A Brand New Day: Review by David Dickerman

David Dickerman, author of Mom, Dad, and Everyone Else, has reviewed A Brand New Day. Like Pigeonhole Books, David writes children’s picture books about divorce with a positive spin. It is wonderful to be connected with likeminded authors with the goal of helping young children through this life challenge.

“I am so happy I had the opportunity to read this book! First and foremost, the art is beautiful. I really liked the character design and varied expressions of the characters enjoying themselves. It really does a lot to bring the characters to life with only limited color choices.

The book itself is very enjoyable. One thing that stood out to me is the seamless nature of the rhyming. It really works organically throughout the story. Most importantly though, I like how the book doesn’t directly address the divorce. It shows the reader that a child can still have a full life and positive relationship with parents even though they live apart. The reader must draw this conclusion, which makes it very powerful. Great read and important message!”

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Author Interview: Susan Day

NEPTUNE’S TRIDENT – ASTRO’S ADVENTURES BY SUSAN DAY Neptune's Trident by Susan Day

1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s picture book is about.
Arrr! Me, Hearties! Avast ya pack of seadogs! It’s Captain Black from the wicked pirate catfish gang. I’m here to tell yas about a new book that stars me and me gang. Neptune’s Trident it be called! There’s a lot of dogs in it too but don’t let that put ya off.

You see, me and that evil genius cat, Speed Bump Charlie, steal Neptune’s Trident. Neptune you sees is powerless without it and me and the old alley cat plan to take over all the oceans and all the seas. I want to rule as an all-powerful being and Speed Bump Charlie wants a never-ending supply of fish to eat!

Astro and the rest of da mutts get caught up with some slippery characters as they try to foil our brilliant plans. Arrr! Join the mystery and suspense in this fantastic children’s book. You’ll meet Neptune, the nuttiest god in the world, a small but delicious crab and there’s even a special appearance from the Ugliest Dog in the World, Icky.

So, what are you waiting for me hearties! Get reading and if this book doesn’t give you the biggest belly laugh you’ve had in a while I’ll eat me pirate hat!

2) What inspired you to write this book?
Neptune’s Trident is the seventh book in the Astro’s Adventures series. I wanted to explore the possibilities of sending the characters, which are all dogs, into the sea. I also wanted to draw attention to the rubbish that is dumped in our oceans. The story begins with a small crab lost on a few scraps of rubbish. As he floats along, more bits and pieces are added until it becomes an island of garbage. This actually exists; it’s called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

3) How did you come up with the title or series of your book?
The title was developed during the writing process. Neptune’s Trident goes missing and that’s where the adventures begin. Neptune asks our heroes to find it and this leads to all sorts of zany and funny situations. Also, the Trident is used to help solve the issue of pollution at the end of the book.

4) Why did you pick this genre?
I enjoy writing for children because I can take my characters anywhere and completely suspend reality. I think there is a great need for illustrated chapter books that help struggling learners but also provide content they can engage with. I also enjoy making people laugh. I think there should be more humour in the world.

5) How do the illustrations complement your book? What was important to you as an author?
I use illustrations and images of paws running across the page to break up the text in my stories. This is important for struggling readers who are often overwhelmed by page after page of words. Also, as this series has grown I’ve become more aware of the importance of the illustrations to add more meaning to what the characters are doing. They also add a lot more humour to the story.

6) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
I loved the Rupert Bear stories (I still have the book my father bought me when I was five!). I was a ferocious reader, especially in primary school. By the time I left to go to high school there wasn’t a book I hadn’t read. I can’t say that one particular author had a lot of influence over me but I was very lucky to have access to so many books.

7) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author?
The most fulfilling thing for me is visiting schools and libraries to run workshops. When you begin to talk to children about writing it’s inspiring to see how much their minds and hearts become engaged in the art of storytelling. And on a few occasions, I have been honoured when children come to me after the workshop and tell me they want to be writers too. That’s awesome!

8) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
Some of the underlying themes of the Astro’s Adventures series is the uniqueness of the characters and the way they work together. I would hope that a young reader could learn that even though they are not perfect (like my characters) they have valuable skills that they can share with others and work as a team in any given situation. Also, I would hope they are reminded about the importance of properly looking after their pets. That’s why a percentage of sales goes to my local animal shelter.

9) Who is/are your favourite author/s as an adult and why?
I still love children’s books so I would have to say Beatrix Potter and A.A. Milne. I had a classical education of sorts and still enjoy reading Dickens, Austin and Brontes. I love reading a good story told well.

10) What are you working on now?
Presently, I’m working on the illustrations for Dogs in Space and I’m writing the ninth story, The Haunted Circus in the Astro’s Adventures series.

Thank you for a great interview!

Susan DayTHANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Susan Day and would like to purchase her book, here are all her pertinent details.

Website: Susan Day
Where to purchase her book: Amazon and Smashwords eBook
Susan’s social media connections:

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Author Interview: Jake Taylor

Little Wing by Jake Taylor

LITTLE WING – WHO AM I? WHERE AM I? WHAT AM I? BY JAKE TAYLOR

1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s book is about
Little Wing faces a big dilemma from the moment he was born. He has no idea of who he is, where he is, or for that matter what he is! He finds himself in Butterfly Forest and has no idea about what to do next; but lucky for him, he befriends Lou, a caterpillar, who advises him to seek Professor Moth and ask him. However, the professor lives deep in the forest where there are many dangers and Little Wing has to be very careful. That’s how the adventures of Little Wing start as he takes off in search of finding out who he is, where he is and what he is. At one moment, and rather hilariously, he actually thought that he was a bee and joins Bob and a group of bumblebees who are fetching nectar from flowers! He ends up terribly exhausted.

During his travels inside the forest, he faces great dangers especially when he crosses paths with a spider who invites him to jump on her ‘net’ (obviously a spider web). He also has to fly for his life when he is pursued by some birds. But at the end, after overcoming many obstacles, he finds the answers he sought. During his adventures, he also learns the importance of work, and of taking good care of our planet Earth because it is the only home we have.

2) What inspired you to write this book?
While studying English literature, a teacher told us that if we were writers we would be writing and not attending classes. That same night I dreamed about two stories: Little Wing – Who am I? Where am I? What am I? and one more about friendship that will be written in the future. The whole story came to me in a dream.

3) How did you come up with the title or series of your book?
One of the characters that Little Wing runs into in the forest is Mary, the Queen of Butterfly Forest who is a monarch butterfly and after looking at the small wings of the main character, she decides to name him: Little Wing.

4) Why did you pick this genre?
It was not really picked by me. As mentioned above, the story came to me in a dream and by its very nature, it is a children’s story recommended for children 3+ (if read to them) and for ages 6-8 / Kindergarten – Second Grade if they themselves read the eBook, which includes 14 full-colour illustrations.

5) How do the illustrations complement your book? What was important to you as an author?
I was extremely lucky in that my brother recommended a painter, illustrator, who happens to be a dentist. Her maiden name is Claudia Montero and she happens to be married to my nephew, Daniel Taylor. They have two lovely sons. She sent me her ideas for the illustrations for the book and I was enchanted by them. Readers have been very pleased with the illustrations as well because they reflect the story perfectly.

6) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
As a child, I remember reading about half of the Jules Verne’s books. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Mysterious Island, etc., all of which I found fascinating because of the enormous amount of adventures in them.

7) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author?
At present, I am writing the Fourth book of a Series entitled: Yah and the Space Cadets and what I find most intriguing is that I know where the story is going, but for some reason, have no idea as to what will happen to it when it gets there. It is similar to preparing an itinerary for a trip to Europe: You know where you are going, say: Greece, Italy, France, Spain and England, but have no idea of what will happen in those places once you get there. It is fascinating. Almost like going to the movies. I have been surprised many times by the twists and turns of my own stories. There is nothing better than that, although, sometimes I hit a wall and have no idea of what to write next. Then, that same night I have a dream of how to continue.

8) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
That we need to take good care of our environment, of our home, which is our planet; also about the importance of hard work, the appreciation of good friends, to be aware of the many dangers that we all face and to love animals.

9) Who is/are your favourite author/s as an adult and why?
There are several authors that I consider favourites, from Shakespeare, Cervantes, and many other classics, such as Plato and Seneca, to Emily Brontë’s  Wuthering Heights and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I also read the seven books of the Harry Potter series. I really admire the work of Ms. J. K. Rowling. I also enjoy Jane Eyre of another Brontë sister.

10) What are you working on now?
Two Spheres – The Fourth Expedition of the above mentioned series of Yah and the Space Cadets. I hope to finish it within the next three or four months. The series is planned for seven volumes.

THJake TaylorANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Jake Taylor and would like to purchase his book, here are all his pertinent details.

Website: Jake Taylor
Where to purchase his book: Amazon and Audible
Jake’s social media connections:

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A Brand New Day: Review by Kara Evelyn-McNeil

Kara Evelyn-McNeil, author of Fail Thee Well Little Bear has generously reviewed A Brand New Day. Fail Thee Well Little Bear is the second in a series of social education children’s books that helps to parents to start conversations with their children on the subject and practice of gratitude. Thank you Kara for such a well written review!

“A Brand New Day by A.S. Chung is a beautifully simple, light and fun story which illustrates the proverbial ‘cherry on top’ of being a part of a family split up by divorce or separation — or in other words: A Banana Split Story that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Our hero skips, hops, laughs, plays and smiles through the days of the week spent at either her mother’s house or her father’s house. With her mother she gets to help in the garden, and play with her step brother, while at her father’s house she spends her time helping dad to cook, and engages in imaginative activities like painting and reading picture books!

The illustrations are lovely, and clever. The absence of colour beyond pale pink accents throughout the pictures is thought provoking, subtly representing the main character’s rosey disposition and positive outlook on life. What I liked best about the character is how she never presents herself as a victim and never seems to demonstrate self-pity the way some might assume the reaction of a child “suffering” the throes of divorce or separation to look like. Our hero does not succumb to such drama. She doesn’t see herself as going through something rotten and terrible. Instead, she makes the best out of family life as it is. She is happy and grateful to have both parents present, even though they aren’t together.”

Author Interview: Corine Dehghanpisheh

BUDDY’S DREAM BY CORINE DEHGHANPISHEH Buddy's Dream by Corine Dehghanpisheh

1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s picture book is about
Buddy’s Dream is about a dog’s dream.  A dog named Buddy falls asleep during story time.  With just one wish, he and his butterfly friends are suddenly swept into an exciting tablet adventure.

2) What inspired you to write this book?
I have a mischievous Shih Tzu dog named Buddy.  He is the inspiration for the dog in my children’s books.  I also enjoyed creating my first children’s book, Can We Play Again?  So I decided to create a second one.

3) How did you come up with the title or series of your book?
The title reflects the storyline.  The book is about Buddy’s dream and the adventure his imagination takes him on.

4) Why did you pick this genre?
It was an easy choice.  I love that children’s books can be playful and educational at the same time.  I enjoy seeing and knowing that while children are reading, they are learning and having fun at the same time.

Also, I love to write, draw, and create which has added to my desire to write and illustrate children’s books.

5) How do the illustrations complement your book? What was important to you as an author?
The illustrations are very important to my book. They help convey the details of Buddy’s journey such as the map and path he followed, as well as the other animal characters involved in the story.

6) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
I loved to read any book as a child.   I couldn’t get enough.  There were always books hidden under my bed with a flashlight so that I could continue reading after my bedtime.  As a child, I really loved to read Laura Ingalls Wilder books, the Little House Series.  I read her books over and over again.

7) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author?
Watching children enjoy the books that I have written and illustrated.  I also love the opportunity to answer their questions and to talk with the children after they have read my books.  They always have the most interesting perceptions.

8) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
While they read my book, I hope they have fun going along with Buddy on his journey.  I also hope it helps the children to dream and create their own fun adventures.

9) Who is/are your favourite author/s as an adult and why?
I don’t have one favourite adult author as I enjoy reading a variety of genres such as autobiographies, historical books, light-hearted, feel good fiction, as well as children’s books.

10) What are you working on now?
I recently had a baby girl and have taken some time off to be with her.  I am slowly getting back to working on a quirky, children’s books written from the perspective of parents and a child.

Corine DehghanpishehTHANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Corine Dehghanpisheh and would like to purchase her book, here are all her pertinent details.

Website: Corine Dehghanpisheh
Where to purchase her book: Amazon and My Art To Inspire
Corine’s social media connections:

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A Brand New Day: Review by Larisa Villar Hauser

Larisa Villar Hauser is the creator of an independent publishing company called ImpPrint Books. She is a children’s picture book author and has just released her much anticipated fantasy adventure book, Uma & Imp. Larisa also blogs about her indie publishing journey over the years and makes for an excellent resource for those going down the same path. Thank you Larisa for your kind words!

“Such a joyful book! A little girl’s hugely upbeat and positive take on living in two homes after mum and dad’s separation. Beautifully illustrated in simple, just gorgeous, drawings. Without saying it outright, this book shows how, from the child’s point of view, love and attention given from both parents can heal any rifts caused in a kid’s post-divorce/separation life – and how they can give the child the security and reassurance needed. A great book for both kids and parents.”

A Brand New Day: Review by Kirstin Lenane

Author and illustrator Kirstin Lenane has review A Brand New Day.  Kirstin has a BA in English from Vassar College and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University where she is also an academic and personal counselor. She has 2 illustrated stories, Cookies, a Tale of Friendship and The Scare, A Halloween Story. Thank you Kirstin for your lovely review of the book!

“This is a very sweet story about all the good things that can happen when days are split up between Mum’s house and Dad’s house. Dad likes to cook, Mum likes to garden. The young narrator in this story gets to do both! Follow her through the seasons as she enjoys times with both of her parents, even though they are apart. This is a joyful story, filled with lovely, whimsical illustrations. It’s a story that will help children to see that good things can happen even when your parents are no longer together.”

A Brand New Day: Review by Mariana Llanos

Children’s book author, mother, blogger, wife and teacher, Mariana Llanos has kindly reviewed A Brand New Day. Mariana, who still believes in Peter Pan, is the author of the Tristan Wolf Series, The Wanting Monster and the Staircase on Pine Street. Thank you Mariana for your lovely insight into our book and highly recommending it!

“A great story for any child, but especially for kids who get to have two homes due to their parents’ divorce. Told in first person (which makes it more relatable) this is a little girl who spends her weekdays and holidays between her mom and dad’s new homes. Cheerful and charming, this little book is a must in the library of any family who is going through a separation. The illustrations are insanely adorable and make this book even more enjoyable. I highly recommend it!”

Author Interview: Susan Navas

THE RISE OF AGNIL BY SUSAN NAVASThe Rise of Agnil by Susan Navas

1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s book is about.
I come from a multicultural family. My father’s parents were Polish Jews and my mother is Spanish. I always felt I was stuck between both of these cultures, living in Britain at the same time and never seemed to fit in any ‘pigeonhole’. Agnil, the main character of the books is a fantasy reflection of that.

The second book in the series, Agnil and the Wizard’s Orb, picks up on the theme and finds Agnil, the half-elf, being bullied at school because of her slightly pointy ears – a visible sign of her difference from ordinary people. The book explores racism, apartheid and persecution. Yes, all through a story about elves.

So what happens when an ordinary ten-year-old girl finds out she’s a half-elf? Sliding between worlds, Agnil rescues the elves from many dangers, but can she fulfil the most difficult quest of all – to bring her parents back together?

Agnil’s Worlds is a fantasy adventure series aimed at children aged 7-10 years.

2) What inspired you to write this book?
Until recently I was a primary school teacher. The past couple of years I was teaching in Year 4 (8-9 years) and one of the units of literacy work was about stories set in imaginary worlds. The genre didn’t just spark the children’s imaginations but mine too! While I was teaching, I wrote a short story alongside the children and this is what formed the basis for the first book in the series.

3) How did you come up with the title or series of your book?
In my original story, the girl was called Aggie but I wanted her to have an elf name too. The name Agnil just popped into my head. The first book is called The Rise of Agnil because it marks the awakening of her self-awareness and powers as a half-elf.

4) Why did you pick this genre?
I suppose I picked fantasy as a genre because I’ve always loved fantasy and time travel stories so it was a genre I felt comfortable with.

5) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
I loved the CS Lewis Narnia books as a child and was very disappointed when I got to the end of them. I wanted them to go on forever! I was also very fond of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. So much so that I wanted to change my name to Alice!

6) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author?
Knowing that children are enjoying stories that I’ve written is a great reward, and if as a by-product of that I can make them aware of issues that are close to my heart, I will be even more thrilled.

7) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
That any individual can make a difference in the world and feel empowered by speaking up. I am a great admirer of Malala Yousafzai as a powerful example of this.

8) Who is/are your favourite author/s as an adult and why?
I have several authors whose work I enjoy reading across a variety of genres. In the fantasy genre I particularly enjoyed reading Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. I was impressed that he could write books for young people which could speak so strongly as to upset the Vatican!

9) What are you working on now?
I am currently writing the fourth book in the series, called Agnil and the Centaur’s Secret.

Susan NavasTHANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Susan Navas and would like to purchase her book, here are all her pertinent details.

Website: Susan Navas
Where to purchase her book: Amazon
Susan’s social media connections:

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A Brand New Day: Review by Magdalena Zuljevic

Illustrator Magdalena Zuljevic was born and raised in Croatia. She studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, earning a BFA in Art education. She has collaborated with authors Suzana Tulac and Emer Martin to create Why is the Moon Following Me?. For all parents wishing to educate their children about early astronomy, get this beautifully illustrated collection of short poems!

Magi has kindly reviewed A Brand New Day.

“The book’s written and illustrated in such a cheerful way, it takes out all the ugliness of divorce and puts a positive spin on it, turning it into an sweet, innocent children’s book. Very lovely.”