Indies Unlimited: “Sneak Peek” at Mungai and the Goa Constrictor


Mungai and the Goa Constrictor banner

Woo Hoo! Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is featured yet again over on the fabulous Indies Unlimited website

This time it’s a ‘sneak peek’. I feel quite privileged really. Why not come over and take a look and read all about it!

And, if the uncontrollable urge to spread the word takes hold, there are some nifty little share buttons on the page. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

INDIES UNLIMITED SNEAK PEEK – MUNGAI AND THE GOA CONSTRICTOR

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor - A Children's Book by Amelia E Curzon Book Cover

Indies Unlimited is a wonderful resource for all Indie authors; one I highly recommend.  There are masses of things to view, including invaluable information, great books to buy and loads of sound advice.

Advertisements

Indies Unlimited – Book Brief Features Mungai and the Goa Constrictor


Mungai and the Goa Constrictor banner

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is featured over on the fabulous Indies Unlimited

I feel quite privileged really. Why not come over and take a look!

And, if the uncontrollable urge to spread the word takes hold, there are some nifty little share buttons on the page. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

INDIES UNLIMITED BOOK BRIEF – MUNGAI AND THE GOA CONSTRICTOR

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor - A Children's Book by Amelia E Curzon Book Cover

Indies Unlimited is a wonderful site for all Indie authors; one I highly recommend.  There are masses of things to view, including invaluable information, great books to buy and loads of sound advice.

Celebrate the Spring Equinox with Mungai and the Goa Constrictor


Mungai and the Goa Constrictor banner

On 20th March, 2013, we experienced the wonder of the Spring Equinox

To celebrate this, and the significance of this passage to Mungai and the Goa Constrictor, you could WIN an Amazon Gift Card worth $25 

The Vernal Equinox

“Bravery is when you walk into a battle you are not sure of winning” – Jeffrey Fry

A great battle occurred during the Spring Equinox of the year of 2011, the year of disgruntlement. Tired of domination, deception and destruction, Mungai’s minions rose in rebellion against their oppressors and attempted to reclaim what was rightfully theirs, ours and that of future generations. They fought using every resource at the tips of their fingers, claws, hooves and paws. They fought in the jungle and they fought in the forest. They fought without fear and they fought with courage in their hearts.
The battle raged on with casualties on both sides until…

Find out who the victors are, and what becomes of our heroes, by getting your own copy of Mungai and the Goa Constrictor on Amazon.

Meet all the endearing characters – well, not all are endearing; some you wouldn’t wish to meet on a dark night, and some you may rue the day you ever met them at all. But unfortunately, if you haven’t already, you may well encounter at least one of them at some time in your life.

“Be careful who you trust, the devil was once an angel” – Unknown

*

COMPETITION

To enter; answer the following three simple questions correctly and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Card (All answers can be found in the excerpt below)

  1. Who gave the signal to commence battle?  a) Crow-Crow  b) Caw-Caw  c)  Claw-Claw
  2. What is the Oracle’s real name?  a) Forest Grump  b) Shriek  c) Edgar
  3. What did Gerald, the Oracle and Felicity hide in their clothing?  a) Feathers and bones  b) Guns  c) A goodly supply of bananas

Please leave your answers (e.g. 1a ) in the comments section with your contact details

The competition closes at midnight (EDT) on 31st March, 2013

The winner, randomly chosen, will be announced here on APRIL 1st – NO JOKE!

*

An Excerpt from Mungai and the Goa Constrictor – Chapter Twenty Seven – Operation Equinox  

The reptiles, animals and birds were gathering silently in the clearing.

“Now that we’re all here,” said Caw-Caw, breaking the silence, “the time has come. We must all go to our battle stations.  Is everyone prepared?”

All the creatures nodded.

“Does everyone know what he or she must do?”  Caw-Caw continued.

They nodded again.

Then out of nowhere came a voice.  “COMMMPANY…HALT…AIMMM…oops! so sorry…‘TENNN…SHUN.   Captain Gerald Rupert Horatio-um-Peanuts (he added again very quietly) Brice-Copperbottom at your service…SIR.”

The Oracle’s, aka Edgar’s, ‘spirit sense’ had kicked in, and he was able to know where they were all assembling, and since no word had been received as was promised, he had alerted Gerald and Felicity. Suspecting they might be left out if they did not invite themselves, they had come along to ‘do their bit’.  Edgar looked surprisingly sensible, having lost the feathers and bones, and now being dressed in green and clothed like his companions.

“Um…we won’t need those,” said Caw-Caw pointing at the long sticks that made noises and killed. “But you are most welcome.”

“Don’t worry.” Gerald reassured him. “We’re not allowed to have the bits that do all the damage. These are just for show. Keeps the enemy on its toes, don’t you know!”

Caw-Caw briefly introduced the newcomers to the others, and decided they would be best placed inside the paper mill, preferably up in the rafters. They would be able to climb through the opening at the top of the mill without being seen. There, they could wait until they were needed.

“Organise that in no time,” said Gerald. “COMMMPANY…ATTT…EASE.  Private Felicity…you take the right…Gunner Edgar you take the left…I’ll take the middle.”

“Reminds me,” started Edgar, “of the time I was forced to take on a gorilla.  Big devil too!  Couldn’t escape that time!  Gerald tried to organise that, as well.  Gorilla didn’t like him all…reason I got into trouble in the first place. Called him a…”

“Yes, yes, Edgar, but we need to keep moving.  We’re running out of time.  Captain Gerald, ready your troops to take up their positions,” interrupted Caw-Caw before the rest all surrendered to boredom.

Gerald stood to attention again, and saluted. Then, without Caw-Caw seeing, they managed to hide the guns under their clothing.

“Good. Well now that’s settled, let’s go…and may good prevail,” said Caw-Caw.

The creatures had been turned into an efficient and formidable fighting force.  Together they were battling a common cause.  Even those who were natural enemies had become friends and allies, each one honoured to share in this campaign. They moved forward with pride and dignity.

Word came that Mungai and Goa hadn’t moved the lair yet, so the plan remained the same, and Duggit’s contingency plan remained unrevealed.

The creatures moved towards the lair, peeling off as they each reached their positions, until the only ones left, as they approached, were the deer and wolves.  Absolute silence was now maintained. Wilbur and Wily had come with them, ready to pass on information and progress. Akanya and Kaya were outside the lair waiting for their own signal, as were the deer.   Duggit and the other two-legs were also in position now, having made their way successfully to the undergrowth.  They too waited in total silence.

Still observing the silence, they saw dawn break, without the chorus, and Caw-Caw raised his wing.  In his claw he held a long branch which he swept in an arc from right to left in front of the rising sun.

Operation Equinox had begun.

“In battle it is the cowards who run the most risk; bravery is a rampart of defence” – Sallust

*****

Author Amelia Curzon will also be appearing simultaneously on the following sites

Catalina Egan and Jolie DeMarco’s   4covert2overt in 33 days

Jo Barker’s   J R Barker 101

Charina SM’s The Book Keepers Blog

Christine Corretti’s The Chronicles of King Big Bear

Fun interviews, amazing features and yet another stunning review – come over to some great blogs and say hello!

*****

Read more about Mungai on his Website 

Buy Mungai on amazon.com    Buy Mungai on amazon.co.uk 

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor - A Children's Book by Amelia E Curzon - Book Cover

Where to find Amelia !
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Website – Mungai and the Goa Constrictor
Blog – Curzon
Pinterest
Google+
LinkedIn

 

The Chronicles of King Big Bear Features and Reviews Mungai and the Goa Constrictor


Mungai and the Goa Constrictor banner

Wow – Another 5 star review for Mungai and the Goa Constrictor!

I have just been featured on the fantastic blog of my dear friend, author and artist Christine Corretti.  Not only that, Christine has posted the most amazing 5 star review of Mungai.

Please all go over to her blog and read.  There are loads of other great stuff to see too.  Well worth a visit!

The Chronicles of King Big Bear

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor featured and reviewed on The Chronicles of King Big Bear

Children’s Book of the Week and Other Book Reviews


Mungai and the Goa Constrictor - A Children's Book by Amelia E Curzon - Banner

Welcome to another  week of children’s book reviews.  I hope you enjoy my choice of books and the reviews of them. Please don’t forget to scroll down the page and read all of them!

Book of the Week: A Blue Poetry Paintbox  – Chosen by John Foster  
Oxford University Press
Available from Book 2 Basics

I have had this book on my shelves for a very long time and have read it many times to my own children. Until recently it had sat there unnoticed until the smallest member of the family made a grab for it. Time to read it again!  I had forgotten just how good it was and felt it was time to publish my thoughts on it.

A Blue Poetry Paintbox Book Cover featured on mungaiandthegoaconstrictor.meMy Review of A Blue Poetry Paintbox

A Blue Poetry Paintbox is an anthology of 93 children’s poems from a whole array of poets and illustrators. If you don’t already have a copy, do try and get one. It is part of a series of four books all defined by their Paintbox colour. Inside the blue one there are dragons and lions, castles and sea-monsters, pirates and zebras and dinosaurs. It is filled with whimsical poems such as ‘Monkey Babies’
Don’t leave your monkey baby
sitting by the swamp;
a crocodile might eat him.
Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!       Etc, etc,

and ‘The Sea-monster’s Snack’
Deep down upon his sandy bed
the monster turned his slimy head,
grinned and licked his salty lips
and ate another bag of ships.

The price is variable (but £2 -3 seems the norm) and unfortunately now it seems to be only available as used.  It was also quite hard to track down. And even then, apart from my own copy, I have only managed to find further copies in the UK. Do not let this put you off, though.  If you can obtain a good second hand copy you won’t regret it. This really is a marvellous book to own and will be enjoyed for years to come, as it has been by past generations. Great for the transition from simple rhyming books to poetry books! That is not to say children won’t want to continue to enjoy rhyming books – they will, but here they can move comfortably up to the next stage. It’s lively, it’s fun, it nurtures the imagination of young children, and it has a wonderful assortment of different verses accompanied by  delightful illustrations. The publishers recommend this for 5/6 years plus, but the youngest member of the family is far younger and enjoyed listening to the poems immensely. Definitely 5 stars!

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher    
Available on Amazon Kindle $7.38 Hardback $12.84

Ten year old Jamie, the narrator of this book, takes us through his day to day life in a simplistic and sometimes heart-breaking manner. Following the tragic death of his sister Rose, killed by a terrorist bomb in London, Jamie’s life, and that of his older sister, Jas – twin of the dead Rose- takes a very sad road. Rose’s death has a tremendous effect on all the family, and both parents deal with their anguish in their own way.  Jamie’s father turns to drink, whilst his mother turns to another man, and abandons both her surviving children. Alone with the children, and in the hope of starting a new life, Jamie’s father moves them all away from London, but is unable to let go of Rose. Five years have passed since her death and she still remains on the mantelpiece, even after the move. Though neither Jas nor Jamie judge their father for his drinking habits and lack of parental care, both are deeply affected by it. As the story unfolds Jamie does not grieve the way his parents and sister do – after all, he barely remembers his dead sister.   He only remembers her permanently placed on the mantelpiece.  And all Jamie longs for, so desperately, is a return to normality, with his father and mother reunited and some care and attention doled out to himself and his living sister.
This very sensitive story is told beautifully and in a most original way. The writing is flawless and the characters, right down to Jamie’s cat, leap off the page. There are various issues which arise, such as racism, death, friendship, school bullying, family values and separation – all of which author Annabel Pitcher has dealt with in a refreshingly honest manner. I have to admit it does play havoc with one’s emotions towards the end though, and I had a real problem continuing because of the exceptionally large lump in my throat. When I did reach the end, I sat back quietly and thought what a wonderful book.
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece appears to be aimed at children of 12 years and up, but I have absolutely no doubt many adults will enjoy this too. I certainly did, and would have no hesitation in recommending it to all ages.  5 stars!

A Wolf Pup’s Tale by Rachel Yu     
Available on Amazon Kindle $1.24  Paperback $7.99

This is a story about an inquisitive little wolf cub called Rugmo, who is eager to know just what lies on the other side of the fence surrounding the reservation he and his family live on. “Nothing a wolf needs” his mother had said. Inevitably, the occasion arises when Rugmo spots a hole in the same fence. Despite his mother’s previous warning, Rugmo, unable to resist the challenge of the unknown, courageously squeezes through the gap and his adventure begins. In a very short space of time he experiences hunger, friendship and danger, and realises that, although he is having a very exciting time, home may well be the better place to be.
This is a nice little story and very well-written, and the illustrations are endearing. There is an illustration on every page enabling very young children to follow the story quite easily. Once hooked, the story’s message is not hard to understand either; listen to your parents – they know the dangers out there in the ‘real’ world! The message also fosters daring and inquisitiveness – which is also a good thing. The ending was a surprise; I didn’t expect that, it was really sweet.
Nice story-telling and great pictures along with a clear message make this a solid 4 star read.

The Rat Who Didn’t Like Rats by Blythe Ayne 
Available on Amazon Kindle $3.13  Paperback $9.99

Reginald, the sharply dressed rat of the title, snobbishly eschews all other rats, safe in the misguided belief that he is not one of them. How he has come this far without knowing his own origins is not clear, nor is what he does think he is. Somehow this doesn’t really seem to matter though once you get into the story, which is really rather sweet. Reginald is invited to a farewell party. The room is filled with animals, all there to celebrate the migration of the geese for winter.  Reginald spends most of his time telling all he encounters that he hates rats, and won’t hear anything in their defence.  Something his friends seem very tolerant of. Then a girl rat, Raquel, arrives at the party and catches Reginald’s eye. He has a bit of a problem believing she is a rat. Finally his friends manage to convince him that not only is she a rat, but so is he. He then surmises that rats cannot be so bad after all.
Much can be read into this, as one other reviewer seems to have done, but for me this a book about acceptance of others, and even when one’s perception of another is that of difference, a closer look will often reveal we are very much the same.
The illustrations are wonderful and quirky and the writing is sharp and funny.  I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it for ages 8 and over. I gave The Rat Who Didn’t Like Rats 4 stars.

All reviews can be found on Amazon and, where possible, Goodreads.

Wow, life is good! – ‘Mungai’ has been given yet another 5 stars!


I have just received the most spectacular in-depth review for Mungai and the Goa Constrictor. My heartfelt thanks to the very erudite Jane Whiteoak for taking so much time to write this review. I hope many of you will find the time and the irrepressible urge to read it. 

Select a place..any where in the world and you most probably have heard stories about a pair to be very wary of, like Mungai and the Goa Constrictor! Likely, you’ll have heard them directly, from the innocent victims left strewn aside in their wake. This is a story about nature, reforestation, gold mining, animals both two-legged and four-legged and the most nebulous kind of all… that of the cold and calculating… psychological nature.
Mungai, escapes from a zoo by literally biting the hand that feeds him, to obtain his freedom. Along the way he connects with a self-centered, narcissistic snake named Goa. They instantly mirror and gravitate to the lack of conscience in each other and recognize “possibilities” of a greater future together. They exist in this world only to use everyone that they encounter to their own advantage.
Mungai and the Goa Constrictor - A Children's Book by Amelia E Curzon - book CoverThey formulate a plan to exploit a group of unsuspecting animals, promising great rewards in the future, if the animals do as they request.
Having every faith in the pair, the animals work laboriously constructing tables, chairs and baskets out of wood with the promise of hope and prosperity for their respective families. They listen attentively to Mungai and Goa, as the two speak with authority and are quite erudite in their knowledge of the woodland surroundings and little gold treasures. To doubt their sincerity would be erroneous as the animals would have a falling out with their peers and thus be made to look foolish.
Through manipulation and cajoling the two cause confusion every step of the way. The woodland and jungle animals work together in good faith but they are gullible and unbeknownst to them are being terribly misled. Their gold mining endeavours, are necessary to pay for new equipment, used by humans to work at deforestation!
They’ve all been told by the amoral pair, that the “trees are too old” and need to be chopped down, in order that new ones may be replanted in their place. The animals have no concept that they are working illegally and are actually chopping down their own habitat. The two ring leaders start to show a few cracks in their armour however, when they begin to live in loftier and loftier residences. Each move is scrupulously planned, to be farther away from the ‘workers’ each time and with every move they have obtained, through smooth talk, even greater security.( e.g. wolves acting as security guards).
Finally, a very observant crow, becomes extremely suspicious and tries in vain to alert the diligent trusting foreman, the badger. Of course, the badger doesn’t believe a word that the crow tells him, as he has complete and utter “misplaced” trust in Mungai and Goa.
The book is very engaging as one ponders, if this dubious duo will ever be seen for what and whom, they truly are. Amelia E. Curzon has done us all a huge favour, by shining a spotlight on and enlightening us, to the damage done to our society by these unconscionable and despicable human beings. Her insight into this behaviour and relaying this message, through the depiction of animals is truly remarkable. This is an excellent book that would be advantageous and fascinating to read, for all ages. It is a real page turner and I highly recommend this book to all!

Jane Whiteoak – January 14th 2013

Buy on amazon.com

Buy on amazon.co.uk

Buy the Paperback

Read all other reviews here

Children’s Book of the Week and Other Book Reviews


Mungai and the Goa Constrictor - A Children's Book by Amelia E Curzon - Banner

Welcome to this week’s children’s book reviews.  I hope you enjoy my choice of books and the reviews of them.

Book of the Week: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Published on Amazon:  Hardcover  $12.40   Paperback  $6.99  Audio $13.26  Board book  $6.99                     

I couldn’t resist buying Room on the Broom having already read another book by the same creators, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler – namely The Gruffalo, and I had high expectations.  I was not disappointed. Nor was the smallest member of the family (aged almost 2) for whom it was intended. This book is simply adorable.

Room on the Broom Book CoverMy Review of Room on the Broom

A kind old witch with a purry cat loses her hat, her bow and her wand to the wind.  As they both go in search of these items, various different animals find them first – a dog with brown spots, a very green bird and an extremely fastidious frog – all of whom want to know if there is room on the broom for an animal like them.  The amiable, though  far from stereotypical, witch smiles and makes room for them one by one, until the broom bends beneath their weight.  Things begin to look bleak as the broom falls to the ground. At this point the animals are given the chance to be heroes.  As a reward for their actions, the witch ‘magics up’ a spectacular new broom to accommodate all their individual needs.

The illustrations are superb. The expressions on the animal’s faces are priceless and the first-rate rhyming prose was such a pleasure to read aloud.  It is a really fun book about friendship and team work, and, although this is a story about a witch, I don’t think it needs to be limited to Halloween only – it is more of an anytime-of-the-year book. I can highly recommend this for children aged 2 to 8. Without doubt, a five star treasure to keep for years to come!

Fing – A Modern Fairy Tale by Papa G   
Published on Amazon:  Kindle $1.24  Paperback $3.99

This is a terrific story about six-year old Ulrich Von Strudel, a determined little boy born without knees.  And, as if that were not enough, he has just been told his parents have been eaten by pygmies and his very mean great-aunt, Mrs Lipstick, is on her way to collect him from boarding school and look after him. When the evil Mrs Lipstick takes Ulrich home, she banishes him to the distant and inhospitable attic.  Mrs Lipstick not only dislikes little boys, she is also totally aware that if anything happens to Ulrich, she will inherit the entire Von Strudel family estate. All she has to do is find a way to “accident” Ulrich and all will be hers. But, unbeknown to the evil great-aunt, Ulrich finds a sock-loving, one-eyed monster in the closet, who soon becomes his only friend, and who encourages him to heed his mother’s advice – “If you stay positive, things will always get better.”
This is a book which can be read in one sitting or, since it is chaptered, can be read as a bedtime story a bit at a time. Either way, it is filled with humour, touched with sadness and a little bit scary in parts. Children will love it! The writing is excellent and the black and white drawings are extremely good. Recommended age 6 years plus.  I give Fing 5 stars!

I’ll Follow the Moon by Stephanie Lisa Tara 
Published on Amazon:  Kindle $3.09   Paperback $12.95

The illustrations first drew me to this book – they are delightful!  Although, with the exception of the line which is repeated on every page, I did find the rhyming a little hard to read since it didn’t entirely flow. I have read some of the reviews which argue the point that this tale is far from factual in terms of the beginning of life as a turtle. Although I have to agree with this, it is worth bearing in mind that this will probably be read to very small children who won’t be too worried about the minor details. It is just a charming story about a baby turtle hatching and vowing to find its mummy, which I am sure both parents and children (possibly 2 – 6) will find very appealing. This book deserves a solid 4 stars.

The Adventures of Loafy Lion and Friends by Richard Bullivant 
Available on Amazon : Kindle $1.24

Loafy Lion is so named because of his supposed idleness, and the fact that “He never went out to hunt… ever!” This eventually prompts the pride to lose respect for him and ask him to leave.  This he does with heavy heart and wanders off into the distance. Then Loafy sees a friend in trouble. In fact, he is not lazy at all, just a bit deaf with perfect eyesight – all a bit topsy-turvy for a lion. As it also happens, Loafy is not into eating other animals, most of them are his friends. And when friends are in trouble – you just have to get up and do something about it.
This is the best short story I have read for a long time.  The characters are comical and it would have been great to see some images of them. The story itself is well-written and very funny, though a little too short for a book.  More than one adventure in the same book would have done more for me. Nevertheless, Loafy Lion is really enjoyable, and teaches children a bit about animals on the Continent (not country as the author would have us believe) of Africa.  There are also a couple of lessons in there too. I was a bit disappointed at the lack of illustrations, which I thought would work very well here.  But, all in all, this is a great read and well deserving of 4 good stars. It would be suited to 5 years and upwards.

All reviews can be found on Amazon and, where possible, Goodreads.