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Sylvia Locke and the Three Bears (Tairy Fails Book 1) by David Horn (Book Review)

RED ALERT FOR FAIRY TALE LAND: Sylvia Locke is out and ready to cause mischief.

Once upon a time in Fairy Tale Land, there lived a very bad girl indeed. Sylvia Locke may have been abandoned by her adventuring parents but that’s no excuse for being mean to her loving grandparents, rude to everyone at school, and even bullying rare magical creatures. Right?

One day, when out on a break-and-enter job at the Bear family’s house, Sylvia happens upon a magical mirror that turns out to be more than she bargained for. Could even a kid like Sylvia find a friend? Could some warm and fuzzies change her heart?

The first book in Tairy Fails, a modern fractured fairy tale humor series that will have elementary school kids and early chapter book readers screaming with laughter.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a well-known fairytale. Sylvia Locke and the Three Bears have some of the same characters, and similar moments play out, but this story is far more entertaining than the classic. Sylvia never claims to be a sweet, mild-mannered child. Everyone in Farmington would agree with her assessment, too. Sylvia loves having the loudest voice in the room, is quite mischievous, and enjoys bending the rules. She also has a habit of putting her wants and needs before others. It’s her need for a particular brand of sugary cereal that sets in motion a series of comedic events. 

Sylvia’s sweet tooth and rumbling belly lead her to the neighbor’s house, the famous little bears. As Sylvia waits for her neighbors to leave, she overhears them discussing Goldilocks and how they moved to this village because of that person. This mysterious girl was why the bears moved to the town and installed the security system. Kids will laugh when they see the security measures in action. 

Sylvia gets more than she bargained for when she enters through a window. She also realizes she is not alone in the house. Without spilling too much of the comedic moments, I will talk briefly about the bear in the magic mirror. Unlike the magic mirror person from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the magic mirror bear brings the funny. I cackled when he tried to kick Sylvia back after she kicked his frame. His ghostly antics were a hoot, too. If the text doesn’t make you chuckle, the hilarious illustrations will. Especially the one where Sylvia tests mirror bear’s I’m unbreakable theory. BTW: He is not really unbreakable, but I’ll keep his kryptonite a secret. He also has a real name, but you’ll need to read this comical fairytale to discover what it is. 

As I stated above, Sylvia’s journey does have some semblance to Goldilocks’s time in the bears’ previous home. Silver streak-haired Sylvia does test things, looking for what screams just right. Did Sylvia escape the house before the family returns, or does she get caught like Goldilocks? Did she ever eat her Cookie Crunchies? Read the book and find out! 

The recommended reading age is 6-10. While that is a great age range, I would even introduce the story to pre-k students. The story is simple to understand, so they should be able to follow the plot and find the drawings funny. Everyone will enjoy watching Sylvia get into sticky situations, watching her and the mirror bear interact, and the surprise introduction of the ninja. Wait until you see the ninja sketch! It’s hilarious! 

The story ends by answering a burning question that puzzled Sylvia, her grandparents, and the whole town: What happened to Sylvia’s parents? I’ll be on the lookout for book two in the Tairy Fails series, and I know once your family and class read this story, they will be, too.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
(Deserves more than five hearts!)

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Meet the Author

David Horn lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters, and a funny dog named Trixie. He is the author of the popular Eudora Space Kid early reader humorous sci-fi chapter book series. He enjoys making kids laugh.

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Maya and Waggers: I Have to Scoop What? by W. T. Kosmos (Book Review)

 Have to Scoop What? is the book series launch of Maya and Waggers!

For generations on Island Nation, the Puddin’ Heads have despised the Sweeties and lived without dogs. But after a shipload of dogs and puppies arrives, the Puddin’ Heads race to buy these creatures despite having no clue how to care for them. When the Union family can’t take their new puppy, Waggers, on a trip, Maya, her best friend Lily, and Waggers stay with Uncle Puddin’ Head. But Lily is a Sweetie, Maya refuses to scoop poop, and her uncle really, really cares about his new lawn. When Maya attempts to lead creative solutions in the strange neighbors’ yards, problems start piling up. For ages 8 and up.

Categories: Children’s Fiction Humor / Pets / Adventure

Themes: dogs, animals, pet care and responsibility, humor, courage, friendship, community and inclusion, critical thinking, growing up, social and environmental awareness

Great for readers who:

– love humorous adventure

– love dogs / pets / animals / nature

– are thinking about getting a dog

– wish their neighbors were more neighborly

– wish more owners would clean up their dog’s poop

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

The Sweeties and the Puddin’ Heads have been rivals for a very long time, all because some “numbskull” tricked them into despising one another. The same troublemaker even tricked the Sweeties into wearing blue and Puddin’ Heads red. If you considered yourself “true red Puddin’ Heads,” you didn’t just wear all red; you also only drove red vehicles like Maya’s Uncle Kal. As in present-day society, there will always be individuals who stand up against outdated rules. In this fictional children’s book, the “rebel” would be Maya.

Maya lived on Puddin’ Island, where she was expected to wear red and blue was 100% forbidden. Maya didn’t let anyone tell her what to wear. If she wanted to wear a rainbow-colored outfit, she would and made no apologies for it. She also didn’t judge others by where they lived. In fact, Maya’s best friend, Lily, was from Sweetie Island. 

As the chapter book plays out, Maya and Lily learn the hard way puppies are cute, but boy, do they poop a lot! I laughed out loud when Lily appeared genuinely floored that not only do dogs poop, but many other creatures do as well. Or when Lily questioned if Waggers would turn into something else, like a caterpillar. In her defense, Lily has never seen a dog before. Maya, either, until a shipload of them came to the island. 

I found elements of this story were comical because they were not happening to me. For instance, when Uncle Kal stepped on a poop patch and left a trail of brown footprints that ran up the sidewalk, across the porch, and into the house. Disgusting! I’m also thankful Maya was the one scooping the largest pile of dog poop known to mankind because the experience sounded gross. 

Maya and Waggers: I Have to Scoop What? uses humor to show the stinkier side of owning a dog. They are fun to play with and give pets to, but eventually, they will empty their colon somewhere. Maya and Lily had a great idea to avoid the clean-up process and to appease Maya’s Uncle Kal: have Waggers leave his piles on someone else’s lawn. Mayhem and hilarity ensue as the two girls visit each potential poop location. My favorite neighboring family was the Barkers. They were crazy!

Kids eight years and up will be giggling as they read about Maya’s poop dilemma. Many will relate if they have a canine companion at home and are required to pick up dog turds. If you’re like me, you’ll wish the author included more images, such as snow literally punching and kicking grass and a picture of MegaCorps’s newest invention: grass that fights back! 

Need a good laugh? Read this story!

 

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

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Meet the Author

W.T. Kosmos is a humorist author who dives into today’s social absurdities, the boundless depth of human potential, and the infinite wisdom and wonders of the evolving universe. He is the alter ego (pen name) of a life-long educator who has had the great privilege and joy of serving as a teacher and school administrator while collaborating with some of the most fabulous people in the world. W.T. Kosmos lives along the coast of Paradox, USA, Earth, Milky Way and enjoys reading, writing, walking the beach, wrestling with his dogs, and snorkeling with Regal the seahorse. However, his favorite pastime is training as a professional wrestler, which is also his backup plan for improving the world.

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Bob Tales, Land of the Woody Warbles by Susan Sullivan (Book Review)

When a sad and hungry kitty is rescued from a garbaggy place by a loving family, only to lose them again, he sets out to find them. On his journey, he encounters many strange and wonderful creatures including a slithery snake, a frisky frog, a friendly fish, a laughable lemur, a marvelous mantis, a testy turtle, a babbling bee, a wee worm, and a wise old owl. Along the way, he learns that he is a bit different than most cats and the other creatures aren’t so nice about his unique qualities.

While struggling with his identity, and weakened from his journey, the cat becomes more and more lost. He faces perilous danger and nearly gives up all hope. But after digging deep to find trust, and a little help and teamwork from his new friends, he finds more than he was hoping for.

In this beautifully illustrated tale of a cat without a tail, our hero learns how to believe in himself, overcome his fears, and feel comfortable in his own fur – with lots of adventures along the way. An inspiring story of courage, teamwork, and the long journey home.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

The World Animal Foundation claims that, shockingly, there are 60-80 million unowned or feral cats in the U.S. Susan Sullivan focuses on one homeless kitty in Bob Tales, Land of the Woody Warbles. Before the black kitty met his owners, he lived on the streets. He feasted on rotten garbage, causing his coat to smell no better than the food he consumed. He was bullied, beaten, and understandably sad. All that changed the day the gentle man with shaggy hair scooped him up and promised to help him. The friendly human gave the lonesome, dirty, hungry cat a name (Bob). He made sure Bob was given medical care, a bath, a warm bed, and plenty of healthy food. Bob loved his new family, a blended home of cats and dogs. He felt safe. He felt loved. He felt like he belonged. 

Bob understood that sometimes his owners would leave for the day, but he also understood they eventually returned. However, one day, they didn’t, and Bob was consumed with worry. As pet owners, we see the joy in our furry friends when we return home. Kisses. Head butts. They show love in their own way. Bob loved his humans and was willing to brave the harsh outside world again for them. 

In every chapter, Bob meets new faces. He met some friendly animals and some rude animals. Art imitates life in this instance. No matter the reader’s age, you will encounter people who will lift you up and those who enjoy tearing you down. It’s important to remember the wise words of Oakley, the owl: “What others think doesn’t matter half as much as what you think.”

Bob did not have a tail, and many animals remarked about it, causing him to be ashamed of who he was and what he looked like. Bob didn’t know life with a tail, but these wild animals made him feel terrible about it. We see this type of behavior in humans. We focus on someone’s outward appearance and should be judging someone by their actions. Bob was a sweet, smart cat who loved his family with all his heart. He braved the turbulent waters, faced his fears, and never gave up looking for his “lost” humans. 

In the end, Bob was reunited with his family, and what a story he had to share with his furry brothers and sisters. He swam. He flew. He had an adventure that would widen any furry friend’s eyes with shock and disbelief. 

Bob Tales, Land of the Woody Warbles thirteen chapters are full of action, adventure, love, and gorgeous illustrations of animals and insects (artist: Lauren Reeves). I recommend sharing it with your child six years and older. Make it a part of your bedtime routine. 

Remember: adopt, don’t shop!

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

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Meet the Author

Susan Sullivan worked in Nuclear Medicine before teaching high school biology and anatomy for ten years. Bob, Susan’s tailless rescue cat, had wanderlust and his true adventures became the source of great stories. Susan enjoys being in nature and among animals, particularly when she is beekeeping.

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