Reviewing Indie Authors One Book at a Time

Posts tagged ‘children’s books’

Oliver and Jumpy #16-18 – Werner Stejskal

OJ-WOliver is a tuxedo cat wearing a white top hat. Jumpy is one of his Kangaroo friends. These children’s stories are told from the first person narration of Oliver, and describe his different adventures.

I read all three of the stories in this installment with my three year old daughter. She is very inquisitive and so she asked a lot of questions as we went along. (She gets this from me, for I constantly ask questions about why, what, and how.)

#16 Who Am I? – Oliver is hit on the head with a coconut and doesn’t remember who or what he is. Walking through his forest home, he tries to reconcile the facts with the information others tell him. My daughter did not understand how anyone could forget who they are, as she isn’t old enough to understand amnesia or what might cause it. She seemed to find this story very confusing. It reminded me a little bit of Are You My Mother?, where the baby bird falls from its nest and asks various creatures if they are its mother. Oliver talks to chickens, squirrels, and crocodiles trying to discover who he is.

#17 Up the Tree – Oliver decides to climb to the top of the tallest tree in the forest, a project that takes him an entire day to complete. Along the way, he meets many forest animals and learns where they live. Close to the top live tree gnomes, who celebrate their visitor with music. Finally, Oliver makes it to the top, a tremendous project well worth the view, showing children that difficult tasks are worth the reward.

#18 Moon Crystal – Oliver and Jumpy ride a spaceship to the Moon to collect much needed moon crystals that are used to heal people on Earth. He is sent there by the president (who is drawn like Abe Lincoln). In these modern times, space adventures are expected by our children, and this one also teaches a little science in describing that the Moon’s gravity is less than on Earth. I paused when the spaceship was launched by being thrown by a giant and wondered how they were going to get back from the Moon. This question was answered later. My daughter liked the moon-men drawings, but didn’t understand the Man in the Moon because she’d never heard that phrase before. She thought he should look like the other moon-men.

Overall, the book is a good one for children. The cartoonish artwork is vibrantly colored and attractive to the eyes. The book is wonderfully formatted for Kindle, something that is difficult to find with self-published children’s books. (Often the illustration isn’t on the same page with the accompanying text, or there are issues with orphaned words.) The file automatically demanded to be read landscape for the full effect of each page so you don’t miss a detail of the drawings or have the text appear to small to read. These formatting details enhanced the enjoyment of the digital version.

4 StarsOther than the amnesia story, my daughter enjoyed reading these and wanted to read them again. She’s excited to see that I have another installment loaded on my Kindle. The illustrations are very colorful and fun for children.


A Month of Bedtime Stories

A Month of Bedtime Stories: Thirty-One Bite-Sized Tales of Wackiness and Wonder for the Retiring Child
by Neil Roy McFarlane

A wonderful collection of tales told in the 2nd person, putting your child into the adventures. This was fun to read. The narrator starts each story reminding you of the adventure you had that day with dinosaurs or a sausage monster or a kung fu grasshopper, or any number of wacky tales that take between 5 and 10 minutes to read, perfect for a night-time recap.bedtime31

I couldn’t help but giggle at the stories, reminded of the many made up by my own children. Logic doesn’t exist, only the attempt to try to relate new knowledge with existing experiences, leading to some fun and funny conclusions about the world.

“Wool comes from sheep, eggs come from chickens, and batteries come from grasshoppers. Everybody knows that.”

I have a three-year-old and an eleven-year-old, who both laughed at the goofiness. I love it when my children go to bed happy. This book will show them that silliness is as important to life as eating and sleeping.

5 Stars

Find your copy at or Barnes & Noble

Odie the Stray Kitten

Odie the Stray Kitten and Odie’s Best Friend
by Kristen Mott, Illustrated by Lowell Hildebrandt

Odie1Based on an adorable stray kitten, these two books in the Odie series tells the stories of strays cats who find a forever home on a farm with their “girl” and her two horses.Odie2

Each of these books is an enjoyable tale with a happy ending with colorful illustrations. My three-year-old daughter was excited to read the books and asked plenty of questions about the story, a good sign that she was engaged. The story is advanced enough for older children as well.

4 Stars



The Anciet Art of Asking-Kyle M.A. Fuhrer


Billy Bob the Dog & Torkelson Turtle in:
The Ancient Art of Asking

Written by Kyle M.A. Fuhrer and Illustrated by Bethany Tallack

Complete with adorable hand-drawn characters, an important message PLUS a ninja adventure – this children’s book made me and the kids chuckle all the way through.

Nobody likes to ask for help even when a ninja with extra time on his hands offers to give aid. When Goober Ninja uses his speed and stealth to help his friends, he finds himself being chased down by everyone in town.

See what happens when they catch him.

4 Stars

The Ancient Art of Asking is available on

Cover Reveal – ARRGH!

We’re so excited to share the cover of ARRGH! by Stacey Campbell, a middle grade fantasy adventure. This book releases September 24th, 2014. 


Forced to remain silent after being kidnapped by pirates Christopher must find a way to save an innocent merchant ship’s captain and his daughter from the evil grasp of Captain Redblade proving that friendship and family are worth fighting for no matter the costs.

About the Author:
Stacey R. Campbell lives in the Pacific North West with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, and a pet

IMG_1648 (1)turtle named Todd. She is a graduate of the University of Washington. At the age of seven Stacey was told that she would never be the writer she dreamed of being because she is dyslexic. Finally Stacey found that she could not look her children in the eyes and tell them that they could be what ever they wanted to be if she did not do the same. Now Stacey can’t stop writing and loves to help children pursue their own dreams. Stacey is the young adult author of Hush, A Lakeview Novel and Whisper, A Lakeview Novel. ARRGH! is Stacey’s first middle grade book.

For more books from this author, visiting information, and author events please visit Stacey at:

You can also learn more about Stacey R. Campbell on

Live in the Seattle area? Meet Stacey Campbell, YA author Martha Brockenbrough and others at the UW bookstore, Mill Creek, on October 9th at 7:00! There will also be a book launch for ARRGH!, Dec. 3rd at 7:00 at the UW Bookstore in the U district. 
Paperbacks of HUSH & WHISPER (Young Adult)- US only
ebook of ARRGH! (Middle Grade)- INT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amazing Matilda by Bette A. Stevens

Amazing MatildaA story about the patience required to reach our dreams, told through the life of a monarch butterfly. From hatching through metamorphosis, Stevens captures the frustration of waiting for the perfect moment and the strength of continuing to try to achieve. Amazing Matilda encourages little ones to strive to do anything they want to do.

The sweet illustrations and the encouraging words definitely stirred interest in my daughter while we read the book together on my iPhone. She curled up to listen and begged to see the next picture.

Young Children will adore this book.

5 Stars!


Available on


Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: