporter to help him in his quest.

This is a funny and fast-moving tale written in a style which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The characters are well-developed, likeable and, in some cases, quite comical.  I particularly liked the spider with the lisp. The scenes are nicely descriptive and it is easy to visualise the backdrop. Though the ending isn’t too much of a surprise, it is good.

My only real disappointment was the lack of illustrations. This does not make the story any less of an entertaining read, but I do feel some illustrations would enhance the experience for younger readers.  As an adult, I would happily read more books from this author.

Get Your Copy on Amazon          Visit Jo’s Website

Children’s Book of the Week: Amazing Matilda – A Monarch’s Tale by Bette A Stevens


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This week I would like to share the work of Author Bette A. Stevens. Bette has both written and illustrated her ‘amazing’ book, Amazing Matilda – A Monarch’s Tale, and here you will be able to get a taste of what to expect – a wonderful story with beautiful illustrations.

Amazing Matilda - A Monarch's Tale - Book cover - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

About the Book                                                                                                                                                             This inspirational tale of a Monarch butterfly and her meadowland friends is the second children’s book written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens. AMAZING MATILDA becomes discouraged when she is unable to fly during the early stages of her metamorphosis. But, this amazing Monarch never gives up on her dream. Encouraged by her meadowland friends, MATILDA learns that if she tries long enough and hard enough, she can do anything that she really wants to do. AMAZING MATILDA will inspire readers and listeners alike, not only to follow their own dreams, but to encourage others to do the same! – Courtesy of  Bette A. Stevens

About the Author

Bette A. Stevens received her B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Maine at Orono before embarking on graduate courses in Curriculum Studies at Chapman University in California. Following a rewarding career in the business world at a Maine-based construction company, she taught in elementary and middle school classrooms in California and Virginia. She and her husband are now retired and living in Central Maine, where they enjoy trips to the coast and gardening when they’re not renovating their 37-acre farmstead. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. Stevens enjoys gardening, walking, reading, writing, drawing, painting and  Read more…

My Review of  Amazing Matilda – A Monarch’s Tale                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      From the very first illustration I was hooked on this book. I am an absolute sucker for unique, hand-painted art work. The author did not disappoint here. And then came the tale; an engaging, informative and  touching tale about a caterpillar who became a beautiful, self-assured butterfly (full story from egg to imago).  When we first meet Matilda she is just emerging from her egg and her first and only wish is to fly, which, of course, she cannot do.   Her meadowland friends, seeing she has no wings, encourage her to be patient and not to give up, but to rely upon her instincts and to keep trying. They reinforce this advice by relating stories of their own efforts as youngsters. This book conveys a wonderful message to children. A message about patience and self-belief, and that if you have your heart set on something, and try hard enough, you will get there in the end. It is a beautifully written book and a worthy addition to any child’s bookshelf.

Get Your Copy on Amazon           See more books by Bette A. Stevens           Blog

Butterfly illustration from Amazing Matilda - A Monarch's Tale - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

Up, up, up went Matilda, soaring high above …

Sparrow illustration from Amazing Matilda - A Monarch's Tale - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

“Why Matilda, me dear, you are amazing!”

An illustration of Matilda as an imago - from Amazing Matilda -A Monarch's Tale - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

Before long, a green coverlet surrounded every bit of …

Spooktacular Giveaway Winners


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🙂 🙂 Spooktacular Winners 🙂 🙂

Now that the blog hop of the year is over, it’s time to announce the winners of the 4 paperback copies of Mungai and the Goa Constrictor. Thanks to all who visited and a special thank you to those of you who left a comment.  It was greatly appreciated.

I have tried to be fair and in the end I put all names on separate bits of paper and threw them into a bowl. One of my children drew out four names – So here they are!

Congratulations to: Natasha, tamarsw, Cordelia Fitzgerald and B.J.

I will be contacting you all tomorrow 🙂