Thursday, September 7, 2023

Review for Taigh~A Flying Squirrel's Adventure, D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

I was excited to get this review for my book, Taigh~ A Flying Squirrel's Adventure from Diane Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review, Editor, Donovan's Literary Services.
"Taigh~A Flying Squirrel's Adventure adds another fine middle-grade animal-oriented story to author Loralee Evans' widening list of appealing tales. Like Jean Craighead George, who penned numerous books profiling animals for middle grade readers, Evans performs a meaningful and important service in bringing the animal world to life for young minds, even if her writings anthropomorphize wildlife more than Jean George's works. Taigh Squirrel doesn't just fly. He's also an artist who paints what he sees in the forest world around him. Like her character, Loralee Evans reflects words of wisdom given to Taigh by employing her artistry to capture Taigh's motivations, natural world, and squirrel lifestyle. Perhaps her own words best capture the sentiments driving this warm story: "A good painting, Augustus had told Taigh, a smile curving up the corners of his ivory-colored beak, tells a story. It stirs imagination, and helps folks think and wonder and imagine. Let your paintings tell stories." Evans uses word paintings to tell Taigh's story, capturing a world embedded with fairies, quests, art, and insights. As Master Taigh Squirrel (friend of Felicity Sparrow and Augustus Ivory-billed Woodpecker) embarks on an adventure to find out why all the ivory-billed woodpeckers vanished, kids will enjoy the special blend of fantasy and animal facts which exist side-by-side in this enthralling adventure story. From Spanish-speaking bats to questions that Taigh resolves in the course of his experiences, middle graders will find the blend of action, mystery, and natural history compellingly fun. Libraries and readers seeking animal-based fantasies that feature a diminutive squirrel's proactive thinking, artistic talents, and quest will find Taigh~A Flying Squirrel's Adventure a choice that promises high entertainment value, while accompanying reflections on the natural world will lend to young reader book club discussions."

Monday, September 4, 2023

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl is a delightful story for children about a sweet boy named Charlie Bucket who lives with his parents and all four grandparents in a tiny house on the edge of a large city.
No child is more deserving than good old Charlie Bucket, but he and his family don't seem to be getting any breaks. His father is the only one working, and when he's laid off from his already low paying job and finds another job that's even lower paying, the family starts to struggle even more. Even the exciting annoucement that Mr. Willy Wonka is giving away five golden tickets to five lucky people for a tour of his chocolate factory and then a lifetime supply of chocolate doesn't do much for Charlie. There was no golden ticket in the one birthday present his family could afford (a single bar of chocolate) or in another bar of chocolate he and his grandfather buy. But then, one day as he's walking home, he finds a 50p coin on the ground, and with it, buys two Wonka chocolate bars. The first is quite normal, and hungry as he is, he wolfs it down. But the second... has a golden ticket in it! What happens next? Read the book and find out!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the first in the famous series by author J.K. Rowling. In it, young Harry Potter is living with the Dursley family, his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and cousin Dudley. And it's hard to imagine a family who could treat him worse.
The Dursleys are awful to Harry, making him live in the storage area under the stairs instead of a proper room, and speaking to and treating him horribly. But then one day, a mysterious letter comes for Harry, which his aunt and uncle are strangely insistent he not read. After trying to evade the sender of the letter (and many more that come to replace the first after Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia destroy it) a giant of a man confronts the family, and delivers a message that shocks Harry to his core. "You're a wizard, Harry." After this, an adventure he never expected, begins!

Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites by Chris Heimerdinger

Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites by Chris Heimerdinger first came out in 1989, and it has been a favorite of many young people since. Because of its age, some of the references in it are dated, but that is what makes it all the more classic. Jim, his friend Garth, and Jim's little sister go to explore a cave after the two boys discover a mural that has been revealed by the water of the river being so low.
In the cave, they inadvertently find a giant room filled with waterfalls and rainbows. But then Jenny falls in, and the boys instinctively jump after her. They're sucked into a dark tunnel, and emerge in a place very different from the one they left. After some time, they realize they have traveled not only a long distance geographically, but more than two thousand years through time as well! Will the kids be able to find their way home? Especially since the two groups in the area, the Nephites and Lamanites, are on the verge of war? Read the book and find out!