‘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).


 

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.”


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).