Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Review of The Bird Brain books, written by Emlyn Chand and illustrated by Noelle Griffin


Emlyn will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment here and check out all the stops on the tour:

The Bird Brain Books

Courtney Saves Christmas

Courtney is a peppy young penguin who just loves exploring, and is overjoyed when she receives a compass from Santa on Christmas morning. She’s so grateful for the gift, in fact, that she just needs to give Santa a great big hug and say “Thank you!” in person. The only problem is she lives in the South Pole, and Santa is all the way on the other side of the globe!

With the aid of her new compass, Courtney sets off on a journey that takes her almost an entire year. By the time she reaches Santa’s workshop, the elves are in a flurry preparing for the upcoming holiday. Unfortunately, Rudolph is feeling very sick—too sick to guide the sleigh. If Courtney can’t find a way to help, Christmas will be ruined and all the children of the world will be devastated. What’s a little penguin to do?

Davey the Detective

Davey dubs himself the luckiest crow in the entire world when he finds a wonderful, shiny object. It even has a fantastic name: “paperclip.” Wow!

One dark and dreary day, Davey’s treasure goes missing, and he is beside himself with grief. Luckily, he knows just how he can find out which of the forest animals is to blame for the theft. Inspired by the torn pages of a Sherlock Holmes story that were used to fashion his nest, Davey calls on the help of Sarah the sparrow to investigate the mystery and, hopefully, retrieve his prize.

Together the two birds begin to collect clues. Their trail leads them straight to Mr. Bushtail, a greedy squirrel who keeps a giant store of objects in a hollowed-out tree trunk. When Mr. Bushtail refuses to cooperate, the two birds have no choice but to break into his tree house in search of the truth.

Honey the Hero

Honey, an inquisitive young parakeet living in the Australian Outback, decides to become a superhero after she spies a human family watching Superman. Since she already has the power of flight, all she needs to do is create a costume to conceal her true identity and then fly off in search of animals that need rescuing.

Unfortunately, every time she tries to help, Honey only ends up making matters worse. She spoils Kangaroo’s game of hide-and-go-seek by revealing his hiding place to Wallaby; Mr. Anteater must go hungry when she alerts the ants to his presence, and Mrs. Koala is made a laughingstock among bears when Honey pretends to be her Joey. Finally realizing that she’s not as heroic as she’d like, Honey gives up her day-saving efforts.

But what happens when someone actually needs Honey’s help? Will she rise to the challenge?

Poppy the Proud

Poppy is the prettiest peacock in the entire garden, but one day his privileged existence is upset when an all-white peacock is born and promptly named the most beautiful by a smitten flock. Intensely jealous, Poppy no longer knows where he fits in and decides to reclaim his title as the fairest bird in all the land, no matter what it takes.
In a desperate attempt to regain the admiration of his peers, Poppy steals items from the humans that visit his park. He wraps himself in a beautiful silk scarf, wears a series of ornate bangles around his neck, and even tries to dye his feathers with colored dust from a festive Holi celebration. Unfortunately, each of these attempts not only fails to improve his appearance, they actually make it worse. What’s a poor bird to do?

In this compelling tale of self-esteem, pride, and learning what makes each of us special, Poppy the peacock discovers that true beauty lies beneath the feathers.

Tommy Goes Trick-or-Treating

Tommy is a mischievous little woodpecker who loves to fly to the edge of the forest and watch the people in the nearby suburb. One evening, something strange and exciting happens—people emerge from their houses wearing costumes and carrying colorful buckets with smiling faces on them. What’s even crazier is that they shout a special codeword while standing outside of each house, and are given delicious-looking candy.

Tommy simply must join in the fun. He and his friend, Michael the raccoon, fashion their own costumes and head off to join in the festivities. Thanks to Tommy’s knock-knocking beak and Michael’s quick paws, the duo is able to heist many a candy bar from the unsuspecting homeowners and children.
But are they missing out on the true spirit of Halloween? 

My Review:

The illustrations are what really did these books for me. I found many of them giggle-worthy--in a good way! There's just something about a parakeet in a little superhero mask and anteaters crying. The illustrations add a graphic-novel quality that young readers are sure to appreciate. I'm actually quite sad that I ended up reading these on my Kindle with no color.

These are fairly text heavy for picture books, which I like. They are more for kids to read to themselves rather than parents reading. Many of them also align to the character education schools have initiated in the last few years, such as Character Counts! They could be used to supplement those programs or create tie-ins between reading and the character education.

Poppy the Peacock was my favorite of the five. I think the message was the clearest, and children have an easy time identifying peacocks with pride and beauty, so it's very accessible.

Each sells for $0.99 at the Kindle store (buy links below), so they are not a huge investment to check out. The illustrations alone are worth it.

Author Bio

Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children's book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit EmlynChand.com for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!

Online Links

Website & Blog: www.emlynchand.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/emlynchand
Twitter: www.twitter.com/emlynchand
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/emlynchand


4 comments:

  1. All of your books sound like something my grandchildren would love to read. I'll have to buy them so they can enjoy them.
    Best of luck with your books.

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    1. Thank you, Janna. That's wonderful. I hope your grandkiddos will enjoy them <3

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  2. Thank you for the wonderful review, CB. I'm so glad you enjoyed all of the Bird Brains, and I'd love to talk with you more about possible opportunities to reaching out to the Character Counts programs you mentioned. In fact, I have a whole really cool presentation for elementary schools, which is detailed at www.EmlynChand.com/teachers

    Thank you for joining me on my GoddessFish tour, and if you have a moment to cross-post this review to Amazon and GoodReads, I'd really appreciate it. My big goal for 2013 is to get the Bird Brain Books on more parents' radars!

    Em <3

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  3. I love birds! Are there more planned in the series?

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