The Sunny Day Squad: The Quest for the Caringstone by Michael Panzner (Book Review)

Making the world a brighter place
Join The Sunny Day Squad – Ollie the monkey, Poppy the puppy, Daisy the rabbit, and Ted the horse – on a heroic journey from Gaggle Grove to find the fabled Caringstone, a magical gem that can make the saddest child smile. Using their unique talents, the four friends work together to overcome obstacles, solve problems, and spread joy. This heartwarming tale celebrates the power of friendship, bravery, and perseverance – a perfect story for bedtime…or anytime!

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 


Under the sun of Gaggle Grove lives four close friends known as The Sunny Day Squad. Ollie the monkey, Poppy the puppy, Daisy the rabbit, and Ted the horse each possess a trait that will aid them in their adventure: assisting Captain Bravebutter in locating a remarkable gem that can make even the saddest child smile. The gem is better known as the Caringstone. 

During their important mission, Ollie the monkey swings branch to branch, leading the group through the forest. Music got a llama up and moving thanks to Daisy the rabbit’s musical talents. Poppy the puppy’s sweet disposition and Ollie’s monkeying around charmed three beavers into helping them cross a stream. 

Ted the horse’s ingenuity made climbing a cliff a breeze. 

Ted’s words rang true that day: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Captain Bravebutter also spoke the truth when he said they found the Caringstone because they showed bravery, clearness, teamwork, and determination. 

As the four friends reflected on the day, they acknowledged they only succeeded because they were there for each other. Plus, they made the most of their talents. I agree. When people cooperate, listen to one another, and work as a team, they’ll be stronger for it. These are great lessons to teach young children. 

I recommend sharing The Sunny Day Squad: The Quest for the Caringstone with children 3-8 years. The story teaches valuable lessons, and the illustrations are adorable as well. While every image had its charm, I particularly loved the smiling flowers and Ted, the glasses-wearing horse. So, very, very cute!


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

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Meet the Author

Michael Panzner is a long-time freelance writer who’s always been a child at heart. Inspired by the countless stories he’s shared with his children and grandchildren, Michael crafts tales designed to entertain, spark the imagination, and instill values like kindness, courage, empathy and perseverance. Having lived and worked in various locales, including the U.S. Northeast, North Carolina, and London, England, Michael now resides in Tampa, Florida, with his wife, Catherine, and their loyal dog, Geoffrey.

For more about me, please visit

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Polly Mooney is a freelance illustrator based in the UK, with a BA (Hons) and MA in Illustration and Animation. Creating mostly digital art on her iPad, she enjoys bringing adorable characters, especially cute animals, to life.
Online, she shares her artistic journey through her YouTube channel, “Pollygone Illustration,” and extends her creativity to real-world products she designs, illustrates, and sells on her website.

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