Tag Archives: Children's Fiction

Meg and Merlin – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Meg and Merlin by Tanya Landman
TitleMeg and Merlin: Making Friends
AuthorTanya Landman
IllustratorSònia Albert
PublisherBarrington Stoke Ltd (January 2022)
FormatUnknown, e-ARC used for review
Pages64
GenreChildren’s Literature, Children’s Equestrian Books
LanguageEnglish
ISBN978-1-80090-085-1

AUTHOR / ILLUSTRATOR


Tanya Landman has authored more than forty books for children and young adults. She writes across a broad age range and has earned many awards and accolades for her literature. Learn more about her and her books on her website.

Sònia Albert is an illustrator from Mataró, a Mediterranean city near Barcelona. Her true love has always been the illustration world. When she’s not drawing you can find her walking by the beach, reading or learning to play the ukulele.

SYNOPSIS

Meg just turned ten today and she dearly loves horses. Her sole wish in life is to have her very own pony. She dreams of ponies; she wishes for ponies; she even writes Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy asking for ponies. Unfortunately, for Meg, her parents have fallen on hard times. Not only can they not afford a pony, but they had to dramatically cut back on her riding lessons.

When Meg wakes up on her tenth birthday, she notices something is different today. She smells stables, but that can’t be because she lives in a housing estate. Going to the window Meg sees a pony in her front garden! Did her dream finally come true? Did mom and dad finally find a way to get her a pony? Read the book and find out what happens to Meg and the pony.

CONCLUSION

Meg and Merlin: Making Friends is a wonderful tale for young children. The reader can feel Meg’s frustration and anguish at being unable to have her own pony or be able to ride when she wants to. The reader sympathizes with her plight and roots for her to get her very own pony. When Merlin arrives in the yard, there is a feeling of expectancy yet tempered with suspense; will she be able to keep the horse?

The story is heartwarming and up-lifting. I enjoyed all the little nuances the author included in the story such as when horses twitch their lips when they are tickled. She does an outstanding job of integrating the horse characteristics with the riders instincts.

Sònia Albert has done a superb job with the illustrations. Although they are black and white, they are age appropriate and tell the story wonderfully. Her depictions are accurate and simplistic in nature and possess just the right amount of detail to make them perfect for this book.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has ever wished to have a horse or misses their own horse. Young children will love this feel-good story!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Tanya Landman, Barrington Stoke Ltd and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Meg and Merlin: Making Friends.

Jubilee – Review

Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and and Olympic Dream is a book about courage, determination, overcoming insurmountable obstacles, and a love for horses. This book is an inspiration to all those who not only love horses, but to those who are undergoing extreme hardships.

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Prince of Ponies – Review

Zofia was a young girl in Poland when the Germans invaded. Many years later she has the opportunity to help another refugee from a war torn country. Mira loves horses and Zofia takes her under her wing and mentors her to become a wonderful horsewoman.

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HORSES – Review

Horses, by Paula Hammond is a stunningly illustrated, beautifully narrated and skillfully written work. Containing 200 high definition, highly colored, rich, photographs that paint an evocative image of the species. So powerful in fact, that you can almost smell the leather, sweat, and soil that is so familiar to horse lovers everywhere.

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TURKEY GOES TO SCHOOL – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Turkey Goes To School Wendi Silvano
Turkey Goes To School by Wendi Silvano
TitleTurkey Goes To School (Book 5)
AuthorWendi Silvano
IllustratorLee Harper
PublisherTwo Lions (August 1, 2021)
Pages40
GenreChildren’s Books, Children’s Fiction, and
Children’s Farm Life
LanguageEnglish
ASINB08P1H5ZN7

AUTHOR / ILLUSTRATOR

Wendi Silvano Author of Turkey goes to School

You can learn all about Wendi Silvano and all of her different children’s books on her website

Lee Harper Illustrator

Lee Harper is an author, illustrator and farmer. You can learn all about him, his books, and upcoming projects on his website.

SYNOPSIS

Turkey Goes to School is the story of how a barnyard full of animals try to go to school. They try multiple ways to get into school, but they are constantly thwarted. However, they are not easily dissuaded and try more and more imaginative ways to sneak into the school. Do they ever get in?

CONCLUSION

Turkey Goes to School is an imaginative tale and designed for children 4 to 7 years of age. I found the book a bit blasé and the puns a little too much for the age group. The book feels as if the wording is for children 8 to 12 but the story is for kids 4 to 6.

The illustrations are wonderful and colorful. Lee Harper does and excellent job portraying the story. His illustrations are appropriate for the age group, vivid in color, and very nice. I must say that the pictures are the best part of this book.

As a Kindle Unlimited free book, the price is right. It is something that the pictures will entertain young children even if the story doesn’t.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Wendi Silvano, NetGalley, and Two Lions Publishing for affording me the opportunity to review Turkey Goes to School.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

PREVIOUS CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEWS

The Eye of RA – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TITLEThe Eye of Ra ( Book 1 “Eye of Ra” series)
AUTHORBen Gartner
PUBLISHERCrescent Vista Press (February 1, 2020)
FORMATKindle, Hardcover, Paperback
FILE / PAGES3864 KB / 279
GENREChildren’s Historical Fiction / Children’s Egyptian Fiction / Children’s Archaeology Books. / Science Fiction
LANGUAGEEnglish
ASIN / ISBN 10/13B082WS8H4C / 1734155248978-1734155242

AUTHOR

Find out about Ben Gartner and The Eye of Ra series here.

SYNOPSIS

The Eye of Ra is the first book in the saga of Sarah and John. They are a preteen sister and brother who travel through time and experience all sorts of adventures and life challenging situations. Sarah is 12 and believes she is worldly. Whilst John is 10 and is more reserved and the “Little Chef” of the house. Together they make a great team of adventurers.

In this first installment, we are introduced to the siblings and their upcoming move from Colorado to Maryland. They experience all kinds of reservation about the move; the loss of friends and the unknown that lies before them in a new state. Sarah, the more adventurous of the two, is looking forward to the move. While John doesn’t want to leave his best friend and the only home he has ever known.

Prior to the move, the family goes for a hike up the mountain behind their house. Sarah and John go off on their own and find a cave. Of course Sarah wants to explore the cave while John thinks that is a bad idea. In the cave, they are astonished to find ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs on the wall. While tracing the Eye of Ra with her hand, Sarah accidentally transports the two to ancient Egypt.

Lost in the time of the Pharaohs, Sarah and John have to find a way back home. They meet a local boy, Zach, who takes them in while they are trying to figure out what happened and how to reverse it. While in Egypt they meet all kinds of people, learn about ancient Egyptian culture, and even help build the first pyramid! They even become temporary sleuths and uncover a local criminal. Along the way they have to deal with cobras, scorpions, and Nile crocodiles.

Will Sarah and John ever make it home? Will the criminal come after them? Will they ever see their parents again? Are they stuck in the land of sand forever?

CONCLUSION

The Eye of Ra is the introduction into the series. It is an entertaining and exciting historical science fiction story. In this first installment Ben Gartner sets the stage for the future adventures of Sarah and John. While it doesn’t have as much adventure as the later two books, it is a great beginning. Sarah and John experience life and death situations, criminals, venomous snakes and scorpions, and crocodiles. Along the journey we learn about ancient Egyptian culture, beliefs and their religion. Sarah and John learn valuable life lessons and more about their own strengths and weaknesses.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While it isn’t as fast paced or as crammed packed with adventure as the next 2 books in the series; I found it gripping and hard to put down. I read it in less than 2 days.

The Eye of Ra is recommended for children 8-12 years of age, but I believe people of all ages will be entranced by this series. If you like science fiction, time travel, ancient history, travel and adventure; then you will enjoy this book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

OTHER BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

PEOPLE OF THE SUN – REVIEW

Audio & Book Reviews Site. Why watch when you can read?

People of the Sun by Ben Gartner
People of The Sun – Third in The Eye of Ra Series
TITLEPeople of the Sun (book 3 “Eye of RA” series)
AUTHORBen Gartner
PUBLISHERCrescent Vista Press (February 1, 2022)
FORMATKindle, Hardcover, Paperback
PAGES262
LANGUAGEEnglish
GENREChildren’s Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
ASIN / ISBN
10/13
B09B9FGWSW / 1734155272 / 978-1734155273

AUTHOR

Find out about Ben Gartner and The Eye of Ra Series here.

SYNOPSIS

People of the Sun is the third book in The Eye of Ra Series. Sarah and John continue their adventures in time!

Sarah is John’s older sister and together they make up a team of time traveling detectives. Their goal is to make sure that the time line remains intact. It seems that Dr. Tidewell (Sarah) and Mr. Tidewell (John) created a time machine in the year 2049. During a demonstration things go awry, and the entire audience is transported to various places throughout time; and the trouble begins!

The adult brother and sister duo travel back in time to enlist their earlier versions of themselves to help fix the timeline. If they can’t fix the timeline then life ceases to exist on Johns birthday in 2049 (the date of the presentation).

In this installment, they travel to Mexico in the year 1519 to prevent the death of Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, a Spanish Conquistador. Toci, an expert scholar in Aztec culture and fluent in English, Spanish and the Nahuatl language, is determined to prevent Cortés from conquering the Aztecs. What follows is an adventure that sees Sarah and John almost becoming human sacrifices, battling for their very lives and having to make some hard decisions about whether or not to change history.

CONCLUSION

People of the Sun is an excellent book. It has time travel, history, action, and adventure! It is filled with moral conundrums, universal impacting decisions, and morality.

Ben has done another superb job with this book. He has managed to mold history with adventure again. Just reading this book and the Author’s Note at the end, I learned quit-a-bit about the Aztecs, Cortés and the fall of an entire empire.

This book is a great read for the young and old alike. I highly recommend this series and don’t forget to read the Author’s Notes. Ben provides links to the historical references if the reader would like to learn more about the period.

I can’t wait to read about Sarah and John’s next adventure!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Ben Gartner and Crescent Vista Press for affording me the opportunity to review People of the Sun.

OTHER BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

The Eye of Ra is now available for a short time for 0.99 cents.

MAD ABOUT MEATLOAF – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Mad About Meatloaf by Maureen Fergus Children's Fiction Book Review
Mad About Meatloaf by Maureen Fergus Children’s Fiction Book Review
TitleMad About Meatloaf (Weenie Featuring
Frank and Beans Book #1)
AuthorMaureen Fergus
Illustrator Alexander Bye
PublisherTundra Books (October 12, 2021)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
Pages56
GenreChildren’s Fiction, Children’s Dog Books,
Children’s Cat Books, Children’s Guinea Pig Books
Language English
ASIN #B08SWF6D32

AUTHOR

Maureen Fergus, is an established children’s book writer with eleven other book collaborations to her name.

SYNOPSIS

Mad About Meatloaf is written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Alexandre Bye. This is a comic book style adventure of a dachshund dog named Weenie. Weenie shares his life with his owner Bob and Bob’s other two pets; a rotund cat named Frank and a highly intellectual guinea pig called Beans. As the title suggests, Weenie is obsessed with eating meatloaf so much that he keeps getting into trouble in his quest to obtain the ever elusive meat treat. When Weenie wants meatloaf the fun begins.

Weenie eats Bob’s meatloaf. Bob gets mad. Weenie tries to replace Bob’s meatloaf. The search for meatloaf takes the trio to the Mini-Mart and the forest where all kinds of hilarity takes place.

Who knew just how much trouble a dog, a cat, and a guinea pig could get into? Never before have a trio of pets caused so much trouble for their owner.

CONCLUSION

In Mad About Meatloaf, Maureen Fergus has created the perfect combination of a small cast of characters that work together to create havoc. The comic book style suits the tale and it quickly engages the reader into the surreal world of Weenie, Frank and Beans. Humorous throughout, expertly illustrated, exquisite in its colorful presentation, Mad About Meatloaf is the perfect gift for any young child. Every aspect of the book is child appropriate and the captivating story is sure to find favor with both children and adults. Highly recommended read. I can’t wait to review book number 2.

The illustrator, Alexandra Bye, has created a beautiful colorful world for Weenie and friends to inhabit. The stories are easy to follow and are engaging, entertaining, and above all amusing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Maureen Fergus, Netgalley, and Tundra Books for affording me the opportunity to review Mad About Meatloaf.

OTHER WORK BY THIS AUTHOR

Prince of Ponies – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TitlePrince of Ponies
AuthorStacy Gregg
PublisherHarperCollins Children’s Books (October 3, 2019)
FormatKindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, CD
#Pages/KB304 / 2239KB
GenreChildren’s European Historical Fiction, Children’s Horse Books, Children’s Historical Action & Adventure
LanguageEnglish
ASIN#B07PKJRQLF

AUTHOR

Stacy Gregg lives in New Zealand. Learn more about this accomplished author here. You can visit her Facebook page here. You can see a list of books she authored here.

SYNOPSIS

A WWII refugee meets a Syrian refugee and a love of horses binds them together.

Zofia was a young girl in Poland when the Germans invaded. After losing everything and everyone she loved, she was taken in by a kind German officer. Luckily for Zofia, this Officer was in charge of one of the most prestigious horse stables in Poland. He taught Zofia everything he knew about horses.

Mira is a young girl that fled war torn Syria with her mother and made her way to Berlin, Germany. One day while she was walking a dachshund named Rolf, he got loose and ran into the woods. Mira followed Rolf and soon found him in a battle with a beautiful Arabian horse. Mira got Rolf under control and the horse ran off. She followed the horse to a small stable deep in the woods. This is where Mira met Zofia.

Zofia, now aged, takes Mira and Rolf into her home and strikes a bargain with the young girl; write my story down, and I will teach you about horses. Mira goes back everyday and writes down Zofia’s incredible history, in return she is trained to be a horsewoman!

CONCLUSION

Prince of Ponies is an incredible book. Loosely based on true events that happened during WWII about the German horse breeding program. Stacy Gregg has written a remarkable book that binds history with current trends. The combination of a WWII refugee and a Syrian refugee was inspirational.

Stacy’s knowledge of horses and Dressage is evident. Her descriptions of complicated horse gates, leads, exercises, anatomy are all spot on. She draws a picture in the readers mind that is exact in detail and context.

Prince of Ponies plot is believable and inspiring. It is the classic struggle to be more than you are and working hard to achieve your goals. The story is about friendship, trust, love, and never giving up. It is about taking your destiny into your own hands and not letting others hold you back.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves horses, or just a warm touching story.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

SELECTION OF WORKS FROM THIS AUTHOR

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank, Stacy Gregg, NetGalley, and HarperCollins Children’s Books for affording me the opportunity to review Prince of Ponies.

Sol Invictus – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TitleSol Invictus (book 2 “Eye of Ra” series)
AuthorBen Gartner
PublisherCrescent Vista Press (February 1, 2021)
FormatKindle, Paperback
Pages / File300 / 3901 KB
LanguageEnglish
GenreChildren’s Historical Fiction
ISBN 10/13173415523X/ 978-1734155235

AUTHOR

Find out about Ben Gartner and The Eye of Ra series here.

SYNOPSIS

Sol Invictus is the second book in the Eye of Ra series. It continues the adventures of its two main characters Sarah and John.

Sarah and John are pre-teens that are transported through time to the ancient Roman frontier. There they must unite the Roman Emperor Caesar Constantius with an enemy to save the time line and return home. This proves to be a difficult task since his enemy, the Alemanni teen Crocus, was made a slave after the Emperors soldiers killed his father. Crocus hated the Romans and only wanted revenge for his father death.

Sarah and John go through a lot of death-defying adventures to accomplish their task and return home. They fight in the arena, go on the run from the Romans, are turned into slaves, fight wild wolves and much more. The odds seem insurmountable, but they must endure if they ever want to get back to their own time and family.

CONCLUSION

Sol Invictus is an action-packed adventure into ancient Roman times. Mixed with a little history and a lot of imagination this book has it all for a young reader. There are ancient sword and shield battles, arena fighting with wild animals, chases through rough mountainous country, the defeat of capture and slavery, and the joy of friendship and camaraderie. This book has plenty to keep a young reader enthralled.

My only criticism is the constant referral to the first book in this series. My OCD wanted me to stop reading this book and start at the beginning of the series. Sol Invictus is a strong book and can stand on its own without the constant reminder of the previous book. If you can get past this little inconvenience, then you will truly enjoy this story.

My final thoughts on this book are: it is a great read. It has a lot of action and suspense, there are times of joy and sorrow, but overall, I’m glad I read it. Now, I must go get the first book, so I can appease my OCD.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Ben Gartner, NetGalley, and Crescent Vista Press for affording me the opportunity to review Sol Invictus.