Published May 3, 2012
Softcover, 36 pages
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani & Son
My 11 year-old son, who has been reviewing children's books with me since he was five, can tell a good book at a glance. If he doesn't show interest or start reading a book the minute I show it to him, I know he doesn't think it's going to be good.
When I showed him the two Horse Valley Adventure books, he quickly showed enthusiasm, sat down and proceeded to read this first book out loud using a British accent. (My son can mimic this accent so well.) It suited the book so well and we had a good laugh over the goofy parts of the book. We truly enjoyed reading talented and young author Liana-Melissa Allen's first book in the Horse Valley Adventure series. My son always thinks it's so cool when he reads a book written by another kid. We were both impressed with how good this book was. It was fun and goofy and taught some good lessons without being preachy.
This story based on the same concept as The Three Little Pigs with a bully Donkey rather than a big bad wolf, mixes the classic animal tale with the modern elements that are such a big part of today's kids, like TV and video games, which I thought was ingenious. The illustrations, which were also done by the author, are comical and well-done. From the facial expressions to the body language, young and older children will appreciate how much of the story is enhanced by these illustrations. My son liked them and he noticed that a little blue bird was included in all of them. And where the donkey is involved there is a little rabbit in the pictures who reacts to everything he does. So funny!
This book is ideal for children in the younger grades to read by themselves but also perfect to be read aloud to younger children who will love the comical parts and illustrations. My son had a fascination with horses when he was a little younger and this story about three little horses appealed to him very much. Therefore, if you have a kid who loves horses, this series is just perfect.
We look forward to reading the second book titled Donkey's Kite and will post our review of it on April 9th.
By the way, this book is also available in Spanish!
Note: This book is rated G for general audience.
To read more reviews, please visit Liana-Melissa's tour page on iRead Book Tours.
Liana-Melissa Allen is a young author and illustrator of children's books and books for youth. She has written, illustrated and published six books. Her most recent one is the colorfully illustrated children's book "Donkey's Kite", the second book of "A Horse Valley Adventure" series. The first was "The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey". The lovable cartoon characters, Max, Lax, Jack and Donkey makes them a favorite of first and second grade students. She is now working on her third book of "A Horse Valley Adventure".
The magical world of fantasy has inspired Liana's imagination since as long as she can remember. Part of this was fueled by her dad reading aloud to her every day when she was younger. As a result, reading is her primary passion along with music. These two passions feed her imagination into stories and drawings, which she joyously sketches out into storyboards for a potential book.
Liana-Melissa is also a dedicated classical/jazz pianist, and mostly enjoys older music, especially from the big band era and the 1940's, 50's and 60's. While playing the piano, her imagination often leads to a great amount of improvising. Frequently, Liana will improvise a theme for one of the stories she is writing. Capturing this improvised music became a priority, which ultimately resulted in theme music for "A Horse Valley Adventure". The "Horse Valley" theme will be used for a short animated video featuring her Horse Valley characters.
Liana-Melissa loves to hear from her young readers. Please visit her website at www.lmabooks.com for more information, and to contact her by email. Visit her on Facebook too.