‘Animals in the Forest’ Review: Thought Provoking and an Absolute Pleasure to Read

Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came by Kathryn Rose NeweyThe Nature Conservation novel aimed at middle grade children, teens and young adults, ‘Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came‘, was recently reviewed by Education Otherwise, a major home education organisation in the UK. Kerri, the EO book reviewer, wrote:

‘Animals in the Forest’ is an absolute pleasure to read due to the superb descriptive detail and wide ranging vocabulary…It’s a really lovely and thought provoking addition for your child’s reading and English curriculum which I’m sure all children will enjoy and be inspired by.

She went on to say: “This is a beautifully illustrated,…delightfully written,…environmentally themed animal story with free supplementary worksheets,…[which] are the most interesting and varied I have come across.” [see the full review text below]

EducationOtherwise.org is a major home education / home schooling organisation in the UK, dedicated to providing “information and resources for home educating families and those considering home education for the first time, including guidance on home education and the law, SEN and disabilities; downloadable fact sheets covering many aspects of HE; and links to local HE groups across the UK.” They publish a newsletter for members a few times a year.


Here is EO’s full review of ‘Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came’ and the matching WonderWorksheets [spoiler alert!]:

“This is a beautifully illustrated, environmentally themed animal story with free supplementary worksheets… The story is set in a local forest where Dakota the Deer and her animal friends live until they are disturbed by machinery that starts destroying the forest to build new houses. The 9 chapters describe events from the animals’ point of view, describing their initial curiosity to the fear and then really that they would be forced to leave their homes. 

This text is an absolute pleasure to read due to the superb descriptive detail and wide ranging vocabulary, but also as it is delightfully written in ‘proper English’. The characters’ personalities come to life in each chapter as they try to make sense of what is going on, to the point that you desperately hope for a happy ending, which sadly, and realistically, there is not.

At the end of the book there is an Epilogue that provides information on the environmental reasons for each character’s name, some other related environmental issues for further thought, and a section entitled ‘What you can do to help?’ to protect the environment.

The book is a wonderful read on its own, but there is also a pack of WonderWorksheets for English Literacy with lots of questions, discussion ideas, writing tasks and discussion topics. Aimed for upper primary, these worksheets provide a very interesting and comprehensive set of exercises covering a wide range of activities including researching and designing your own non-fiction booklet about crows, drawing an impression of a worm’s-eye view of the animals’ discussion, writing stories from a given first line, and many more.

The worksheets are the most interesting and varied I have come across to date and show that the author has put a lot of thought and detail into each one.

‘Animals in the Forest’ is a really lovely, thought provoking addition to your child’s reading and English curriculum which I am sure all children will enjoy and be inspired by.” ~ from EO Newsletter, Spring 2018


Download a printable version of EO’s full review with weblinks here.

Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came’ is a unique nature conservation tale, told from the point of view of forest animals. They know that humans do things they don’t always understand and like, but one day, the humans start something more destructive…

The book honours environmental activists, defenders and indigenous tribes and includes info and websites to research these issues further.

Can one story save the Earth? It’s up to you…


Paperback, e-book & audiobook available from: Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com  

Plus, there are two complementary sets of WonderWorksheets, exploring lots of literacy and environmental themes in the book. 


Paperbacks, e-books and audiobooks are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & NobleBooktopiaFoylesWaterstonesBlackwells, etc.

Note: the Kindle reader app can be downloaded for reading Kindle e-books on any device (such as PC, Mac, iOS or Android).


 

New Animal Rights Story for Teens to be Published Soon

UPDATE June 2018: ‘The Zoo Animals’ Faraway Dream‘ has been published! Find out more here.

If you or your kids are into reading about the natural environment, green issues, ecology, animals or saving the planet, then my next book, ‘The Zoo Animals’ Faraway Dream‘ is for you!

It’s a story about living behind bars, told from the perspective of zoo animals. Their experiences and antics are both amusing and tragic. Many of the zoo animals believe life will always be the same, but one day a travelling animal appears. This shocks and confuses them, and his presence seems to ignite a ‘faraway dream’ in the animals’ minds – is it just wishful thinking? Arguments abound, so some animals decide it’s finally time to take action…

This is a story to save caged animals. Information and website links about confined animals in zoos, farms, labs, crates and tanks are included at the back of the book, with suggestions on how readers can help to solve this global tragedy.

Sonia Faruqi, author of Project Animal Farm‘ (an award-winning investigation of the truth behind factory farming), has this to say:

“’The Zoo Animals’ Faraway Dream’ is a touching, beautifully written story with a heart-warming cast of zoo characters. The story makes you laugh and sigh, while also urging you to stop and think about the plight of many zoo animals in our world.

The Zoo Animals’ Faraway Dream‘ is suitable for all ages, young and old (little ones will need an adult to read it to them), but particularly those aged 9-14 years. It will be available in paperback and e-book from Amazon, other online retailer websites, and bookstores near you. Watch this space!

 

Get your paperback or e-book from:

Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com 

Waterstones.com  BarnesandNoble.com

Paperbacks and e-books are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & Noble, Booktopia, Foyles, Waterstones, Blackwells, etc.

Note: the Kindle reader app can be downloaded for reading Kindle e-books on any device (such as PC, Mac, iOS or Android).


 

Ilnoblet Elmer is Officially Awarded ‘4 out of 4 Stars’!

Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves by Kathryn Rose NeweyOnlineBookClub.org has published their official review of ‘Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves‘, rating it 4 out of 4 stars:

“Children’s literature that makes learning fun is always a joy to read. Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves by Kathryn Rose Newey is one such joy… This adventure story is fit for both kids and kids at heart. As an avid Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan, this book’s myriad of alien cultures drew me right in. Science fiction readers who want a little fun with their science would enjoy this book… I invite you to suit up and embark on this alien journey into your own backyard.” [see the full review below]


Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves by Kathryn Rose NeweyGet your paperback or e-book copy of Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves from:

Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 


Paperbacks and e-books are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & Noble, Booktopia, Foyles, Waterstones, Blackwells, etc.

Note: the Kindle reader app can be downloaded for reading Kindle e-books on any device (such as PC, Mac, iOS or Android).


Here’s OnlineBookClub.org’s full review (20th April 2018):

“Children’s literature that makes learning fun is always a joy to read. Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves by Kathryn Rose Newey is one such joy. Ilnoblet (Il for short) is a Gapitonian alien living on Earth as a young human boy. The book follows Il through an adventurous mystery to stop the Mootilokygogrify aliens from absorbing all Earth’s water for the Spaciton Astro-Morphing process. Using a clever combination of numbers and words, can Il stop the Mootilokygogrifies before they dry out the Earth?

“Are all the unfamiliar words in the previous paragraph making you hesitate? Don’t let them. This book is absolutely awesome. The first couple of chapters serve as a plot-driving explanation for the Gapitonians, science, and how it all fits together. There is also a glossary at the end so alien words can be looked up as soon as they’re encountered. If you’re still feeling apprehensive or you’re just not a fan of science fiction, you could skip this one, but I highly recommend giving this book a chance.

“Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves would be wonderful for ambitious readers between ages ten and fourteen. Younger readers might enjoy this with a parent. There’s plenty of action to keep kids interested, and alongside, there’s a fantastic message about fitting in. Newey captures the child’s mind so well. Il sometimes feels like he doesn’t belong on Earth with his Earth family. He struggles to fit in as both a kid and an alien. In the end, he finally feels comfortable with who and where he is. This is so important, especially for kids. As an adult, watching Il find his place on a foreign planet really changed my outlook. If an alien can fit in on Earth, I can fit in wherever I go.

“I love Newey’s use of letters and words in Il’s confrontation with the Mootilokygogrifies. It’s such a unique take on the humans vs. extraterrestrials trope. You will find no lasers or photon torpedoes in this book. Instead, it’s the powers of order and creative knowledge that allow Il to do battle. Beneath that battle, lessons about triangular numbers, palindromes, and other concepts hide, teaching through a fun science fiction tale. The epilogue of this book includes a poem Il uses to fight the Mootilokygogrifies, complete with a breakdown of the various number and word devices the poem contains. Whether you’re learning about these things for the first time or getting a reminder of long-forgotten middle school classes, this book presents an engaging and entertaining learning experience.

“With great pleasure, I rate Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves 4 out of 4 stars. This adventure story is fit for both kids and kids at heart. As an avid Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan, this book’s myriad of alien cultures drew me right in. Science fiction readers who want a little fun with their science would enjoy this book. The only minor criticism I have is that the first two chapters felt a little heavy on Il’s backstory, but it wasn’t enough to lower my rating. I invite you to suit up and embark on this alien journey into your own backyard.”


Children’s Writing Workshops at Waterstones Bookstores

UPDATE May 2018: I’m offering more Kids’ Writing Workshops at Waterstones Hatfield, Waterstones Welwyn Garden City, and Harpenden Books during May Half-Term (28th-31st May 2018). Contact the stores to book your place!


UPDATE April 2018! The 2pm-3pm workshop on Monday 9 April 2018 is now fully booked, so we’ve added a second workshop at 11am-12noon. Hurry and book your place (ages 9+ years) by emailing welwyngc@waterstones.com


Why not let the kids come along to one of my interactive Kids’ Writing Workshops?

The next one will be during Easter school holidays, on Monday 9th April 2018, 2pm to 3pm, at Waterstones bookstore, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

Book your child (aged 9+ years) in for this free, fun workshop by emailing welwyngc@waterstones.com

Children will meet me, a local children’s author, learn how to write stories to save the Earth, and find out about publishing their own books!

3 books by Kathryn Rose NeweyMy books will also be on sale on the day. Hope to see you there! 🙂

Self-Published Author Fairs in Hertfordshire

It’s great that Hertfordshire Libraries are acknowledging self-published authors – by holding a series of Self-Published Author Fairs in various public libraries.

The events are aimed at bringing self-published books, often unique, to the attention of readers who can purchase them directly from the authors, as well as educating potential writers about how to self-publish their own books.

I participated in one such event at Harpenden Library in March 2018 (that’s my author table pictured). Besides me, there was one other children’s author and four adult fiction and non-fiction authors.

It was wonderful to see how well used the library is on Saturdays – with lots of children and adults visiting to read and borrow books.

I chatted to lots of interesting people, including children and their parents curious about the self-published books on sale, and would-be authors and illustrators, wanting to know more about the writing and self-publishing process.

If you’ve always want to write and publish a book, but don’t know where to start, I offer coaching / tuition / consultations on writing and self-publishing for children and adults. Find out more here.


 

Radio Interview: Nature Conservation Novel ‘Animals in the Forest’

BBC 3 Counties Radio logoNick Coffer interviewed me live on BBC Three Counties Radio about my nature conservation / environmental fiction book ‘Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came‘ early in January 2018. Listen to the podcast of the interview here, or watch it now:


Here’s some more information about the ‘Nature Conservation Fiction’ genre:

What exactly is ‘nature conservation fiction’ or ‘environmental fiction’?

It’s a relatively unexplored genre of fiction, which encompasses anything to do with nature, the natural environment, nature conservation, green issues, and/or wildlife and animal rights, within a story.

Why is ‘environmental fiction’ important?

Books and stories, whether they are paperbacks, e-books, audiobooks, braille books or picture books, are a wonderful way to engage young readers into new worlds.

Usually environmental fiction and nature conservation stories have significant elements which are true to life, for example, the descriptions of wild animals, or the conservation/green issues that real or fictional characters may grapple with.

The authors, including me, usually want to make readers aware that animals and the natural environment are struggling from human actions. We feel that more than ever, now’s the time that everyone needs to become aware, change their habits and take action to save mother Earth.

So how does it work in a book?

Although the story itself, the characters and perhaps even the setting may be fiction, there will be parts of the story which will be realistic and accurate. Environmental stories successfully weave non-fiction into fiction.

Environmental fiction books are therefore educational and inspirational in terms of the information and motivation they give readers. Hopefully readers will want to take further steps by researching these important issues more and then choosing positive actions based on their new knowledge.

Read more about why I feel compelled to write in the ‘Environmental Educational Fiction’ genre here.


Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came‘ is available in paperback, audiobook or e-book from:

Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 

Available in audiobook from:

Audible.co.uk or Audible.com 


Paperbacks, audiobooks and e-books are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & Noble, Booktopia, Foyles, Waterstones, Blackwells, etc.

Note: the Kindle reader app can be downloaded for reading Kindle e-books on any device (such as PC, Mac, iOS or Android).


 

What do Batman and Ilnoblet Elmer have in Common?

Batman drawing by Jamie Ridge
Batman by Jamie Ridge

Or more precisely, what do an illustration of Batman and the book cover for ‘Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves‘ have in common?

Answer: Both have been drawn and designed by Jamie Ridge, who is currently an Art & Design student and aspiring illustrator!

Jamie and other Art & Design students from Oaklands College in Hertfordshire, UK, partook in a competition in November 2017 to design the book cover for ‘Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves‘.

The author, Kathryn Rose Newey, briefed the students with a synopsis of this children’s and young teens’ science-fiction story, a brief extract of a scene with Ilnoblet and an alien, and some measurements and file specifications for the book cover.

The students then went off to weave their own interpretations of this story into an original book cover design for it.

Final book cover by Jamie Ridge
Final book cover by Jamie Ridge

Jamie put his initial ideas onto paper, then translated his developed drawings into a digital drawing via a tablet drawing app. The book cover design was then tweaked and completed in online image-finishing software.

Kathryn says:

“I felt that Jamie, who hadn’t designed a book cover before, had a really good feel for what a book cover needs. His overall concept and execution were good. He had interpreted the character of Ilnoblet well for younger readers and cleverly used a reference to another science-fiction story – I think it all works wonderfully!”

You can see more of Jamie’s artwork at his Instagram account here.


Get your paperback or e-book copy from:

Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 

Paperback ISBN: 978-1979343534


Paperbacks and e-books are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & Noble, Booktopia, Foyles, Waterstones, Blackwells, etc.

Note: the Kindle reader app can be downloaded for reading Kindle e-books on any device (such as PC, Mac, iOS or Android).


 

What are ‘Animal Rights’ and why should we care about Animals?

Picture of animal rights activists at a rally. Picture credit: https://pixabay.com/en/rally-march-protest-signs-2712259/

The term ‘Animal Rights‘ is everywhere these days. To the point where perhaps it’s easy to dismiss, like the myriad of other things vying for our attention in the modern world.

But here’s why the rights of animals are important...

Now we could get into ethics and philosophy, but to me it’s simpler than that. 

Firstly we can often see the suffering of animals. It’s right under our noses: stray animals, animals being treated cruelly or neglected, and social media posts and videos of animals suffering in zoos, tanks, labs and cages.

We have to stop and ask – what kind of human beings are we, if we can see suffering, but do nothing to stop it?

Then there’s the animal suffering we knowingly or unknowingly cause through our actions. We’re all aware to some extent that animals are killed or treated ‘inhumanely’ so we can eat their meat, wear their wool, fur and skin (leather), and eat or consume materials or ingredients they produce.

These animal-sourced things include: eggs from hens and other birds, tallow in banknotes, honey from bees, and things like castoreum, bone char and animal fats in perfumes, sugar, plastic bags and frozen dairy products. Not to mention rennet (from the innards of dead baby animals) in many cheeses, or gelatin (from animal ligaments) in most chewy, jellylike sweets.

Or what about the millions of animals we kill or maim on the roads every day with our fossil-fuel-guzzling cars and trucks, or the countless animals some people hunt to purposely kill for ‘fun’ or ‘sport’?

So it is simple, really…

If we know we are actively causing suffering of animals (or any beings, for that matter) – why aren’t we doing something to reduce or stop our actions?

Cows going to slaughter. You complain about waiting in line at the grocery store - can you imagine the horror of the line they are waiting in? No living being wants to die. Picture from: http://www.rabbitadvocacy.com/animal_rights_page.htmNow I can hear the usual, sometimes loud or sometimes just confused arguments we humans like to make – “but I like eating meat/eggs/honey”, or even “but animals are just dumb and put here for humans to use”!

Or perhaps “but we can’t simply stop eating cows/sheep/pigs/chickens because if we did, what would happen to the millions of these animals we have for this purpose?”

The answer to that is there’s no quick and easy solutions!

But surely if we work together, we can work it out! If each person just took one action, say to cut down or cut out meat-eating, that would make a huge difference.

There’s another reason why animal rights are important too.

Many of the things we do to keep, feed and kill the animals we feel we need, are causing very significant damage to the environment and to planet Earth. Our home, this planet, which is the only home we have, is being damaged by many of our everyday actions.

For example, factory farms are very common, even in countries you may not expect, for example, the UK (‘factory farms’ are where animals such as cows, pigs, rabbits and chickens are kept by the millions in very confined cages or enclosures for their whole lives, limiting their natural behaviour).

Not only does this intense farming mean animal diseases are more easily spread through the unhygienic conditions and proximity, which in turn leads farmers to overuse antibiotics, leading to the spread of super-bugs and the decline in effectiveness of antibiotics for humans, but the vast quantities of pollution from the animal waste of these facilities leads to serious environmental hazards and destruction.

Then all these millions of ‘kept’ animals need food and space to be kept. So we clear large areas of forests and other lands which are exceptionally important for ecosystems and environmental health, or those which belong to indigenous tribes, to grow food for the farmed animals we are going to kill and eat, while millions of humans on Earth are starving!

Ultimately it just makes sense to care about animals and be compassionate towards them, because by doing so, that will also save our home, planet Earth.

Okay, so ‘Animal Rights’ is more than just being kind to bunny rabbits! Why not change something in your life today, to make life better for animals, yourself and the Earth?

Questions? Comments? Leave a reply below this post. 🙂


I think it’s also really important that our kids – who are the adults and guardians of this planet in the future – get to engage in animal rights and environmental issues when they’re young.

That’s why I’ve written Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came, so our children can start thinking and acting for animals and nature, through reading a story (and the extra information included) about animals living through their own environmental crisis.

Get your copy here: Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 


Unique novels with environmental themes by Kathryn Rose NeweyKathryn Rose Newey is an author of unique novels with environmental themes, for young adults, teens and children.

Her books include: The Zoo Animals’ Faraway Dream, Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came, and Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves.

Paperbacks, audiobooks and e-books are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & Noble, Booktopia, Foyles, Waterstones, Blackwells, etc.


Sources and further reading:

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/03/04/eating-meat-destruction-of-environment/

http://www.culturechange.org/issue8/roadkill.htm

https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-factory-farms-and-environment

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/24/health/flexitarian-diet/index.html

http://www.iep.utm.edu/anim-eth/

https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/11118956/Surprising-food-thats-not-suitable-for-vegetarians.html

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/10/bank-of-england-to-keep-animal-fat-in-banknotes-despite-complaints

https://www.thoughtco.com/how-many-animals-are-killed-each-year-127631


Picture credits:

https://pixabay.com/en/bees-honey-honey-bees-honeycomb-345628/

https://pixabay.com/en/bushman-indigenous-people-509239/

https://pixabay.com/en/cows-livestock-cattle-feed-foot-552947/

https://pixabay.com/en/rally-march-protest-signs-2712259/

http://www.rabbitadvocacy.com/animal_rights_page.htm


 

Animals in the Forest – Audiobook Available Soon!

UPDATE February 2018: The audiobook is now ready! Get it from:

 Audible.co.uk or Audible.com 


Thought I’d give you a head’s up – Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came (already available as a paperback and e-book) is going to be made into an audiobook.

Once created, it will be available from Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

I’ve chosen an English native speaker to read the manuscript, in keeping with the story which is set in an English/European forest. The narrator and all the animal characters are holed up in her recording studio, reading the story aloud and creating those audio files!

I’m very proud and excited that this book will also be offered as an audiobook, so that those who are unable to access the written versions will still be able to hear the story as well as the environmental themes and educational content embedded in the story.

In the meantime, get your paperback or e-book from:

 Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.com 


UPDATE February 2018: The audiobook is now ready! Get it from:

 Audible.co.uk or Audible.com 


Paperbacks, audiobooks and e-books are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & Noble, Booktopia, Foyles, Waterstones, Blackwells, etc.

Note: the Kindle reader app can be downloaded for reading Kindle e-books on any device (such as PC, Mac, iOS or Android).


 

New Children’s Sci-Fi Story with a Difference!

My latest book, Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves (published December 2017), is a fun children’s and young teens’ science fiction story with a difference.

Ilnoblet Elmer is an ordinary boy like any other.

Except for one thing. He’s from another planet – and his family, friends and teachers don’t know.

The story follows his adventures trying to defeat tricky and sticky aliens who come to Earth, wanting to interfere with him and create havoc. All in between him attending school and getting his homework in on time!

The story has lots of fun references to science, water, space travel, numbers and special words (you might not know it, but certain words have an interesting effect on aliens – you just have to know which ones), as well as two poems! There’s even a glossary to help with understanding his original language – you’ll be speaking it in no time!

Rated 4 out of 4 stars in the official review by OnlineBookClub.org!


Get your paperback or e-book from: Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 


Paperbacks and e-books are available from most Amazon websites and major online bookstores internationally, such as Barnes & NobleBooktopiaFoylesWaterstonesBlackwells, etc.

Note: the Kindle reader app can be downloaded for reading Kindle e-books on any device (such as PC, Mac, iOS or Android).