Tuesday, May 24, 2022

#AuthorInterview with Caryn Rivadeneira, author of Penny Helps Portia Face Her Fears

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Holly Connors is talking with Caryn Rivadeneira, author of Penny Helps Portia Face Her Fears (Helper Hounds).
FQ: First, thanks for writing such a fun and educational book. For those not familiar with the Helper Hounds series, would you tell us a little about the background on the series (how the idea for the series came about, what you hope to teach children, etc.)?
RIVADENEIRA: The idea was inspired by a couple of things—my own rescue dogs who have offered me so much love and support and an amazing organization called Comfort Dogs. After learning about the work the Comfort Dogs and other emotional support animals do, I thought it would be fun to tell the stories from the dogs’ point of view. My goal is less about “teaching” kids things, but offering fun stories that also happen to offer on-ramps to conversations or thoughts about some of the biggest issues facing kids today. But, of course, I do want to show kids that rescue dogs are the best.
FQ: Each book in your series deals with a different topic that children may struggle with on a daily basis. How do you choose what topics to write about?
RIVADENEIRA: My own kids were super helpful. Sadly, there is no shortage of issues that kids today deal with, so it was more a matter of what issues we could address in a compelling way and offer some kind of helpful perspective on.
FQ: Along the same lines, how to you choose what breed of dog to feature in a book? And are they based on real dogs?
RIVADENEIRA: Sparky, Robot, and Penny are based on my own dogs. Spooky and Brisket came from dogs I “knew” via social media. The others…I’m not sure I can even say how they came to be. Obviously having two pit bulls reveals my deep love and affection for Pitties. But I also love mutts and terriers and standard poodles (and all dogs!), so they were fun to include.
FQ: As the owner of a rescued pit bull, I must thank you for featuring one of these wonderful dogs in your book. Please tell us about your pit bull. And is Penny based on your dog?
RIVADENEIRA: YAY! Thank you for rescuing. Indeed, Penny was based on my late dog Sierra (she’s in the author photo on the back!). Sierra could never have been a Helper Hound, however. Sierra loved people, but did not like other dogs. Helper Hounds University would’ve been tough for her! Today, we have two other rescued pit bulls—Vinny and JP. Vinny actually made it into the last Helper Hounds! We see how he failed Helper Hounds U! This would also be true. Vinny loves people and dogs (and cats—we just learned!), but he struggles with anxiety, which causes some behavior issues. JP would be a fantastic Helper Hound. He’s deaf and super-low key. Just wants to snuggle people all day. Snuggling seems to be the pit bulls’ primary trait.
FQ: We meet “The Gray Sisters” on the first page of Penny Helps Portia Face Her Fears and I suspect readers will be surprised to meet them again later in the story. It was a really nice way to wrap up the tale. Was this your plan when you first began working on the story?
Author Caryn Rivadeneira

RIVADENEIRA: NO! That was a surprise to me too. While I write with a vague idea of where a story might land, the beautiful part of writing is that characters tend to show up—or surprise us. But I do love a good redemption story—so maybe somehow this was always part of the plan.
FQ: Where did the idea for “Helper Hounds University” come from? Is it based on a real training center for service dogs?
RIVADENEIRA: I’m pretty sure I stole the idea from Guide Dogs for the Blind. I’m not sure of other organizations that have an actual campus. Comfort Dogs might. But I just liked the idea of dogs having a university. Seemed like fun! Can you tell I have college-aged kids?
FQ: When Portia meets Penny, she says “Pit bulls are mean,” but Penny soon proves Portia’s misconceptions about these lovely dogs wrong. If you were to talk with someone who is convinced pit bulls are all aggressive, what is one thing you would want to tell them?
RIVADENEIRA: Maybe more than tell, I’d show them some of the 1 million ridiculous snuggle pictures I have of my dogs. But in reality, most people who fear pits or think they are mean have just never met one! In fact, studies show that most people can’t even identify a pit bull. They have vicious monsters in their minds so are surprised to find medium-sized boxy-headed house hippos with silly smiles. So, I do like to ask if people have met one—or if they’d like to meet mine.
FQ: Readers also get to know Portia, a young girl who has been misunderstood because of her Down Syndrome. She really has a lot in common with Penny in that respect (being misunderstood) and I liked how you didn’t dwell on it but rather showed how strong Portia is. What is your hope that readers will take away from the story about kids they may know who have Down Syndrome?
RIVADENEIRA: That’s a great question. My hope was to present Portia as a character with Down Syndrome rather than make it a book about someone with Down Syndrome. I hope that distinction makes sense. Her having DS is integral to who Portia is—but not necessarily more so than anything else. We’re not meant to pity Portia or see her as a superhero. Portia is a person with fears and challenges and courage—like anyone else.
FQ: The illustrations in your books are wonderful. How closely do you work with the illustrator? She must be a dog person since the sketches are so “spot on.” Do you discuss what scenes should be illustrated? How you want Penny and the other characters to be portrayed?
RIVADENEIRA: I was so fortunate to have such an amazing illustrator and illustrations! But, I can take zero credit for any of it. As is typical in publishing, the fine folks at Red Chair Press lined up Priscilla Alpaugh. I believe I did send pictures of my own dogs—but otherwise, Priscilla just really caught the vision and did amazing work.
FQ: Are you currently working on the next book in the Helper Hounds series? If so, would you give our readers a little “tease” about the story?
RIVADENEIRA: With eight books in the series, we are probably done. I don’t have anything else to tease! However, part of me believes there’s a rescued Old English Sheepdog with a story to tell…And maybe an Afghan hound…I could write about dogs all day!

#BookReview - Penny Helps Portia Face Her Fears

Penny Helps Portia Face Her Fears (Helper Hounds)

By: Caryn Rivadeneira
Illustrated by: Priscilla Alpaugh
Publisher: Red Chair Press
Publication Date: January 2020
ISBN: 978-1634407755
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: May 21, 2022

Penny, a frightened pit bull who has her life turned around through love, passes that love along to children in this great addition to the Helper Hounds series by Caryn Rivadeneira.

Penny’s life started out full of promise in a house with a family that seemed nice. But then the other dog who lived in the house, a very opinionated Chihuahua, decided Penny had to go. Poor Penny wound up living in the backyard, chained to a shed. Eventually, she escaped and found herself living “on the street.”

After living on the streets and surviving a harsh Chicago winter, Penny finds love and understanding from Miguel, a gentle man who knew Penny had lots to offer. Recognizing Penny’s sweet nature and abundance of love, she is sent to Helper Hounds University. At this special school, Penny learns many tricks, as well as traveling to numerous places like schools and hospitals where she learns to handle many different situations. She also meets a variety of dogs, cats, and horses as well as lots of people. Penny is learning how to be a special dog who will be able to help people in need.

Soon Penny graduates and gets busy helping children overcome fears as well as simply being a huggable, and lovable, best friend for those who need some extra attention. But then Miguel tells Penny about a very important assignment – they need to help a special young girl, Portia, overcome her fear of dogs. There are two very scary (to Portia) dogs living near her family and she doesn’t know how to handle her fear. And Portia has extra challenges too – she has Down Syndrome and has had to deal with negative attitudes from people who think she can’t do anything. Will Penny be able to help Portia learn to not fear dogs?

Penny Helps Portia Face Her Fears is an early-reader chapter book, suitable for ages 6 to 9. Narrated by Penny, a happy-go-lucky pit bull who has a tendency to always look on the bright side of things, readers will quickly fall in love with this special dog. Penny inserts some humor into her tale and plenty of doggie facts, including how misunderstood pit bulls are in today’s world. As the mom of a rescued pit bull myself, I loved this aspect of the story. The storytelling has a nice, easy flow, is never preachy, and has numerous touching moments. There is also enough suspense throughout the story to keep readers intrigued and anxious to learn if Penny will be successful with Portia. Add in “Miguel’s Never-Fear Dog Tips” at the back of the book and the charming illustrations, and Penny and her adventure is a winner for dog lovers and in fact, all animal lovers. Kudos to the author for using a much-maligned breed of dog to show children the undying love dogs have, as well as the determination of one very special young girl with Down syndrome.

Quill says: Penny Helps Portia Face Her Fears is an excellent addition to the Helper Hounds series that helps children learn to deal with their fears. With Penny's help, readers will recognize that while dreams can sometimes be scary, understanding and facing your fears, particularly with the help of a fluffy dog friend, is possible and indeed, can be a fun and positive experience.

For more information on Penny Helps Portia Face Her Fears (Helper Hounds), please visit the publisher's website at RedChairPress.com

#AuthorInterview with Carol J. Walker, author of Blue Zeus

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Ellen Feld is talking with Carol J. Walker, author of Blue Zeus: Legend of the Red Desert.

FQ: Blue Zeus is your third book about wild horses and their desperate plight. What first drew you to these majestic animals?

WALKER: I have always loved horses since I was a little girl. I started a horse photography business in 2000 and was invited in 2004 to go photograph wild horses, and at the time, I knew nothing about them. I went to Adobe Town, in the Red Desert of Wyoming, a land of buttes and dramatic rock formations, arid plains, sagebrush and found that the wild horses living there were uniquely suited to the high desert, and that they lived in families, with a stallion as the protector, mares, and youngsters. Some of these family members had been together for over a decade. I was enchanted and captivated by their nobility, spirit, and care for each other, and when I found out that most of this herd would be rounded up and removed after I had gotten to know several families, I was devastated, but resolved to do something about it. I wrote my first book Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses to show that wild horses were not starving to death but thriving where they lived on our public lands, and that they deserved to be allowed to live their lives wild and free.

FQ: Can you describe to readers what your reaction/thoughts/emotions were when you first saw Blue Zeus?

WALKER: I was amazed and overjoyed to see such a magnificent, beautiful stallion. His color, his pride and his bearing made him stand out as a truly unique and amazing wild horse.

FQ: What is it like to be alone with a herd of wild horses, stepping into their private world?

WALKER: It is my favorite thing in the world to spend time with families of wild horses. They can easily run away from me, so when they allow me to settle down and watch and photograph them, I feel that it is a tremendous privilege. They are always aware of me, but if they are relaxed, they will continue with their normal activities, such as grazing, mutual grooming, and nursing, and napping. It is incredibly peaceful being with the horses. There is seldom any sound from the horses, but there might be birdsong or wind. I will stay as long as they are comfortable with me there, and then I leave them with my heart full.

FQ: Are there other special horses that you’ve lost track of through the years or because of BLM roundups that remain in your heart and soul?

Author Carol Walker with Helios

WALKER: Cloud was a magnificent wild stallion in the Pryor Mountains of Montana who I spent time with from 2004 until he disappeared in 2015. His personality was so big and his presence was amazing. I am so glad that he lived out his life wild and free. I have not been able to go back to the Pryors since he passed. Another magnificent stallion was Azul, a big blue roan stallion who had the largest family in the Red Desert Complex, 15 horses. He had a colorful family, and two pinto stallions, his sons, who were his lieutenants, helping to keep the family safe and together. He and his family were rounded up by the BLM and he died in the holding facility.

FQ: Please tell our readers about the practice of forced sterilization of mares. Is it permanent or something that needs to be done every year? How does that impact the herds that the mares belong to?

WALKER: Sterilization of mares through spaying is incredibly cruel and dangerous and if they survive leaves them permanently infertile. It is a practice that vets even hesitate to perfom on domestic mares in sterile conditions. The birth control that is preferred is not permanent but needs to be administered every 1 – 2 years – PZP, Porcine Zona Pellucida. The mares can be darted by a person in the field, and it will wear off if not re-administered so that if the population goes below the numbers for genetic viability, the mares can again have foals.

FQ: Reading about the BLM and the government bureaucracy that surrounds the agency was maddening. You’d mentioned the process of adopting wild horses for $1000 and the myriad of people who adopt, and then soon after, dump the horses at a slaughter auction so they can keep the money. I assume the BLM knows about this practice. Do they care at all about what people are doing?

WALKER: The BLM says they are taking steps to change the Adoption Incentive Program but all they changed is that now people get the money at the end of a year instead of $500 after 2 months and the rest after title is obtained after a year. Currently, American Wild Horse Campaign has brought a lawsuit to end this program, and we are waiting to see what the judge will rule.

FQ: Along the same lines, why did the BLM make it so hard for you to try and save Blue Zeus’s family? Do they simply not care? Are they understaffed?

WALKER: Two reasons – the staff that is there now does not care and they are understaffed. The BLM now is making it extremely difficult for anyone to find or adopt horses that they have known in the wild because it is just too much trouble for them. This did not used to be the case.

FQ: It was wonderful to read about Blue Zeus and his family finally being rescued and being able to live out their lives at the Skydog Sanctuary. But how many wild horses can realistically be rescued? I assume there is limited space at the sanctuaries.

WALKER: Yes, there are not enough sanctuaries for all wild horses to go to, and only a very few are lucky enough to be reunited with their families. What needs to happen is that the roundups and removals must stop, and wild horses need to be managed in their homes on our public lands with their families.

FQ: Perhaps the most important question – what can people do to help stop the forced relocation/slaughter of wild horses?

WALKER: The most important thing that people can do is to contact their Representatives and Senators and call for a halt to the roundups, press them to force BLM to come up with a plan to keep wild horses where they belong and use humane methods of birth control only when needed to control the population. Also, donate to the legal funds of organizations like American Wild Horse Campaign that are bringing lawsuits to stop the abuses of the Bureau of Land Management.

Meet Author Carol J. Walker, Author of Blue Zeus

Meet author Carol Walker and learn about her new book, Blue Zeus, as well as her other books, and her efforts to save wild horses in her new author bio page at Feathered Quill:

Monday, May 23, 2022

#BookReview - The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures by Ruth Maille

The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures

By: Ruth Maille
Illustrated by: Pencil Master Studio
Publisher: Orbit Publishing
Publication Date: November 7, 2021
ISBN: 978-1955299077
Reviewed by: Katie Specht
Review Date: May 19, 2022

From award-winning author Ruth Maille comes the third installment in her “Power Of” series entitled The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures. Maille uses her years of working with kids to write another helpful social-emotional learning book for children. This time, Maille is focusing on teaching her young readers how to seek out and recognize gratitude in their lives.

In The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures, our hero, Orbit, is back for a new adventure. This time, he is visiting sleepover camp and he is eager to share the concept of gratitude with the children. After explaining what gratitude means and providing examples, Orbit then asks the children if they are ready to play a game. They are all excited to do so, especially after Orbit explains that the game will be a gratitude treasure hunt. Orbit will start the game by listing a letter and a word that begins with that letter, and then the children are to explain why they are grateful using the word that Orbit has given.

The book then progresses similar to an ABC book, but with a significant twist. The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures lists different words than a typical ABC book usually would, and the words are all followed up with examples provided by the children of why they are grateful for that particular word. For instance, for the letter “C,” Orbit presents the word “cloud.” One of the children offers that he is grateful for clouds because they look so soft and fluffy that they make him happy, and sometimes they even look like animals.

Maille has written another winner in The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures. This cute, sweet story with loveable Orbit as the lead role will appeal to children of all ages, while parents will appreciate the important lesson that Maille tries to instill in her readers about looking for something to be grateful for every day. If children seek out reasons to be grateful more often, they will soon begin to notice feelings of gratitude in their daily lives more frequently. It is a beneficial situation for all involved.

As was the case with Maille’s previous books in this series, the illustrations in The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures are vivid, colorful, and simply adorable. The illustrator did an exemplary job of creating the backgrounds of each picture to be unique and complementary to the scene that was being depicted.

Quill says: With the third installment in her “Power Of” series, The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures, Maille has achieved another positive and empowering social-emotional learning story that kids and parents alike are sure to love.

For more information on The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures, please visit the author's website at: ruthmaille-author.com

Thursday, May 19, 2022

#AuthorInterview with JF Collen, author of Pioneer Passage

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Diane Lunsford is talking with JF Collen, author of Pioneer Passage (Journey of Cornelia Rose, Book 3).
FQ: I commend you for yet another fantastic read. It is clear you are an ardent lover of history. I’m curious if history is/was your catalyst to becoming a writer.
COLLEN: Yes! I love stories. Focusing on the stories of people in law school helped me remember the legal precedents. History is not dates and events to me so much as a compilation of thousands of people’s stories. So many stories recorded in diaries or wrapped around an event or embedded in a place need retelling. My favorite hobby is to go to a place and learn its history – listen to its stories. Some are so compelling they cry out for a new platform. And almost all of them bear repeating.
Many stories just demand that my characters relive them. So I weave them into my narrative.
FQ: In line with my previous question, is (or was) there ever a time in the Cornelia Rose Series when you wanted to ‘break away’ and write something completely off-topic?
COLLEN: Yes – Stories of all types, of all places and cultures captivate me. Many causes compel me to champion them. Many of these ‘off topic’ stories have already found their way into my blogs. But some ideas are hastily typed and saved on my laptop with the hopes that when the time is ripe I will find them and weave them into a new work.
FQ: Often when I read a terrific body of work, I find myself wondering if there is a lot of the blood of the writer that runs through the main character. In this case, how close is J.F. Collen’s personality and demeanor to that of Cornelia Entwhistle?
COLLEN: I certainly draw on my own likes and dislikes when shaping Cornelia Rose, but more than being an alter ego for me, Nellie pushes the envelope in ways I would not. I have bestowed a few traits on her that I wish I had myself.
FQ: I always enjoy your attention to the Lord and faith in your books. The nuances come from heart (vs. ‘the fear of God’). Without turning this into a political rant, do you find there is somewhat of a taboo of how far you can take your pen with writing with a reverence and belief in today’s climate? How do you temper your pen to strike such a great balance toward faith in all your work?
COLLEN: I do feel a taboo, almost a self-consciousness when writing some of the faithful utterances of the characters. I think people living in the 1850s would have seen and vocalized their love for God even more than I allow them to in my story. Many people then were more openly pious. ‘Old fashioned’ values like love and praise of God are seen by some today as fanatical or uninformed. However, history has also shown us the atrocities committed under the guise of religion. I believe recognition of our Source and gratitude for all that is good and for our many blessings should be expressed freely, regardless of religious institution affiliation. And I hope by writing of a time when people fervently believed their faith would see them through hard times readers will be feel inspired to pursue their own spirituality.
FQ: I must admit times have certainly changed from a woman having to ‘know her place’ from then to now. While neither of us were alive in the 1800’s, what part of that era in the relationship between man and woman would you like to see in today’s society if any?
COLLEN: The romantic in me always wants the heroine to be swept off her feet by a courtly yet macho man! For every movie I watch and book I read I wish a romantic, happy ending for the characters. The glamour of society permeates the action in my first book. While my books are all filled with the curious customs of 1850s courtship, unlike in a romance novel I try to view these relationships with this century’s eye, and not aggrandized or overly idealize them.
FQ: What is the most modern convenience you couldn’t possibly live without and why?
COLLEN: Flush toilets! Although hardly modern – almost all of the ancient civilizations, starting with the Mesopotamians and the Minoans, separately invented them well before the current era – they certainly were not prevalent in the 1850s. I don’t envy Nellie having to dig latrine trenches at every camp, and help her children find a spot along the trail!
The real modern convenience that I feel may be undervalued is – modern fabrics. The blends of fibers invented in the last few decades have quietly revolutionized clothing. Nellie wore fabrics that bunched and pilled. Clothes that bagged and sagged. Hey, I remember when jeans were only blue, and a new pair were so stiff and tight they were too uncomfortable to wear without a few washings. Now any pants can feel as forgiving as a pair of sweats.
FQ: You write with such intent in describing the beauty and varied landscapes across this great country of ours. If you had to choose your ‘favorite,’ where would that be and why?
COLLEN: While I love a majestic view from a mountaintop and the thrill of a river racing by, I have to confess my favorite place is the beach. Even my love of the vastness of the prairie is dwarfed by my fascination with the moods of the sea. I love the beach the most in the summer, sun warming the sand, water caressing and cooling feet, clouds scuttling by. But year round the beauty and majesty of the ocean hitting the sand holds me mesmerized.
FQ: One of my ‘go to’ questions I often ask fellow authors is: When you feel the flow of your pen dwindling, how do you get back on your inspirational train?
Author JF Collen

COLLEN: Traveling inspires me. Watching and listening to people tickles my imagination too. I love happening upon interesting places and observing people going about their lives. A walk down any Main Street can unstick my pen. Certainly a trip to New York City works wonders.
Reading new or undiscovered old stories pulls me into a different time and place and catapultes me into seeing how my characters would react in different situations.
FQ: In line with my question above - do you simply sit down and begin writing and the story writes itself? Do you outline? Do you write every day? What is your most inspired time in the day to write?
COLLEN: My writing habits seem to change with every book. Sometimes the story does write itself. But only after a lot of research. Most time times I find little tidbits I want to include when reading histories, observing people, or viewing landscapes. In writing this particular series, sometimes finding something old sparks a storyline, or a plot twist, like seeing the beautiful laundry tubs in a mansion in St. Paul Minnesota, or a pie cabinet in Museum Village in Monroe, NY.
I try to write every day. Which means I probably write about 5 days a week. I never outlined, until just the other day I took the table of contents for the next book in the Journey of Cornelia Rose Series and started jotting notes about things I wanted to include in each chapter that was already drafted and placing new chapters & material in the chapter lineup. Weird! But it seemed like the right thing to do. Usually I make notes, either on my laptop, or if that is not handy, little scraps of paper – and then after I have a draft I find all the scraps and make sure I didn’t forget to include any of the material. The scraps have all kinds of things – words I found that a particular character should use, historical events I want to include, clothing I want someone to wear, plot twists, names I love and habits for characters.
FQ: When you meet someone for the first time and there is an instant connection, do you find yourself beginning to write this person in your head as a future character in one of your books? If so, how often has this occurred (and who made the cut and into one of your books)?
COLLEN: Yes. Sometimes it is just something someone says, that I know one of my characters will want to say. Sometimes it is a personality I’ll want to include, or a story someone told. Or a way that someone speaks, or a mannerism. My favorite thing to find is a name. I met a man named Nigel Goodnuf. Come on! His name has to be made into a character.
I try to not steal the whole persona of anyone I know! I fashion many of my characters with a sprinkling of traits from several people.
FQ: Once again, I commend you for another wonderful read. Thank you for your time. I always look forward to reading your books and wonder if you have embarked on your next writing journey. If so, are you able to share a little nugget?
COLLEN: I have two more books coming in this series. I have the fourth book well on its way. I am almost ready for the editing process. Which often time lasts almost as long as it takes me to write the book in the first place and then takes on a life of its own! And the fifth book is mapped out.
In my travels I have amassed a lot of primary sources for a WWII book. That might be next. Or, I can turn to the pilot script I wrote for an office sitcom, or the new children’s book I drafted on the back of an ad for a surfboard!

#BookReview - Toby, Toby, Worry Free by Lucinda Grapenthin

Toby, Toby, Worry Free

By: Lucinda Grapenthin
Illustrated by: Kevin Gasselin
Publisher: Dr. Cindy Publishing
Publication Date: August 2021
ISBN: 978-1736781807
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: August 18, 2022
Toby is a cute little octopus who wants to go ride his bike and play with his friends. But he has a problem – he worries about so many things. Will his mother, father, and friends be able to help him conquer his fears and finally have fun on his bike?
Toby was hanging around the front porch of his house when his friends Zeke and Logan came zooming by on their bikes. They happily asked Toby to join in the fun but Toby was afraid and tightly clung to the porch as his mind started to panic. “What if I can’t ride my bike?” “What if I fall?” What if they laugh at me?” There were so many things that could go wrong and Toby couldn't get all those “What ifs” out of his mind.
Sad and feeling defeated, Toby headed into the house, plopped down on the sofa and played video games. He wanted his mom and called out to her, but she was busy putting away clothes. The little octopus was so full of worry that when he tried to get up to go find her, he stumbled over his tightly wound tentacles. What could he do?
When Toby’s mom sees her son, she immediately knows that something is wrong. She asks her son and he admits that, “I’m afraid to ride my bike with my friends...all I think about is falling and my friends laughing.” His mother carefully explains that he needs to use his “can do thoughts” and reminds Toby of the time he was afraid to climb up a slide. By using his can do thoughts he was able to conquer his fear and climb up and go down the slide. Would Toby be able to use his “can do thoughts” to learn to have fun with his friends and ride his bike without worry?
Toby, Toby, Worry Free is a fun and educational book that tackles issues common to so many children, such as the fear of failure, the fear of being mocked by friends, and the fear of getting hurt. Young readers will easily identify with Toby, a sweet character who finds himself in situations that they too, are likely to encounter. The author has also included things that parents will identify with such as when Toby is starting to feel better and then his big sisters remind him of the possibility of failure. It’s the sort of thing many older siblings would say and I suspect parents will see their family dynamics in Toby’s family. At the back of the book is a reference page with a thorough explanation of “The PAUSE Approach,” a method to help parents and caregivers deal with challenging behaviors. The author of Toby, Toby, Worry Free is a licensed psychologist and educator with over twenty years of working with children and families. Her extensive experience shines through in this, her debut novel. Toby, Toby, Worry Free does a great job of gently guiding children and their caregivers through some of the turbulent behaviors youngsters encounter.
Quill says: Toby, Toby, Worry Free is an excellent resource for parents to share with their children to help them overcome their own daily fears.