Q&A with Snarls (Star of) from Sir Princess Petra’s Mission


Kid Lit reviews is pleased to welcome Snarls, the Dragon from Sir Princess Petra’s Mission, Book 3 of The Pen Pieyu Adventures. The Kingdom of Pen Pieyu is located in a magical kingdom located in author, Diane Mae Robinson’s Garden Kingdom, located in Alberta Canada.

cover group seriesIn Book 1, Princess Petra wants to become a knight. Her parents are against it, so King Longstride writes new rules in the Kingdom’s Royal Ryle book designed to trip Princess Petra up, causing her to fail. She doesn’t. Soon, Princess Petra is known far and wide as Sir Princess Petra, the only knight in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu. Her one test involved taming the ferocious and widely feared, dragon. Petra tamed the loud dragon, making him her steed. That dragon was Snarls.


Hello Snarls. I hope you are fine this good day.

“Hey, why are you asking Snarls . . .”


Yes, Hello Petra. It’s good to see you, too. The questions are for Snarls this time . If you recall, you were interviewed here a couple years ago and just recently at the Insatiable Reader. You are welcome to sit in, but please, let Snarls answer the questions.

So, Snarls, you are a real, live, fire-breathing dragon, not a horse, yet Sir Princess Petra rides you as if you were a horse. She calls you her “steed.” What is it like for a dragon to be a steed? 

“Uhhhumm. Yeah, about that. First things first. I have something to clear up about this steed business. My author girl would have you believe, by her writings in book two, that my pink tassel saddle was all Petra’s idea. NOT SO! I picked out the saddle myself. It’s my way of saying I am a modern dragon. Sort of like the “man purse” thing in your world.

“Secondly, Petra would have you believe I had no choice in the matter of becoming a steed. NOT SO! It was totally my idea from the beginning.”

Book3-Nov.15 (1) (1)_page105_image12

What is it like being a dragon-steed?  Snarls?


Petra, please. Tickling Snarls tail is distracting.

Snarls, do you like being a dragon-steed?

“Oh, what was the question? Oh, never mind that . . . Since it was totally my idea to become the one, and only, and first ever, dragon steed . . . YES!I love my job. It was all my idea. I mentioned that, right?”

Readers know you are a fantastic cook. When not working as Petra’s steed, or as the chef-extraordinaire of the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu, what do you do to relax?

“I really like being near food, so I’m always happy to do more cooking and barbequing—I am the royal chef at the castle too. On my days off from cooking and steeding, I really enjoy rolling around in the mud. Mud is goopy and silky smooth. And it does wonders for scaly scales. But I have to be careful to clean off all the mud between my toes so Petra doesn’t find any. Petra either doesn’t like muddy toes or she thinks I like her picking mud out of my toes. And just for the record, I am fine with MANLY muddy toes.”

Book3-Nov.15 (1) (1)_page105_image7.


Petra? Did you want to say something?

“I’m sitting right here, Snarls.”

Yes, you are. Now, Snarls, Onions. King Longstride demands all knight-wannabes empty the onion room—by eating the onions—before deemed fit for knighthood. What is so darn important about onions?

“Well, as you all know, King Longstride is a little bit of a scatter brain and his rules in the royal rule book don’t always make sense. He did, although, make up that rule just weeks before Petra decided she wanted to become a knight.

“Hmmmm. Pet—

Hello!!!!! I’m right here!

“Hi, Petra. Didn’t see ya.

“I was saying Petra hates onions. Strange, don’t you think?”

Strange, indeed. I don’t know why anyone would HATE a harmless vegetable, such as an onion. Onions are pretty good in most dishes. Dishes. How many plates did Petra hide onions under when she supposedly ate all those onions?

“No pl-ate-s. What are pl-ates?”

Never mind. I’m sure your “writer girl” took some literary license with that scene.

“No literary licenses, but she has the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award in   Literary Arts (2112) for Sir Princess Petra.”

Speaking of Petra, on her latest Mission, (Sir Princess Petra’s Mission), Sir Bograt becomes MFA (Missing from Action) while at Hooble-Wooble Creek.

“Hobble-Wobble Creek.”


Right, right. I heard tell a rogue wave swept Sir Bograt down the river—


—off on a wild CREEK-wave. Snarls, you were there. What happened? What caused this freaky wave?

“Ewwwww. Hobble Wobble Creek is a scary place. Rumor has it that sheep have lost ears, cow have lost tails, and the odd peasant has lost a toe or two there—you know, the kind of place a bog witch could go missing in.

“Umm, errrr. Hey, what did you hear?”

Oh, just that someone or something plopped in the riv, er creek, causing a huge cannonball-like wave, taking Sir Bograt riding a giant wave down the course of Hooble-Wooble River.

“Hobble-Wobble Creek.”

That’s what I said. So . . .  

“ Are you blaming me for something?”


“I know nothing.”

Are you sure?


Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp.   SLAM!

What was that? [Oh, really? Okay.] It seems Petra has decided to wait for you outside.

“It’s raining. I should take her an umbrella.”


“What? Oh, the interview. My interview. Continue.”

On this last mission, Sir Petra, Sir (now missing) Bograt, and you are to capture a notoriously feared and possibly nonexistent car-panther, bringing it back to King Longstride. We know when not a steed, you can be found in the castle kitchen, just off the royal court, where the king and queen do whatever kings and queens do when sitting on a throne. Voices carry.

“I did overhear something, but it didn’t make sense.”


Did you hear what the King wants with a fear inducing car-panther?

“I heard the king and queen whispering about the usefulness of car-panthers and how the kingdom should acquire one to CLEAN UP the castle before the next shingding. Then Bograt blabbed about the notorious dragon-eating car-panthers. Well! You can see where I’m coming from when I thought the whole thing was to get rid of me.

“You can see that, right?”

Maybe Bograt is just upset about Wobble-Cobble Creek.

“Hobble-Wobble Creek.”

Let’s finish with 5 quick questions.

  1. Favorite person (other than Petra), at Kingdom Pen Pieyu.

“My favorite person, next to Petra of course, would have to be Duce Craplips. He wears pink armour and he crochets—he’s such a modern-day type prince. I don’t really care for blabber-mouth Bograt, or smarty-pants Norton Nastybun.”

snarls crablipsThe same missing Bograt from Hobble-Wobble Creek?

“Quick question two? Hurry, this is supposed to be quick!”

  1. Most feared Land or Kingdom.

“The swamp lands we went through in book three were pretty nasty. As you know, I had a misfortunate event there.” 


Yes, I know. At the Creek Hobbled Wobble.

“Geez. Hobble-Wobble Creek. And NO!

“It all had to do with Norton Smarty-Pants Nastybun!  He had his puny army stick me with arrows, in my butt! Totally humiliating!!!!!  It was just a totally uncalled for scene.”

  1. What frightens dragon-steeds?

“Falling rocks, being chased, indigestion. You know, the usual stuff.”

  1. Favorite Food.

“Onion anything.”

  1. Finally, what is Today’s Chef-Extraordinaire Special?

“Crimson-crust-onion-strawberry pie

Bouillabaisse served with leek-onion soufflé

Onion Omelette Ta-Da (my specialty)”

Sounds, uh, yummy?

Snarls, thank you for stopping by. It is always a pleasure. If she’s out there, say goodbye to Petra for me.

Book3-Nov.15 (1) (1)_page105_image21Snarls stars in Sir Princess Petra’s Mission, the latest volume of The Pen Pieyu Adventures, co-starring Princess Petra. It’s on sale now. Check out the rest of the stops on Snarls’ Book Blog Tour HERE

Pick up your own copy of Sir Princess Petra’s Mission
Amazon       Book Depository     Indie Books      Apple Books

Follow Diane Mae Robinson and All Her Magical Characters
Website   http://dragonsbook.com/ 
Blog   http://www.dianemaerobinson.com/
Twitter          @DianeMaeRobinso
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved


#845 – Sir Princess Petra’s Mission by Diane Mae Robinson

Welcome this snowy April day to Snarls’ Book Blog Tour! This is his third book in The Pen Pieyu Adventures series, Sir Princess Petra’s Mission.
banner2One big change in this series is the illustrator. New with Book 3 is artist and animator Michael Bermundo. The Pen Pieyu Adventures are published by Tate Publishing. Snarls’ Book Blog Tour is sponsored by Sue Morris from Kid Lit Reviews—ME! I keep thinking I am missing something (or someone). Something or one really important to the series. Oh, yes, All of the fabulous children’s book reviewers. Thank you all for participating in Snarls’ tour. Banner created by C. L. Murphy. Thank you!

Okay, now that’s settled. Wait . . . did I still miss someone? Who? Oh, the author. I forgot about the author? I thought Snarls was the author (it is his tour). He’s not? In that case, the most important person in Sir Princess Petra’s life, the author, is Diane Mae Robinson. How could I ever forget.


Book3-Nov.15 (1) (1)_page105_image1 Sir Princess Petra’s Mission
Series: The Pen Pieyu Adventures, Book 3
Written by Diane Mae Robinson
Illustrated by Michael Bermundo
Tate Publishing   1-12-2016
105 pages    Ages 7—9

“Sir Princess Petra has already attained her knighthood in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu and her non-princess-like talent certificate from Talent School, neither of which pleases her father and mother, the king and queen.

“The king writes up more silly rules in the royal rule book to deter Sir Princess Petra from her knightly ways and useless talent, and turn her into a real princess once and for all.

“Will the king finally succeed with this newly written, ridiculous mission for Petra?” [back cover]

Sir Princess Petra and friends return for the third and final of four installments of The Pen Pieyu Adventures. King Longstride continues add new, oddly worded rules to the “Royal Rule Book” trying to strip Sir Princess Petra of her knighthood. The King is so determined to keep Petra a princess he willing sends Petra to the Land of the Boogy Gobees, alone. Wait, did he say alone? ALONE! No Snarls? No Sir Bograt? No one by Petra’s side?

Then King decreed, (should Petra actually fail her mission),

Book3-Nov.15 (1) (1)_page105_image10“Hence if the hereby-stated should fail this royal seal-of-approval mission, which is of the utmost importance to the well-being of the kingdom shareholders—meaning me and the queen—the hereby-said Princess Knight will henceforth be required to relinquishment of the hereby-noted knighthood to the full completeness so as to render it null and never was.”

Could this get worse? Yep, if Petra has only 2 days to complete the mission and, should she “fail, forfeit, or give up” Sir Bograt, the bog witch, will lose her knighthood as well. Petra’s solo mission is to capture a “car-panther”—vicious scoundrels with saw-blade teeth reinforced with iron tips—and bring it back to Pen Pieyu Kingdom. (What will King Longstride do with such a dangerous animal?) Petra calls the King’s bluff and sets off on her mission. She travels deep into the forest, through the swamps surrounding Kingdom Mesoggie, and finally arrives at the Land of the Boogy Gobees.

Book3-Nov.15 (1) (1)_page105_image18As Petra enters the Land of the Boogy Gobees, her steed suddenly disappears. (Did I forget to mention how Petra—once again—outsmarts her father? Well, she did. Snarls and Sir Bograt are by Petra’s side. Wait, you should know, Bograt was lost at Hobble-Wobble Creek, swept away on a rogue wave and disappearing down the creek). Now alone, as her father wished, Petra must complete the mission.

Book3-Nov.15 (1) (1)_page105_image12Sir Princess Petra’s Mission may be the best installment of The Pen Pieyu Adventures. Robinson increased the number of unexpected twists, making them stranger and funnier. As is the norm in Kingdom Pen Pieyu, you will meet several characters, each one delightfully stranger than the last. Snarls, the dragon, has always been my favorite character. (Snarls, my friend, after three stories, you are looking perfectly plump.)

I love the word play, common in this series, and the goofy King and Queen. Petra is a great role model and a non-stereotypical character for girls. She wants her parents to accept her, as she is—a princess and a knight. Petra is respectful and considerate, has great self-esteem, and understands the King’s Royal Rule Book better than the King. Though The Pen Pieyu Adventures is a terrific series for girls, boys will find much to love as well, including characters such as Snarls the dragon (Petra’s Steed).

Book3-Nov.15 (1) (1)_page105_image7Sir Princess Petra’s Mission will keep reluctant readers entertained with its short chapters, broken up with interesting grayscale illustrations. At 105 pages, this is a fast read, though reluctant readers could easily finish one or two chapters a sitting, if not more. Bermundo’s illustrations enhance the story and bring the characters to life. Sir Princess Petra’s Mission is his debut children’s book. Michael Bermundo is also a student at, and will soon graduate from, University of Cebu with a degree in animation.

cover group seriesIf you are looking for a chapter book with non-stereotypical characters, intelligent word play, and kid-friendly humor The Pen Pieyu Adventures is the series you want. Each book in this three FOUR-book set is a stand-alone read, but to get the most out of The Pen Pieyu Adventures, read these award-winning, highly acclaimed chapter books in order:  Sir Princess Petra. Sir Princess Petra’s Talent, and finally today’s book, Sir Princess Petra’s Mission. You and your children will love the characters and the stories from Kingdom Pen Pieyu.

SIR PRINCESS PETRA’S MISSION (THE PEN PIEYU ADVENTURES, BOOK 3). Text copyright © 2016 by Diane Mae Robinson. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Michael Bermundo. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Tate Publishing, Mustang, OK.

AmazonBook DepositoryIndie BooksApple BooksTate Publishing

Find Sir Princess Petra’s Mission on Goodreads HERE.
The Pen Pieyu Adventures Website:  http://dragonsbook.com/
Coloring Pages for Kids are HERE.
Check Out This Review from Isabella.

Diane Mae Robinson:  http://www.dianemaerobinson.com/
Follow on Twitter          @DianeMaeRobinso

Michael Bermundo:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-bermundo-13a50187
Follow on Twitter

Tate Publishing:  https://www.tatepublishing.com/
Follow on Twitter          @TatePublishing

AWARDS for Sir Princess Petra (Book 1)
2012 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artists Award
2012 Purple Dragonfly Book Award
2013 Sharp Writ Book Award
2013 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award

AWARDS for Sir Princess Petra’s Talent (Book 2)
2014 Reader’s Favorite International Award
2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award
2015 Children’s Literary Classics “Seal of Approval”
2015 Children’s Literary Classics Book Award

Sir Princess Petra [reviewed here]
Sir Princess Petra’s Talent [reviewed here]
Sir Princess Petra’s Mission

Grammar for Kids and Dragons, an easy-to-understand grammar book for middle-grade children (dragons and adults too), will have all of the Pen Pieyu characters explaining the grammar lessons making this an easy and fun read, forthcoming 2016.


SIR PRINCESS PETRA’S MISSION (THE PEN PIEYU ADVENTURES, BOOK 3). Illustrations © 2016 by Michael Bermundo. Used by permission of Tate Publishing.




Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Sir Princess Petra’s Mission (The Pen Pieyu Adventures, Book 3) by Diane Mae Robinson & Michael Bermundo, and received from Tate Publishing, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sir Princess Petra is Back!

Just in! 

The trailer for Book 2: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent.

 If you haven’t gotten your copy of this adventure series about a unique knight, boldly going where girls rarely went in the daring time of knights and dragons, get it before they are all gone!  Dragons wait for no one!



Sir Princess Petra’s Talent


Author Diane Mae Robinson & Illustrator Samantha Kickingbird

original link (just in case): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89kQ_ztMfAo

Here is an excerpt, in case you really have not read this book yet: https://kid-lit-reviews.com/2013/10/06/review419-the-pen-pieyu-adventures-book-2-sir-princess-petras-talent-by-diane-mae-robinson/

Don’t know who Sir Princess Petra is? I’m aghast! Okay, take a look at this. Then take a look at, NO!, go read book 1: Sir Princess Petra. It is available everywhere good books for kids are sold.




Sir Princess Petra


original link (just in case, again):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-PmNBJL67A&feature=youtu.be

Sir Princess Petra’s Talent Tour: Thank You Bloggers

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A Huge Thank You!

The tour for Diane Mae Robinson’s second book in the Pen Pieyu Adventures, Sir Princess Petra’s Talent was a success thanks to all the wonderful bloggers who took part, writing wonderful reviews and posts, and conducting interesting interviews with Diane.

th2Agreeing to take part in a book tour and then remembering to write the post weeks or months later can be difficult, especially if you have a box of books needing reviewed, pages that need written, books needing marketed, or other commitments that need handled. It takes commitment to participate in a tour.


Believe me, I understand what it takes to participate in book tours and the expectations placed upon you. I th1understand how difficult it can be to write something negative about a book you know, though unspoken, a positive review is wanted and often expected. How do you say  you liked the book differently than the ten others before you who liked it, or that the characters were great, I loved the illustrations?

I do not have any of the answers. What I do know is that all of you delivered these past two weeks on every count. The reviews were original, with distinctive voices–your voices.  The interviews were different in questions and in tone. All were good. I think everyone did great. GREAT!


This was my first tour as the organizer. Everyone made this an enjoyable first experience. Sometimes it felt as if I had no clue what to do, or if what was happening was correct.  Each of you made this tour easy to run and came through beautifully, uniquely, graciously, and honestly.  You are my  literary champs.

Thank you!


#423 – The Pen Pieyu Adventures, Book 2: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent By Diane Mae Robinson

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Diane_Robinson_CoverIIThe Pen Pieyu Adventures, Book 2: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent

By Diane Mae Robinson

Samantha Kickingbird, illustrator

Tate Publishing


Back Cover:  Sir Princess Petra has already proven she is a kind and noble knight. This, however, does not please the king and queen—they want her to behave like a princess and forget this silly knight nonsense of hers! But when the king writes a new rule in the royal rule book that requires her to attend Talent School and acquire a princess talent certificate or suffer the spell of the royal magician, Petra, reluctantly, agrees to go. But who could have guessed what Sir Princess Petra’s Talent would be?

Opening:  Over the last several months, Longstride Castle had become quite accustomed to having the only snarls webPrincess Knight, well, the only knight actually, in the lands of Pen Pieyu. The king and queen held many parties in Petra’s honor, and royals and peasants alike acknowledged the Princess Knight’s kindness and bravery . . .

About the Story:  Princess Petra became a knight in book 1, much to her parent’s discontent. Now the king has thrown another curveball, He wrote another new rule in the royal rulebook designed to get Petra acting like a princess not a knight, a distinctly male occupation (though not one male in any of the kingdoms in Pen Pieyu could pass muster—for the job). Now, Sir Princess Petra must go to Talent School and learn a talent face rtbefitting a princess. King Longstride even makes sure Petra takes one of the talent classes the royal couple would like her to take.

Petra and her trusty steed Snarls, the new chef at the castle, go to Talent School, but not before running into a roadblock and then the school’s only instructor. King Asterman tries pushing Petra into every talent but the one she wants. On the way home, with a new friend in tow, the princess knight and her steed visit the Land of the Vast Wilderness, which contains several surprises for both Petra and the occupants of this strange land. The king and queen will not be pleased.

What I Thought:  I enjoyed this second edition of Sir Princess Petra and Snarls. There aredonkey many oddball characters, some silly situations, and a pair of determined parents. Attempts to control a strong-headed, yet kind and caring almost ten-year-old royal brings about goofy humor kids will like. Petra is a great role model for girls. She is determined to be herself, even if that means knocking down the kingdom’s patriarchal system and displease her equally determined parents.

I love Prince Duce Crablips and his girl worries. Nearing ten-years-old, Prince Duce is not ready to settle down or begin a six to eight year engagement. Petra has no idea Prince Duce even exists, let alone that he is her betrothed. Talent School is a disaster, considering the last of the donkeys have fled and King Asterman must run the school and teach the classes. I love reversal of traditional male/female roles, especially the humor that goes with this.

the 3

The illustrations are in black & white. The line sketches add substance to the story with characters much like those the reader will envision (at least this reader). Sir Princess Petra’s Talent, like the book before this, is a good choice for reluctant readers. The chapters are short and the story can be read in one sitting or in ten days at one chapter a day. It is also a great bedtime story for these same reasons. Beginning readers may need a little help, but will be on their way soon enough with the easy text.

Sir Princess Petra’s Talent could have spent more time on Petra pursuing her talent. I thought those scenes were too few considering it is the main topic of the second book. I thought Petra earned her certificate too easily and would have liked longer, more developed scenes. We learn little about the school and Snarls’ antics. One thing that confused me is the statement that Petra is the only knight in the lands of Pen Pieyu. Prince Crablips is called a strange knight . . . armour in different . . . his helmet was a weird . . .  Is Duce a Knightly Prince or just a prince who wears knight’s armor?

scrap snarls

Overall, I enjoyed the story and the story-within-the-story. The new characters had just the right quirks. Sir Princess Petra’s Talent is a great book for girls but boys will like Petra. She is what years from her time is called a tomboy. Boys her age (8-10), like girls who are not girly. The story is also a good choice for teachers that read a chapter at a time to their students. Each chapter has points worth discussing. Petra explains to King Asterman the different forms of poetry (ballad, sonnet, limerick), but gets cut-off. My favorite possible discussion point:

What is a story? somebody (in the kingdom), finally asked.

Petra answered . . . Stories tell a tale worth remembering . . .

If they do, Sir Princess Petra’s Talent is a story worth remembering.

The Pen Pieyu Adventures, Book 2: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent

By Diane Mae Robinson     website    blog

Samantha Kickingbird, illustrator    blog     linkedin

Tate Publishing    website    blog    news

Released September 24, 2013

ISBN:  978-1-62510-682-7

91 pages

Age 7 to 9


© 2013 by Tate Publishing, used with permission

Text copyright © 2013 by Diane Mae Robinson

Illustrations © 2013 by Samantha Kickingbird


petra book 2


Diane has a journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal and an advanced diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature. The author teaches acrylic and watercolor art to children, and is an instructor at the 2012-07-13 08.57.08Creative Writing Institute. She also works full time at a dental office

The author’s first book in this series, Sir Princess Petra – The Pen Pieyu Adventures, has won two prestigious awards: Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (literary arts) and a Purple Dragonfly Book Award. The book is short-listed for two other awards.








Interview#21b – Characters from Sir Princess Petra’s Talent by Diane Robinson

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To return to the original post, click HERE.

Thank you for clicking over and finishing this unusual interview, with a strange cast of characters from The Pen Pieyu Adventures, Book 2: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent. It now continues–

Hm. Moving on. King Longstride,  what is it like having a daughter who is also a knight? Petra is the first female knight and the first knight–the only knight–in the Kingdom?

klgtinyIt’s tough. What can I say? We’ve tried and tried to get her to behave like a normal princess—nada, nothing, not happening. If this is what the next generation is going to be like, well, the soldiers will put on aprons and girls will be fighting evil forces. It’s preposterous! I don’t know what the world is coming to!

Your Kingship, since the world has always been run by men, up to this point, and your kingdom is a mess, with dragons as steeds and all, would it not be worth a try having females run the things and have the males take over the household?

Little girl, my kingdom is not a mess! You are a loony! 

I beg your pardon!

It is so granted!

Huh? I wasn’t asking for forgiveness.  **never again will I interview characters. who’s loony?**

My wife, the Queen, has fainted at your aside. How dare you!



 Okay. King Longstride, your Queen is awake. Now tell us, why all the Royal Rule Book changes?  The first in centuries?

klgtinyHello Dear. Feeling better, dear? To answer your silly question, how else should a king deal with this Princess Knight fiasco—the first ever?

“Princess fiasco.” Your daughter has broken through the stone ceiling!

Yah, that’s it. Tell a king how to run his kingdom, will you? Why, if you ever visit, you’ll be thrown into the dungeons to think about your silliness for a while.

Good thing I am not in your kingdom then, which is not real, by the way.

NOT REAL! BLASPHEMY! You know not of what you say.


Do not tell me when to talk!

No, the phrase is “You know not of what you SPEAK.”

SPEAK! How dare this creature. Check the Rule Book on dealing with horrible creatures outside of the kingdom, AT ONCE!


Speaking of your rule book, again, have you been able to accomplish your goals with these changes and additions to the book? 

klgtinyNot yet, but the royal magician and the royal councilman have agreed to put their great minds together and come up with something fast, or else!

“Or else” sounds drastic. I am surprised a King of your stature would rely on magicians and politicians to take care of a problem, let alone a perceived problem about your princess.

**whispering to royal councilman** Find out where she lives and bring her to me.


So King,  you and your wife cannot handle your daughter and this “troubling” problem (troubling in that there is really no problem). Petra is a knight. A knight protects the kingdom. Petra is a princess and will be the next Queen, whose job it is to protect the kingdom. Where is the problem?  The two careers are basically the same.

klgtinyNo problem, you say?  **whispering to royal magician** (whiisss, isssss, whissssy)

Get the magic man off the stage.  Nice try King.

**whispering** (Is she right? No, yes, which is it? What do you mean she makes sense! You run the, uh, you write the royal rule book. Oh, my! Then what should I say?)

.Is there something you would like to say, your Majesty?

No. Yes, there is! *whispering* Yes, I want to say that Petra is a great Princess, but we do not need any knights in my kingdom. Problem solved.

Really, your kingdom does not need protection?

Maybe at night, but Petra’s bedtime is 9 PM. She cannot patrol the grounds.


Daddy! Snarls watches over the kingdom at night.



There then! No knights needed. Petra hang up your costume. No further books are needed. The series is done! This “interview” is done!


dmr b


King Longstride, sir! You do not have control over the series. You are my character and exist at my leisure.


Who is this woman? Why is she telling me what will happen? 

King Longstride, she is your author.

My what?!

Your author. She writes your story, controls what you do, what you say, and also for everyone else in and out of your kingdom.

So, she controls you!  Don’t faint dear, it will be alright. Royal Councilman, catch my wife! 

Ah, no, only the characters in her books, like you.

I am no one’s CHARACTER! You shall be fined for such slander!


Send me a bill. Moving on, who influenced you to make these royal rulebook changes and why did you give in to her, uh him?

klgtinyWhy do you presume that my wife can tell me what to do? I am the king! Who told you such a thing? Did she tell you that?

I did not mention the Queen.  Could this ghost ruler be Bograt, or the maybe the magician you just whispered to? Who are you hiding? Another author?

NO! I am the king! I can do what I want! Stop pestering me! GUARDS!

Let’s ask your wife. Queen Longstride, how do you feel about your daughter trailblazing for all woman by being the first knight in any kingdom?

qlgOhhhhh, I don’t feel so good . . .

Do you need a doctor?  A magician? A councilman-politician?

I need my daughter to act like a princess! . . . ohhhhh, everything’s twirling, twirling . . .


Queen Longstride are your fainting spells due to a real condition or is this your attempt to manipulate Petra?


She is out like a light, again!  And on my foot. Can someone remove the Queen from my foot?


klgtinyRoyal councilman, here, poke her with this scepter.

Thank you, King Longstride.


Yes, Snarls, I am coming back to you. How do you feel about the following statements:

1. You are an impatient dragon.

as22That’s not true, I am not imp. . . whatever.

2. You are a gourmet cook who loves to binge on Mars Bars.

You news hounds, you’re all alike. Okay, I’ll tell you a story. I went to visit this girl I like—her name is, Babbling Suzy, and she doesn’t cook. All she had was these Mars Bars things to eat.  Now, through no fault of my own, I am (shhhh) an addict. We don’t have Mars Bars things here. I’m crawling out of my hide. I NEED THEM. HELP!

Uh, yes or no would have been okay! Blaming others for the crack in your character. Is this the real reason the editing took so long? {Corrected the response, which was fine, since that is how I talk but you wanted it changed so I changed it. Now please stop threatening to pull the interview. okay, Ms. picky author?!}

Why NO!

Were the long absences due to your addiction?


Were you on a chocolate binge when the author was trying to edit the last few pages and needed your help?

NO!! Okay, okay, okay already! It’s not Babbling Suzy’s fault! That’s what you want to hear, right?


Princess Petra seems to walk next to you on much of her journeys, rather than ride. Illustrations often prove this. Hey! Don’t argue, just answer please. And no fire!

as22Oh My Holy Grail, you are annoying! Okay, I’ll tell you. It’s kind of embarrassing. Will you keep it hush-hush?

Sure. *rolling eyes*

It’s that ridiculous rash thing–it’s all over my backend and backside. I just can’t seem to get rid of it—even with the royal magician’s special salve. I think I might be allergic-like to the pink-tassel saddle. Considering the rash is embarrassing enough, just think how I feel about wearing a pink-tasseled thing?

A rash, you say. And you went to a magician to help with this rash.

Of course. Where else would the author send me?

Hm,  to a doctor in the dragon world, your world?

Yes I can, but I’m not going to. Ha!

Again with the magician! Really, your powers do not work outside of the book.   Didn’t the author explain this to you?

wlgI’ll get it right sooner or later.

What spell are you trying to cast?

I’m testing out a spell where the villain’s toes fall off. Ha,ha!

And you think I am a villain?

Who said anything about you? Now that I know you may be a villain, that spell should come in handy.

I am simply a book blog hostess, asking questions of characters in a new book.

What’s a blog hoser, er. . . um . . . hostess?

You do realize you are just a character, a figment of your author’s imagination?

The king is right—you are silly!


Sir Princess Petra, please give us a hint about what is to happen in book 3?

ptiny2It is about time you called me by my official name. Now, Father has written new rules, I know he has. On his writing desk, I glimpsed the words: Mission; Falling-Off Toes; The Kingdom of the Boogy Gobees; and Carpenters (whatever that is). Who knows what’s up. I’ll be ready. Ha!

I am sure you will, your Knightly Highness, I am sure you will.  How many more books before your story is finished? 

I’m in a story? Whoa!

Whoa, indeed! You are a figment of an author’s imagination (in case you were not reading the last question).  


**whispering to royal councilman**  What in all the kingdom is she talking about?


Thank you for reading this interview. I want to thank the Pen Pieyu characters for stop–  What? Really? *sigh*

Okay. Okay, Alright!  Snarls, here is your last question. Because of a rock you became the royal steed.

as22That’s a statement!

**why did I agree to this**  Here is a question. How did that rock trap your tail in book 1?

Really? Do you have to know everything? . . . Okay, I’ll tell you. It was my first real fire-blast from my nostrils. And it was big, I mean, HUGE! Very professional. That is until the blast hit the rocks above my cave. Darn embarrassing predicament I got into there.

I’ll say it’s embarrassing.  Speaking of embarrassing, why can you not control your fire?

Well, actually, I was an early fire-breather—just 3 years old. That could be the reason the fire is not so, well, refined yet.

An early fire-breathing dragon?

OH, you wrote the question wrong and so I misunderstood it.


as22Okay, truth is I was a late-fire breather, according to the dragon growth chart. My aim in not yet perfected and sometimes when I sneeze . . . ah-ah-CHOO!




Well, thank you, I think, for stopping by! *and ruining the set*


What, my dear, did you say? 

I said thank you, King Longstride and company, for stopping by what . . . is . . . left . . . of the set.

Oh, you are welcome, dear. qlg

as22Me, too. Sniff-sniff, So sorry. And this was my first interview.

*And your last.*  Hey! Watch the fire, pal!

ptiny2Thank you for having us. I apologize for my trusted steed, Snarls. He really makes a better steed than a dragon. Please read our newest book in the Adventures of Pen Pieyu, Book 2:  Sir Princess Petra’s (that’s me) Talent.

You can get a copy at AmabigaBarbs & Nobility, and the Castle Gift Shop. Oh, and probably a few places in your world, too.

ALL ILLUSTRATIONS BY SAMANTHA KICKINGBIRD, the official illustrator for The Adventures of Pen Pieyu Series.


To return to the original post, click HERE.

For the Book BLog Tour Schedule, click HERE!

To read an excerpt from Book 2 of the Pen Pieyu Adventures: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent, click HERE!

2012-07-13 08.57.08Author Diane Robinson has a journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal and an advanced diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature. The author teaches acrylic and watercolor art to children, and is a tutor at the Creative Writing Institute. She also works full time at a dental office

The author’s first book in this series, Sir Princess Petra – The Pen Pieyu Adventures, has won two prestigious awards: Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (literary arts) and a Purple Dragonfly Book Award. The book is shortlisted for two other awards.

Author’s website at: http://www.dragonsbook.com

Author’s Blog  http://dianemaerobinson.com

Interview: Characters Snarls and Sir Princess Petra

Tour Banner

[Please note, questions run from green hashtag (~~~~), to green hashtag. Questions are in light print and answers are in bold. The speaker remains the same until a new photo appears. This interview contains NO SPOILERS.]


Kid lit Reviews would like to welcome some of the cast of characters from The Adventures of Pen Pieyu, Book 2: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent. They rode onto the studio set and demanded, uh requested, an interview–a long interview–and we are more than peeved, uh pleased, to bring that to you now. before Snarls burns down the set

Snarls the Dragon, I heard, from a reliable source, you were not going to be in book 2. How did you change the author’s mind?

as22Where do you people get your information? That’s not true! You are celebrity hounding!  I was always and will always and forever and ever be in that humiliating-me-by-making-me-wear-a-pink-tasseled-saddle writer’s books!  snort . . . oops . . . fire & smoke. . . errrrr . . . . ouch!

Writer’s” books. Do you not know the name of your writer and best friend?

Yah, I know her name. “Diane The Embarrasser.”

Folks have been calling her “Diane the Embarrassed!”  hehe


ptiny2Sir Princess Petra, what would have been your steed had Snarls not been in book 2?

Well, the royal mule, Heinz Backfire, is quite fuzzy and cute, and he’s not even very mulely-like—he listens. Well, he is a little stinky, and a bit short, but he’s not a fire hazard, you know what I mean?. . . hmm . . . I might have picked him.

as22Snarls,  any response to this?

What?? (crossing arms, looking the other way) NO!!! YES!! Heinzy Backfire does nothing but backfire air out his rear end. What kind of steed does that? Sheesh!

Uh, one that does not blow fire out of its nose?!


ptiny2 Princess Petra, do you have any nicknames by other kids, maybe something like, perhaps, “PP?”

You’re funny. Why would anybody call me ‘PP’?  That would be rude. My initials are P.B.L. for Petra Brettania Longstride named after my Nan, Brettania May Longstride. You know, the storyteller. NOBODY calls me ‘PP’ and gets very far around here. Are you calling me, ‘PP’? Or are you just asking?

Why, just asking, of course, your highness, er  Your Knightly Highness.

All the better for you, I’d think.

as22Uh, okay, okay. Snarls, any nicknames?

No, but some people call Petra . . . ready for it? . . . Coyote.

Why Coyote? Does she occasionally howl?

ptiny2Of course I don’t howl. I’m a knight! Well, I do have very messy hair–I think that’s why they call me Coyote. What kind of knight has time for silly nice hair?                                             


Princess Petra, this question is for Snarls.  Story Book Times ran a feature– Excuse me! Who are you?

wlgI am the King’s magician waving arms around and I am here to stop this nonsense!

Someone get this clown out of here.

Hey, let go of me! Why I–

Thanks Bograt.          

As I was saying. Story Book Times ran a feature story on the writing of book 2 and mentioned your behavior, specifically you went missing for long periods of time during the editing phase, causing a longer release date. What do have to say about this?

ptiny2Well, I nearly had my foot chopped off by a wayward axe—that took awhile to heal. Then I had a crocodile to train at my cousin’s house. After that, Snarls had a bad rash on his backside that he couldn’t reach and I had to take care of . . .oh, you were asking Snarls.

Yes , Princess, again, the question is for Snarls.

Thanks a lot, “PP”. Way to go. Let the world know about my, umm . . . predicament. Darn nasty, itchy as22rash had me floating in the moat for weeks.                                                                    


Princess Petra, this question is for you. You have met many oddball characters on your trips through the forest. Who is your favorite, least favorite and why?

ptiny2Now look what you started? You got Snarls calling me “PP”. Really! I shouldn’t even answer your questions anymore if you’re going to make trouble. thinking  I guess I like Prince Nastybun the most because he danced with me. I don’t like that giant hawk that lives in The Forest of Doom—that hawk thinks he can just dive-bomb people. And besides, that hawk hangs out with a bunch of bees. I hate bees.

Thank you, and I am so sorry Snarls has adopted the nickname PP, your Highness PP.

Are you calling me “PP” and laughing at me?

I am laughing your magician over there, waving his hands like he has powers outside the book.

He is my father’s magician, not mine. Knights do not need magicians.

Snarls, who are your favorites and why?

as22I like Bograt. She doesn’t yammer on and on, and she likes onions, and I like onions. I need onions so I can create my world-famous onion recipes. You do know that I have a world-famous-onion-chef resume, right? I don’t much care for King Asterman—he’s kind of uptight, you know?

So, this King Asterman does not like any of your onion recipes? Speaking of onion recipes, what is the most common reaction when others eat your concoctions?

Well, of course, he does, everybody loves my cooking! I’m a world renowned chef  . . . what did you hear about my concoctions?

Uh, King Asterman, he said—

King Asterman is a blunder head!


Hm. Moving on. King Longstride,  what is it like having <–TO CONTINUE READING CLICK HERE–>

ptiny2Thank you for having us. I apologize for my trusted sneed, Snarls. He really makes a better steed than a dragon. Please read our newest book in the Adventures of Pen PieyuBook 2:  Sir Princess Petra’s (that’s me) Talent.

You can get a copy at Amabiga Barbs & Nobility, and the Castle Gift Shop. Oh, and probably a few places in your world, too.

ALL ILLUSTRATIONS BY SAMANTHA KICKINGBIRD, the official illustrator for The Adventures of Pen Pieyu Series.


For the Book BLog Tour Schedule, click HERE!

To read an excerpt from Book 2 of the Pen Pieyu Adventures: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent, click HERE!

2012-07-13 08.57.08Author Diane Robinson has a journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal and an advanced diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature. The author teaches acrylic and watercolor art to children, and is a tutor at the Creative Writing Institute. She also works full time at a dental office

The author’s first book in this series, Sir Princess Petra – The Pen Pieyu Adventures, has won two prestigious awards: Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (literary arts) and a Purple Dragonfly Book Award. The book is shortlisted for two other awards.

Author’s website at: http://www.dragonsbook.co

Author’s Blog  http://dianemaerobinson.com

Book Blog Tour for Ms. Diane Robinson and Sir Princess Petra’s Talent

Kid Lit Reviews is proud to sponsor the Book Blog Tour for Ms. Diane Robinson and her latest book, Sir Princess Petra’s Talent. This is the second book in The Pen Pieyu Adventures. Please follow the tour as it makes it way through these wonderful websites and blogs.

Tour Banner.

To read an EXCERPT of Sir Princess Petra’s Talent go HERE!


September 24th

http://thebookelfsnook.blogspot.com/  review

http://nikki-bennett.com/blog1  interview

September 25th

http://insatiablereaders.blogspot.com review

http://nayusreadingcorner.blogspot.co.uk  review & giveaway

September 26th

http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com  review

http://mydevotionalthoughts.net/ review

http://mommynificent.com    review

September 27th

http://whenigrowupiwannawriteakidsbook.blogspot.com/  review

http://talesofabookworm.com review

September 28th

Mrsbbooks2011.blogspot.co.uk  review

mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot   interview

September 29th

http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/  Book Blast / Meet the Author

http://kid-lit-reviews.com   interview

September 30th

http://shareessentiments.blogspot.com/  review

http://www.melindatfalgoust.doodlekit.com  review

October 1st

http://acsreadershaven.blogspot.com/  review & giveaway

http://chatwithvera.blogspot.com  revuew & giveaway

http://www.bookwormforkids.blogspot.ca  review & giveaway

October 2nd

http://lovablelobo.wordpress.com  interview

http://alibrarymama.wordpress.com   review

October 3rd

http://thatartsyreadergirl.blogspot.com   review

http://www.gabriellemazurbooks.com   review

October 4th

http://dianeestrella.com/  review

http://literarycreature.wordpress.com   review

October 5th

http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/  review & giveaway

http://swlothian.com/   review

October 6th

www.bound4escape.com  review & giveaway

http://kid-lit-reviews.com   review

October 7th

http://whenigrowupiwannawriteakidsbook.blogspot.com/   interview

http://allisonsbookbag.wordpress.com/   review

October 8th

http://themysteryofnidavalley.com  review


October 9th



2012-07-13 08.57.08.





Ms. Diane Robinson

Diane has a journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal and an advanced diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature. The author teaches acrylic and watercolor art to children, and is a tutor at the Creative Writing Institute. She also works full time at a dental office

The author’s first book in this series, Sir Princess Petra – The Pen Pieyu Adventures, has won two prestigious awards: Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (literary arts) and a Purple Dragonfly Book Award. The book is shortlisted for two other awards.

Author’s website at: http://www.dragonsbook.co

Author’s Blog  http://dianemaerobinson.com

Excerpt: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent

While the Kid Lit Reviews reviewer takes time off to recover from foot surgery, we are pleased to present a very special post from Diane Robinson’s soon to be released Sir Princess Petra’s Talent from her Pen Pieyu Adventure Series.  This is an excerpt from chapter one.

 talent lighter version      The Royal Rule Book, Again

Excerpt from Chapter 1

      .   .Petra awoke to the sound of the royal councilman’s bugle.  She hastily dressed in leggings and a tunic full of rips and holes from a recent jousting practice and scurried to the royal throne room.

.   ..   .The king and queen of Pen Pieyu sat on their ragged, leather thrones.  Her mother had a nervous look about her, and her father, a sly grin.  The royal councilman was running in circles until he came upon the royal rule book, which lay under Claymore, the royal mastiff.


.    .   .Somehow, Petra thought, the royal rule book looked much thicker than last she had seen it.  That could only mean trouble.  Petra rolled her eyes and gave a little moan.

.  . .   .“Father, Mother,” Petra said with a bow, “you summoned me?”

.   ..   .“Yes, my little Princess Knight,” her father replied, rather surly, as he watched the royal councilman point to a section in the royal rule book.  The king stood, cleared his throat, then bellowed out, “It is hereby written that all Princess Knights of the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu must attend Talent School before their tenth year of age.  They will be sent to the Land of Lost Donkeys and, under the instruction of King Asterman, learn a talent fit for a princess.  After which time, the hereby-said princess—meaning you—will return to the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu with a proper princess talent and a certificate.”

.   ..   .Petra felt her face flush and her manners fly out the window.  “That is ridiculous!  I am a royal knight since I have accomplished the deed of hushing the howling dragon, Snarls, in the Forest of Doom.  I should be treated as a royal knight and not this sissy princess stuff!  And, besides, you just wrote that part—”

.   ..   .“Silence!” the king roared.

.   ..   .The royal councilman’s eyes grew extremely wide.  He flipped the page of the royal book and scan0002backed away.

.   ..   .The king gave his you-had-better-be-quiet glare toward Petra, then continued to read, loudly,   “The hereby-said Princess Knight will acquire a talent certificate or be in forfeit of this royal rule.  Forfeiting this royal rule will entitle the royal magician to turn the hereby-said Princess Knight into a frog to live in the bogs for a period of five years.”  The king smirked and plopped back onto his chair.

.   ..   .“You made that all up!”  Petra gave her best that’s-not-fair stare.  “Our kingdom has never had a Princess Knight, nor any knight for that matter, before me.  And as if a person can be turned into a frog.”  She wondered about this for just a moment.  “At any rate, I would rather be a frog than learn to crochet!”  Petra blurted and crossed her arms.

Book 1: Sir Princess Petra proved to be an awarding experience for Ms. Robinson. She was awarded the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artists Award for Children’s Book Author, took 2nd place in the Purple Dragonfly Book awards for Children’s Chapter Book, and is a finalist in the 2013 Readers’ Favorite International Awards for Children Grade K – 3rd.

Diane Robinson’s Book 2: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent will be available on September 24, 2013.  Starting then, she will also begin a book blog tour that will run until the 8th of October.  Kid Lit Reviews is pleased to review the book and interview one of the main characters, but also to host Ms. Robinson’s book blog tour.Finished #1

website:  http://www.dianemaerobinson.com/

blog:  http://www.dragonsbook.com/

Twitter:    @DianeMaeRobinso (not a typo – forget the ‘n’)
Once in a royal era, along comes a truly noble story that is charming and majestic, while embracing timeless values through a deeper message.

An honorable and worthy message about believing in yourself, the acceptance of others, and the grace of kindness.  This is that story.

talent lighter version.


Sir Princess Petra’s Talent

Diane Mae Robinson

Tate Publishing

September 24, 2013


#69 – Sir Princess Petra The Pen Pieyu Adventures by Diane Mae Robinson

 5 stars

Princess Petra’s birthday request sends the court into a frenzy, but when she agrees to undertake a knight’s quest they can’t stop her.  Armed with a cake knife and outfitted in the best royal pots and pans, Petra sets off to face a dragon and win her real armor before encountering a bog witch, and an army of the kingdom’s worst enemies.  Will Petra’s kindness and acceptance prove to be more valuable than weapons and armor?

Petra is the Princess of Pen Pieyu.  It is September ninth, Petra’s ninth birthday, more appropriately called her “royal birthday.”  Her father, the King, tells Petra she can have “anything your heart desires.”  So what does a little Princess choose?  Diamonds?  Jewels?  Barbie’s Palace?  A Royal Playground?  Nope, Petra decides she wants to become a knight.  The King tells her she cannot because not only is she a Princess, she is a . . . girl.

“Where is it written that a girl cannot be a knight?”  Petra asks.  They check the Royal Rulebook and no, nothing about a girl not being a knight.  Ah, but to be a knight, Petra must prove she is brave by performing an act of bravery.  She chooses to quiet the howling dragon.  Petra suits up in her temporary, makeshift armor and heads out to the Forest of Doom to hush Snarls.

Sir Princess Petra is one of those stories that will appeal to most everyone.  It is charmingly funny.  Petra sets out to prove she has what it takes to be a royal knight and proves she can do nearly anything.  Snarles, the howling dragon, is endearing and lovable.  If stuffed, sitting on a toy store shelf, every kid would want him.  The story is short enough to be read in one sitting, say at bedtime.  There are many opportunities for humorous, wacky, high-pitched voices, making Sir Princess Petra fun to read aloud.  The author’s imagination is appropriately childlike.  Petra is a child every parent will love.  I know a child would have sweet, funny dreams after hearing mom or dad read this at bedtime.

The illustrations are pencils drawings with wonderful shading and highlights.  Petra is a strong character, yet the artist renders her sweetly, catching the child’s emotions perfectly.  Snarls, the nasty, horrifying, dangerous dragon Petra sets out to conquer, looks the part until Petra sways him with her charms, and then helps him escape a predicament no one could expect.  It is just one plot twist, which will entertain and amuse the reader.  I hope Ms. Robinson continues her Pen Pieyu adventures.

Sir Princess Petra
Author:  Diane Mae Robinson
Illustrator: Samantha Kickingbird
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Number of Pages:  68
ISBN: 978-1-6134-6264-5



#815 – The Night Parade by Johnny DePalma & Kyle Brown

This week has been busy, moving furniture around two rooms, setting up new televisions and sound. It was all more than I thought it would entail. Despite what is left to accomplish, KLR will be back on track come Monday (4-5 reviews / M-F).

I am looking for bloggers interested in joining a book blog tour for Diane Robinson’s third installment in The Pen Pieyu Adventures:  Sir Princess Petra’s Mission. The chapter book will be available as a PDF, and eBook, or a physical copy. The tour will run in March. Diane is also running a contest for bloggers who review her book. Interested Email me at smorris@kid-lit-reviews.com

petra book 3Synopsis: Sir Princess Petra has already attained her Knighthood  in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu and her non-princess-like Talent Certificate from Talent School, neither of which pleases her father, the king. The king writes up more silly rules in the royal rule book to deter Sir Princess Petra from her knightly ways and useless talent , and turn her into a real princess once and for all.

Today’s review is for The Night Parade, an interesting bedtime tale about dreams and nightmares. Where do they go? Will they return?

the night parade coer The Night Parade
Written by Johnny DePalma
Illustrated by Kyle Brown
Umbrelly Books    9/14/2015
40 pages    Ages 4—8

“DePalma’s latest rhyming masterpiece, The Night Parade, has the distinct feeling of an instant classic. With stunning illustrations by Kyle Brown that beautifully capture and blend the orchestrated chaos and whimsy of a world where dreams and nightmares run free. This simple, yet elegant tale reminds both the young, and the young at heart, that our dreams are always out there, waiting for us to find them.” [amazon description]

The Night Parade is a rhyming bedtime story about where your dreams go and why they are often difficult to remember come morning’s light. The Night Walker, for lack of an established name, roams the streets at night, gathering dreams, keeping them hidden, leaving you wondering if you even dreamt. He gathers all the nightmares and most of the good dreams, but can, on occasion, leave a “strange or exciting” dream “for you to ponder.”


The beautiful illustrations are in shades of purple, giving the scenes a definite night-time feel. As the “Night Walker” gathers dreams they float behind him as he walks the streets. All sorts of objects represent these dreams (rocket, unicorn, elephant, lion, toy train, and a crown, among others), including clouds shaped as objects. The image on the cover (also an interior page) is of a dream breaking through a bedroom window. That is a tad disturbing.


The rhyming has a good meter and is well-written, though the story could have ended at several points. Instead, the last three spreads drag on, as if it is searching for a way to end itself. I am not quite sure how these dreams, taken and placed in safe hiding, come true, yet the last verse says it is so.

“So, sleep, my child, for when you wake,
your dreams have all come true.
They’re out there playing hide-and-seek,
just waiting there for you.”

7 (2)

The Night Parade tries hard to be a fable, but I think the abstract, almost absurd concepts jumble the overall message. The Night Walker takes away our nightmares—a good thing for kids—and then the dreams—“consider it a favor”—to keep our brains uncluttered and “protected from the nightmares.” The author is trying to reassure kids that bedtime and dreaming are safe and often wondrous. Adults that enjoy abstract, artsy picture books will love The Night Parade. (Illustrator Kyle Brown’s first children’s book.)

THE NIGHT PARADE. Text copyright © 2015 by Johnny DePalma. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Kyle Brown. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Umbrelly Books, Campbell, CA.

Purchase The Night Parade at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksApple BooksUmbrelly Books.

Find The Night Parade on Goodreads HERE.
The Night Parade Facebook page is HERE.

Meet the author, Johnny DePalma, at his website:  http://johnnydepalma.com/
Follow the author on Twitter      @johnnydepalma
Meet the illustrator, Kyle Brown, at instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/kidfromid/
Follow the artist on Twitter

Amazon Best Selling Book 2015

Also by Johnny DePalma
The Raindrop Keeper (art: Molly Crabapple)
Young Cupid! (art: Molly Crabapple)
Once Upon a Christmas Tree – A Holiday Fairy Tale (art: Molly Crabapple)

THE NIGHT PARADE. Illustrations © 2015 by Kyle Brown. Used by permission of Umbrelly Books.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: The Night Parade by Johnny DePalma & Kyle Brown, and received from Umbrelly Books, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Guest Post: Children’s Book Categories by Diane Mae Robinson

Today’s post is a guest post by Diane Mae Robinson, award-winning author of the Pen Pie Yu Series with Sir Princess Petra and her trusty steed, Snarls. I appreciate Diane filling in at the last moment after I awoke with the yuckies. Diane is reviewing genres in children’s writing.

NOW, with a cough and a wheeze), I present Ms. Diane Robinson!  yeah! yeah! cough. yeah.

Book Categories in Children’s Books

There are several different types of children book categories and sub-categories. The writing style and word count is different in each type of category. The following list is a general guideline of the categories, and these guidelines may vary by publisher.

Board books/ Toy books:  Ages newborn to 3 years. These books are for the youngest of listeners and are meant to engage their minds in learning with textures, pop ups, flaps, noise makers, and lively illustrations. The words in these books are more about the sound they make when spoken by the reader. These books can have one word or just a few words per page.

Toddler books/ Concept books: Ages 3 – 5 years. Introducing basic learning through shapes, colors, alphabets, animals, and people, these books have a stronger emphasis on the words than the previous category.  The images and interaction of the book are still the main focus for the child. These books average 200 – 300 words and are often in the form of the board book format.

Early picture books:  Ages 4 – 6 years. Often referred to as picture story books,these are books written to be read to preschool and kindergarten children. The words are still simple but more intriguing with their sounds.  The word count is between 200 – 1000 words with just a few lines per page and a simple plot. The color illustrations on every page are still the main focus for telling of the story. Pages vary as per content–usually less than 32 pages.

Picture books/Easy readers:  Ages 5 -7 years.  Early picture book are books written for children just starting to read on their own. These books have between 500- 1500 simple words (1000 words being the average) and have a stronger focus on an entertaining story through the story’s action and dialogue. Color illustrations are still on every page or every other page. These books are usually 32 pages.

Early chapter books:  Age 6 – 9 or 7 – 10 years. The story is divided into chapter of 2 – 3 pages per chapter.  The plotting and characters become more complex than a picture book, but not too much that the child loses interest.  Theme and style of writing grab the child’s attention. Most chapter books for this age group still include some illustrations, usually black and white, but not on every page. The word count can be up to 10,000 words and up to 65 pages.

Middle grade chapter books: Written for children 8 – 12 years of age, the characters and plotting of the story becomes more complex as the topics have a wider range and the writer has more leeway to include some narration and descriptive setting, introduce more characters, and add dramatic effects to the theme and style of writing.  Chapters are 3 -4 pages each with few illustrations or no illustrations. Kid get hooked on character at this stage of reading. Word count can be up to 20,000 words within 65 – 200 pages.

Young adult books: Often referred to as YA books or  juvenille novels, are written for readers 12 and up, 14 and up, and 17 – 18 years.Topics and language vary greatly. Most YA books have an adolescent protagonist where the focus is on plotting, character and setting, while theme and style often take second place. Plotting can have subplots with several major characters, although, one character should still emerge as the focus of the story. Harry Potter books are consider YA novels.

Whatever age group your intended audience, the main character of your story should be a little older than the intended audience.

feather penVisit my author’s website to learn more about my dragon books for children:  http://www.dragonsbook.com
And Diane’s Homemade Blog http://www.dianemaerobinson.com/


If anyone would like to guest post, please send it to me using my email address, if you know it, or the Contact Form.  (Navigation bar to the right). Thanks.


Guest Post: Point of View Storytelling by Diane Mae Robinson

Welcome Diane Robinson

Author of The Pen Pieyu Adventures

Point of View in Storytelling

petra edit 

Point of View (P.O.V.) in a story depends on how the main character is presented.

In first person, the book is told directly by the main character:
I am a dragon. I entertain people. That is my destiny.

In second person, the story is presented as if the reader is the main character:
You get dresses, you eat breakfast, you go wrestle a dragon—it’s all in a day’s work.

In third person, the main character is referred to by name:
Petra wondered at this for a moment. “Really? Is it possible that a dragon could be turned into a frog? “

First Person Narrative
First person point of view instantly connects the reader with the main character, but often results in too much “telling” and not enough “showing.”
In the First person point of view, it is difficult to write about the physical description of the main character. In older writings writer’s reverted to the “looked in the mirror” description, which is shunned in modern writing.
First person point of view does allow the humor and thoughts of the main character to come through and the reader connects more readily with the main character.

Second Person Narrative

Second Person point of view is the least used form of writing books. Second person P.O.V. is difficult to maintain throughout a whole book and can produce awkward prose. This point of view is best used in blog posts.

Third Person Narrative

 Third Person P.O.V. is the most common form of narration.

Third person restricted has nearly as much closeness with the main character as first person but it is easier to avoid too much telling. The challenge to third person restricted is to keep the views only of the main character and not getting into and telling the thoughts of other characters.

One challenge with third person restricted is limiting the story to scenes where the main character is present. This often requires creative plotting; to write the scenes around the main character. But doing so usually works out better than switching viewpoint characters. Switching viewpoint characters can and is done, but the difficulty of sustaining alternative views is that the reader can get lost within the different character’s identities.

Third Person omniscient is the rarest form of writing because it tends to obscure the main character. This type of P.O.V. knows all, and the writer reads into the thoughts of both minor and major characters. The reader does gain obscure knowledge of  the other characters, but the more times a writer switches the P.O.V., the less the reader will care about the main character.

A few other points on P.O.V.

book 1mm
Book 1 in the series, Sir Princess Petra is available now.  (click for review)
Book 2 in the series, Sir Princess Petra’s Talent will be released September 2013
Visit Diane’s author’s website: http://www.dragonsbook.com

Where Do Characters Come From?


Kid Lit Reviews welcomes award-winning children’s writer, Diane Mae Robinson, recipient of  Alberta Canada’s Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts for 2012, as our first guest contributor.



Diane Mae Robinson, author
The Pen Pieyu Adventures  
Book 1: Sir Princess Petra

Many people ask me these questions: Where do you get your characters from?  Are they real people?  Is the main character you? 

The answer is more long-winded than I usually can explain in detail at the time, so my short answer is; I don’t really get the characters, they get me.

Obviously this statement gets me some queer looks, but let me try to explain the process.

The whole process starts when I decide I’m going to start a new book. This is still a terrifying and panicky moment for me as my mind is so muddled with different story ideas. But through many years of experience, I know what I must do. I must get into my creative, right-brain thinking.

My creative thinking spot is in my backyard, amongst the trees and flowers and nature. It’s whatever spot you can go to that you feel totally relaxed and no one is going to bother you for awhile. You’ll know you’re in the right spot when you have a big sigh.

I visit my thinking spot as often I as can and think only of characters. Only of their visual appearance. After many days and often weeks of this same training exercise, many visual characters have applied for the job of being in the next book. But there is always a few that just don’t quit applying. Those, I know, are the strong characters.

After the character’s acceptance, I need to find out what they’re about. For this process, I need to visualize them every day. For days and weeks it seems like they’re really talking to me, telling me every detail about themselves. They don’t always speak out when it’s convient for me, so I need my notebook within reach at all times.

They tell me their likes and dislike, attributes and flaws, even what they find funny. Soon, we’re on to where they live and what they like to do.

When I have pages of character notes and feel like I know those characters inside out, the story is ready to be told.

At this point, the story just seems to unfold. A story I didn’t even know about just a few weeks ago. It feels like the characters are writing the story and I’m just the instrument at the keyboard doing their bidding.

So, in answer to the questions, this is how I get my characters. And Yes, some of their characteristics are from real people, and yes, some of those characteristics are me. But the point is, they are fully rounded characters with strength and weaknesses and they are not modeled after any one particular person, but rather born of themselves.

And once those characters are born, I just can’t stop them from going on adventures.


Diane Mae Robinson, Award Winning Author 
Sir Princess Petra - Pen Pieyu Adventures

Now This is a BIG Deal!

Many of the books reviewed here have won awards.  Gimme Jimmy, Peter and the Whimper Whinies, Santa’s Birthday Gift, The Magic Word, Little Red Riding Hood: Into the Forest Again, and The Chesire Cheese Cat  to name a few.

Many of the books reviewed here will continue to receive awards or receive them for the first time.  Island Horses, Chained, Baby Lit , The Pet Washerand Knees all should receive one or more awards this year.


One book reviewed here has received one of the highest awards a new author can receive, especially if that author is Canadian.  The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Awards is among Canada’s most generous art awards program, with each recipient receiving a medal and $10,000 for their arts career.

Susan Green, Chair of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards, said, “Ten thousand dollars to an emerging artist is a catalyst for great things.  We’ve seen careers blossom in previous recipients and we know today’s award will strengthen these artists and Alberta’s performing, literary, and visual arts culture in the process.”

Lieutenant Governor Ethell said, “These artists represent the best of a community that challenges, enlightens, and entertains us.  Creativity of this magnitude is infectious.”


 The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation has established a program of awards for emerging artists to support and encourage promising artists, early in their careers, while also serving to raise the profile of the arts in Alberta.

Beginning in 2008, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Awards have been awarded every second year,.  Each Award consists of $10,000 and a medal.  Every two years, up to ten prizes may be awarded, but only one in each category.

Winners go through an adjudication process, beginning with an application.  Only those Emerging Alberta Artists who meet the eligibility criteria may make application for the Award.  Appraisals are required from two established artists who are in a position to provide the Foundation with a candid assessment of the Applicant’s current accomplishments and potential to develop.

The Awards are presented by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta at an event held at Government House in Edmonton.  http://www.artsawards.ca/EmergingArtists/


So, who won this prestigious award?

Our own Diane Mae Robinson, author of The Pen Pieyu Adventures, beginning with the now AWARD WINNING Book One: Sir Princess Petra.  The review is HERE.


2012 Alberta Emerging Artists

. . . . . . . . . . .Kyle Armstong - Filmmaker
. Naomi Brand - Contemporary Dancer and Choreographer
Mitch Holtby - Emcee, Producer, Composer, Instrumentalist
. . . . . Kristopher Karklin - Photographer/Sculptor
. . . . . . . . . Chris Millar - Painter/Sculptor
. . . . . . . . . Emma Parkinson - Mezzo-Soprano
. . . . . . Diane Mae Robinson - Children's Author
. . . . . . . . . . . .Eric Rose - Theater Director

The 4 Northern Alberta

Emerging Artists

. . . . . . . Kristopher Karlkin, Photographer/Sculptor (lt)
. . . . . . . . . . .Kyle Armstrong, Filmaker (c)
. . Mitch Holtby, Producer,Composer, Multi-Intrumentalist (rt)
. . . . . . .Diane Mae Robinson, Children 's Book Author

Diane Mae Robinson is the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award Literary Arts for her chapter book, The Pen Pieyu Adventures, Book One:  Sir Princess Petra.

Here is what Ms. Robinso had to say about her award and the exciting day that went with it:

“This was the most amazing day of my writing career! The prestige and recognition of receiving this award is beyond description. I am honored and humbled.

 As most of you know, my first book took 9 years to find a publisher. During that time I can’t say that I was never discouraged, but I can say that I always believed in myself and my writing ability.

 The path to becoming a published author is not an easy venture, but it is an adventure. I wouldn’t change any of those baby steps it took for me to get there because now I totally understand what all the hard work and years add up to for me.

 Thank you to everyone who supports me in my writing endeavors and to those who have encouraged me along the way.

 Thank you to the two professionals that had to submit an appraisal of my work for this award:  Amy Malo and Gisela Felsberg. You both must have said something amazing!”



 For more information, or to congratulate Ms. Robinson, go to her writer’s blog, All About Children’s Books.

Congratulations Diane!

Ms. Robinson also took second place for chapter books in The 2012 Purple Dragon Book Awards.   Honorable Mention went to Shaunda Kennedy-Wenger for Little Red Riding Hood: Into the Forest Again.

Random Acts of Kindness towards Writers

Kindness ROCKS!
To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I’m participating too!

Kindness is POWERFUL. Even the smallest gesture can fuel a person and keep them going.

All over the blogosphere today, you’ll see Random Acts of Kindness toward Writers. These are by people who want to share their appreciation for those who have helped or supported them at some point along the Writing Path.  We all share a passion for the written word.

Today, let’s celebrate those who write!

There have been two people who have been instrumental in the success of  Kid Lit Reviews.  Both  have been extremely  encouraging.

One has supported this blog from nearly day one.  During my first crazy April A–Z Challenge he commented everyday, sometimes more than once.  Before that challenge and after, he comments or likes (sometimes he gets energized and does both), on every post written, and I mean EVERY POST that is made on this site.

When I have needed help I have sent an email and he sent back the answer, usually within hours.  That could depend on

his school hours, or

his music lessons,or

if he is building something fantastic with Legos, or

working on his movie.

OH, yeah, he is a writer also.

…………He has already written one book and is working

…………………..on the second.

…………During the summer, he and his sister will be

………………….collaborating on his third/her first.

All of this made me wonder when he had time to

review a book–every day.

ERIK, thank you for all your help and encouragement.

The other person who has been instrumental in this blog was once a writer needing a review.  She had a middle grade book about a girl wanting a non-traditional career and parents who were against the whole idea.  The girl kept pressing until she was given a shot at, what the parents believed, she would not succeed.  She did.  That girl was Princess Petra who is now known by the moniker Sir Princess Petra, Royal Knight.

The author of that interestingly funny book somehow became a friend–a good friend.  She not only encourages me, as she does with nearly every post (which means when she has not grabbed pencil and pad and locked the door behind her for more writing time.)  I get emails practically every day asking about my own writing and badgering me to write that book “NOW!  I will.

Her Sir Princess Petra was a hit and now a series.  The book has garnered an award, which I would love to tell you the name of, but I have no idea yet.  Publishers want it hush-hush for now.  It might have to do with the second book of the Pen Pieyu Series which is close to launch day.

  Thank you Diane Mae Robinson, for driving me . . . nuts.  Without all of your encouragement I would not be outlining a book–my book.  I may need some of Erik’s help, too. He is on his second book, but you are now on your third.  The two of  you are hard to keep up with.
 Sir Princess Petra, Book one
If you know a writer who has been helpful to you, that maybe goes out of their way to make your day, acknowledged him/her today
Random Acts of Kindness toward Writers Day!
Thank you Erik and Diane!   Thanks to everyone who reads this blog.
And a special thank  you to every writer who has asked for a review.  Without you, Kid Lit Reviews would not exist.

World Read Aloud Day 2012

March 7th was World Read Aloud Day

On this day, kids all around the world read aloud or listened to books of all kinds. The organization behind this yearly commemoration is Lit World, “an international nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2007 to cultivate literacy leaders worldwide through transformational literacy experiences that build connection, understanding, resilience and strength.” Lit World believes in the “redemptive power of story” as do children’s book authors.

Here is a sample of World Read Aloud Day around the world.

This is from Manila, Philippines.  I love how the kids are using each others back for a desk.

Here is one from Wakiso, Uganda.  That is quite a gathering.

This from Jerusalem, is one of my favorites.  No, the kids are not reading, but I like to think there is an auditorium full of kids in a building behind these five, all reading as one, maybe a Dr. Seuss.  It is the message that is important, and summarizes what reading can do for the world.  Peace doesn’t stand a chance on illiterate legs.

Finally, from Alberta, Canada.  Recently Kid Lit reviewed a book called Sir Princess Petra.  The author of that book, Diane  Robinson  lives in Alberta, Canada.  These kids are also from Alberta.  Do they look cold?  They have rosy red cheeks.   Would they have still snow all over the place there?  Well, it is interesting because that is where Princess Petra is from and she is a dragon slayer.  Dragons live in snow?  Apparently Snarls does.  Now Sonder, the Snow Snake, yes, he lives in the snow.  Maybe the two authors should get together and bring us a Snarls and Sonder Snow Skiing Adventure.

Thanks to Lit World and World Read Along Day 2012 for the pics.  There are many more at LIt World’s Facebook site.  Check  it all out HERE!


next up: Scary School by Derek the Ghost

Liebster Award from Erik at This Kid Reads Books

 I received the Leibster Award from Erik, the prolific reviewer at This Kid Reads Books

If I understand this correctly, the Leibster Award is given to a blog with less than 200 followers, that someone (Erik) finds especially interesting and wants others to notice.  To accept there are a few things I must do.

1.  I must publicly thank the giver of the reward.

       Thank You, Erik!  

2.  Tell Five Things About Yourself.
                         1.  I was a social worker, and before that a photographer.
                         2.  I have systemic lupus.
                         3.  Recently, I ran my car into the brick building I live in, taking out a bush, but no bricks.
                         4.  Occasionally, I am a pet sitter.  My company is called CS Pets, because too many use the name Critter Sitter, so I shortened it to CS Pets.  I own the domain – need a website.
                         5.  When the two ends of the month do not meet, I also mystery shop.  Yep, there really are mystery shoppers, but it isn’t as profitable as you might think.  Sometimes I actually do get to get an item, but usually it is returned “as part of the evaluation.”   Once, I mystery shopped five Subways in one day.  No returns.  By number three:  “Yuck!”  The highest paying mystery shop I have done was at a hospital (I cannot say the name).  I played an ER patient to evaluate the department.  I was there eight hours — but it was worth it.
3.  Nominate 5 Websites I Love and Want to Share.
  1. Kids Read, this is written by a recent graduate and new librarian.  The reviews are sharply written and a good source for parents.
  2. Filipino Book Bloggers, a collection of book reviews by people all over the world who are Filipino.  It can be quite interesting with so many voices.
  3. Author Diane Mae Robinson, whose book titled Sir Princess Petra was recently reviewed HERE.
  4. Author Sue Glader, her ground-breaking book titled Nowhere Hair was reviewed HERE.
  5. My favorite book blogger, This Kid Reviews Books  I am continually impressed with Erik’s reviews, sense of humor, and maturity.  This kid ROCKS!
Once again, thanks for the Liebster, Erik.  I learned that liebster is a German word that means favorite.  Those blogs above are all favorites of mine and I hope everyone will check them out, leave a comment, and join if you like the site.  I hope you will.


When Authors Play, pt. 2 by Diane Robinson

Kid Lit Reviews once again welcomes children’s author Diane Robinson.  Ms. Robinson’s fantasy series, The Pen Pieyu Adventures, book 2, Princess Petra’s Talent, releases on September 24, 2013. You can pre-order the book at Amazon as of September 14th.  And beginning on release day, Diane will be touring the blogosphere stopping to visit at least 21 wonderful blogsters between September 24th and October 8th.  But right now, Ms. Robinson has a response, of sorts, to a genius report, read here, posted here just a few days ago.

Creativity In The Forest

Creating, imagining, daydreaming, and writing in the forest is one of my favorite summer pastimes.  I imagine all sorts of fantasy creatures and then, just as I nearly catch a glimpse of them, they run and hide behind the trees, giggling at me and my human eyes that can’t quite focus on them.

The forest is my inspiration for my writing about the fantasy characters that are featured in my fantasy/adventure children’s books series (book two coming soon).

As I imagine and daydream, the trees turn into faces and then materialize as full bodies.  They start to laugh and dance and turn into fantasy characters doing all sorts of things (of course this is just the wind shape-shifting my perception, but we’re in creative mode, right?)

This creative process was how Snarls, the dragon, and Petra, the princess knight, were created several years ago–they are the characters in The Pen Peiyu Adventures.  And still, years later when I look at the same tree formations I first saw them in, they are still etched into the bark of their tree homes.

Can you spot the dragon guarding my horses?

Through the years, and with lots of practice at creative imagining,
I’ve trained my human eyes to be more perceptive to the forest and the fantasy characters that live within it.  I see gnomes, fairies, witches, princesses, giants, and of course, a dragon.  Creativity is a training process.  The same process occurs when we stare into the clouds and make pictures.

I’m often asked at author visits how I get into creative mode.  Well, creating characters within the barks and leaves of the trees is definitely a creative process for me. But what of those who don’t have a forest?

dmr combo 715I have suggestions.

–  Listen to music, especially classical music, to get your right brain stimulated–scientists have proven this.

–  Write and doodles with the opposite hand you usually write or doodle with.

–  Do an art project. I am an artist, so I paint while listening to music. This really stirs up my creative juices    and I can write wonderful things after a session of art.

– Meditate or deep breathing with your eyes closed for at least 20 minutes.

– Dress in a costume relevant to what you are writing about.

– Dance nude under the moonlight. Okay, this one I don’t suggest if you live in a town or city. (Okay, I’ve never done this, but my writer friend swears by it).

#1 Suggestion that guarantees a NY Times Bestseller?   Ride a unicorn in an enchanted forest until  fanciful characters race behind you like the wind, trying their darndest to get in the story you don’t even know you are about to write – but they do.  So listen with your heart, write with unabashed zeal, and be careful of fire-breathing dragons.***

This is me in my creative forest.

dmr4 715

Visit my author’s website: http://www.dragonsbook.com

Visit my author’s really cool blog:  http://www.dianemaerobinson.com

View the original post AND COMMENT here:  http://www.dianemaerobinson.com/2013/05/creativity-in-forest.html



***NY Bestseller suggestion is not Diane’s original work.  No, no, no.  It belongs to me, the KLR cat burglar.  he-he!

KLR is a Versatile Blogger

We need to pause the review schedule to announce one very nice people who has honored Kid Lit Reviews.

Diane Robinson, author of The Pen Pieyu Adventure Series has given The Versitile Blogger Award.

This comes with a few strings attached.  Yes, the blog world mimics the real world at times.  So, let’s quickly pull off those strings.

The Versatile Blogger

First, as polite bloggers always do, I must thank the presenter, Ms. Diane Robinson  webite   blog.

“Thank you, Diane.”

Next, the strings.

First, seven things about myself you may not know.

  1. I love dogs, but have cats.  (I love them also, but . . . please do not tell the cats about my love of dogs.)
  2. I accidentally drove my car two years without updating the tags – because I forgot.
  3. (not really about me, directly) My mother was raised in an orphanage because of the fall-out of The Great Depression.  Her father had been wealthy and her parents had been married.
  4. My father—I have his nose and do not care that I have his nose.
  5. I learned how to draw in college.  It was required for graduation.  No draw: no pass.  I passed.
  6. When I was a almost a teen I wanted to become a professional bowler.  I’m not.
  7. I love to swim as long as I have fins and a short board.

Second, I am to pass this on to a shopping fifteen blogs.  Who’s idea was that?!  I am personally involved with all of these sites as either a follower or receive a newsletter, or both.

  1. Daily Writing Tips @ http://www.dailywritingtips.com/  This great site is made up of five writers headed by Mark Nichol, Editor.  On the site you will find wonderful, up-to-date tips on everything writing.  As the name suggests, signing up for the daily writing tips gets you useful tips that you need to think about and may not be.  Not a day goes by that I do not learn something from the newsletter.  They also have a forum.
  2. Fiction Notes @ http://www.darcypattison.com/.   Run by Darcy Pattison who also has a should-not-miss newsletter.  She is also a prolific writer in both books for kids and writing on the craft itself.  Her recent release Wisdom, was reviewed here at Kid Lit Reviews.
  3.  Wordsmith @ http://wordsmith.org/awad/index.html  has a daily Word-of-the-Day.  Founded by Anu Garg in 1994, the site has lots of cool this to check out.  The best, for me, is AWAD.
  4. Cat Versus Humanhttp://catversushuman.blogspot.com/ is the website of Yasmine, an illustrator who loves cats.  She sends out her cartoons about living with cats (who always win) by email subscription.  She also has a line of items for the cat fans of the world.  A While back Yasmine’s book Cat Versus Humans was reviewed here at Kid Lit Reviews.   She is one of the nicest people on the Internet.
  5. Nathan Bransford http://nathanbransford.com/ is Nathan’s blog about publishing.  Once a literary agent for Curtis Brown, Nathan now writes novels and blogs about the publishing side of the writing business.
  6. Children’s Book Insider @ http://cbiclubhouse.com/ is run by Jon Bard and Laura Backes.  The headline descriptor reads, “World Class Training for Children’s Book Writers.”  I joined this a few years back, and it was pretty terrific.  Now, it is out of this world with experts, a step-by-step- class to get you to your first book submission and through that as well.  . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . . . . ..  .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .C.B.I. has a forum, critique groups for all genres, a monthly newsletter with agent and publisher requests, one of the best communities in writing, and much more.  The Fightin’ Bookworms, our mascot, will let you join for only $4.49 a month.  Pay for a full year up front and the cost is discounted, plus there are archives to search and more.
  7. The Institute of Children’s Literature @ http://institutechildrenslit.com/ is where myself and a few other authors that were reviewed at Kid Lit Reviews, learned to write for kids.  The best part of this program is the one-on-one instruction from an established writer or editor, and sometimes the mentor is both.  There is also a division for those interested in writing for adults.
  8. Liz Brownlee’s Poet Blog @ http://lizbrownleepoet.com/ is the blog of Liz Brownlee.  She is a poet extraordinaire who I met during the A—Z Challenge.  She makes poetry fun and interesting.  During the challenge, she wrote her poetry on a different endangered species each day.  Liz is a smart, creative, friendly, and approachable poet.
  9. Library Thing @ http://www.librarything.com is not a blog, but it is all about books, cataloging books, meeting others and talking about books, and there are some special treats like the Early Reviewer Program.  This is a monthly space were publishers offer books for review, mostly pre-release.  There is also a Member Giveaway were members can pass on books they have read and would like others to enjoy.  There is no cost to  join.
  10. The Book Muncher @ http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com is the first writing blog I followed and still do today.  This prolific writer started as a teen and is now in college, I believe, at New York University.  She will one day write, edit, publish, agent, you name it and she will be able to do it.  This is a young adult review blog with giveaways and occasional contests.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . I think she is “Miss ARC” because of the number of ARCs she obtains going to book signings all over New York.  I am also jealous of The Book Muncher.  Actually, she is the one who helped me get my site up and running answering every question I asked.  She is one of the tops in the Interne writing world, if you asked me.
  11. Story Fix @ http://storyfix.com/ is the blog of Larry Brooks who developed a course around the six core competencies.  He has online workshops, a newsletter, and knows more than most.  I read his newsletter each and every time it hits the inbox.
  12. The Working Writer’s Club @ http://www.workingwritersclub.com/ is owned by Suzanne Lieurance.  When I first meet Suzanne she had a site devoted to children’s books and I won her book The Lucky Baseball: My Story in a Japanese-American Internment Camp, which came to me signed with a personal message.  Between Suzanne and The Book Muncher, I gain enough confidence to envision myself with a blog about writing.
  13. Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe @ http://ramblingsofawannabescribe.blogspot.com/ is author Shannon Messenger.  I joined her site for the Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays, where she and other bloggers, highlight some of the best in middle grade books.  Shannon is a middle grade author.
  14. Larasalas @ http://laurasalas.wordpress.com/ is a children’s writer and poet.  Not long ago her book A Leaf Can Be . . . was reviewed here at Kid Lit Reviews and I loved every word and illustration.  Laura has written the Educational Writing Workbook for those interested in writing non-fiction books for educational markets.  Then there is the Mentor-for-Rent program.  Laura also sends out an email with a poem a day.  I never miss that.
  15. Whimsical Publishing @ http://whimsicalpublishingblog.wordpress.com/ is the site belonging to author Trina Ayling and artist Micheline Ryckman.  Their most recent collaboration,  Miss Emily Goes to Bat was reviewed her at Kid Lit Reviews and one of my very favorite books since starting the review site 110 reviews ago.  Their site is loaded with things for the kids to do, pages about each other well worth the read, and a store selling Whimsical Publishing items.  . . . . . . . . . .   .   .   .   .   .   .    .   .    .       .    .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    .    .   .    . .. ..  .  ..    ..    ..  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .  .One reason I have nominated these creative women, other than their wonderful book and the hopes of reading their next creations, is their generosity.  A couple of days ago, I received a print from the book Miss Emily Goes to Bat gorgeous and ready for framing.  . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . I do not charge for reviews and never will, and this lovely piece arrived over a month after the review was posted, so this was above board.  They did not need to do this, yet I love the piece and the gesture.  Although number 15 on this list, they are far from last.


This, thankfully, concludes the requirements for The Versatile Blogger Award.  I apologize to the sites above.  I believe you deserve the recognition, but it is much more work than a recipient should need to do in order to accept a blogger award. I ran into trouble and fudged it a little myself.  A couple of the above would be considered websites, but they are wonderful places most everyone who reads this blog would enjoy.

Let’s pass these nice awards around, but try to remember the recipient is most likely a writer with little time to devote to receiving an award.  Ask the questions so we can get to know those honored and ask that it be passed along to say a limit of a half-dozen.  This is only my opinion.

Thank  you for indulging me this nice summer day. –Sue