Friday, January 25, 2013

#Review: Bird Brain Books by Emlyn Chand

Today I'm reviewing children's books. As anyone who has read this blog in the past knows, I enjoy reading just about anything. I don't know if these are e-book only, I did read the epub version, but the stories are worth checking out.

The illustrations are exceptional, full color, and beautifully done. The stories are for early readers, beginning chapter books. I feel they're best read with the child, because who doesn't love reading to children? Plus there's a lot to grasp here--the child will take away certain themes and thoughts from the stories, but there is a deeper level that I think the adult will enjoy.

These books aren't simplistic, nor are they heavy-handed morality books that I'd never be able to finish! Rather, they're well written stories that take ideas we're all familiar with and treat them with care; not cliche, not ho-hum, but new takes on the tales we embrace.

About Emlyn:

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 for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!

Emlyn will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

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?

 What you have here is a bird superhero. Let's face it, superheros are hot no matter how old the child--or the child's gender. And a female super-heroine who likes to help? Neatness all around. I think the major themes of this story would be more appreciated by the parent/guardian-but its stories where both the adult and the child come away with something that make the story worth it. So while the adult can easily see the helping, the fitting in, the wanting to be someone themes, the child will see what it's like to help and be appreciated for it.

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.

Justice will prevail and treasure will be found in this intriguing tale of mystery.
Crow meets Sherlock Holmes, hires on Dr. Watson. Following a trail of clues, solving the mystery with facts not accusations, and finding the missing item; it's all about seeking the truth-- for kids. Perfect.

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.

It's all about attention, and each of us can relate to that, child or adult. But it's also about accepting others, and poor Poppy has to accept that before he can understand his own specialness. Yup, another lesson for children and adults.

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?

The phrase "Don't be greedy" would be apropos here, but maybe a little strong. The story isn't that heavy handed, which is what makes all these stories worth reading. I hate those bang over your head types of stories! Once again, Ms. Chand has brought an interesting story with a two-fold theme that is sure to catch the attention of child and adult alike.

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?

Who doesn't love helping? Saving the day? Just like Honey the Hero, Courtney is called up to step in. And why is a penguin in the North Pole you ask? Because she received a beautiful Christmas gift and just had to thank Santa--how thoughtful is that? When do we take the time to say thank you, let alone travel so far to do so? Lots going on here...


Mary Preston said...

It's always appreciated when children & adults can both take something away from the read.


Emlyn Chand said...

Thank you for the wonderful reviews, Isabel! I love when readers step out of their general genre comfort zones to check out my books, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the Bird Brain Books. YAY! Also loved your mention of the two-fold themes--I try ;-)

If you have a moment to cross-post these reviews to Amazon and GoodReads, I'd really appreciate it. Also let me know if you'd like a free review copy of the newest book in the series, Vicky Finds a Valentine.

Thank you again!
Em <3

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Ingeborg said...

I love the books especially Honey the Hero.


Lena said...

Vicky finds a Valentine, sounds great! Could you tell us more about your upcoming book?


MomJane said...

All these stories sound great. Liked the review.

Ami said...

I love this books, looking forward to read your new stories!


Emiliana25 said...

The book sounds wonderful, thank you for the review!


Anas said...

I love that you feature birds in your books. I had a budgy myself and they are very clever birds if one takes time to train them(mine loved ice cream and was the best alarmclock, lol).
Do you have a pet bird?

moonsurfer123 at gmail dot com

Lyra L7 said...

Your books look great, I'm going to recommend them to my friends with kids as well.

lyra.lucky7 AT gmail DOT com

Gala said...

They are cute looking and a delight to read.

galaschick78 at gmail dot com

Chelsea B. said...

Awww! So cute. Good luck with these books, Emlyn!


Karen H in NC said...

Thanks for your reviews.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Chelsea B. said...

These books sound like so much fun. I think you should always be able to take something away when it comes to childrens books.


flchen1 said...

I like the sounds of these--thanks for the heads up and the intro to Emlyn's writing!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

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