“Chloe the Unfeathered Parrot” is set at The Parrot Sanctuary, which is in Toronto, Ontario!
Get something of lasting value for the kids in your life. Cheap toys last a short while, then end up in landfill.
“Chloe the Unfeathered Parrot” not only encourages literacy in your child, a portion of proceeds goes to the Parrot Sanctuary, which is featured in the book—so, you’re helping them do the important work of finding parrots their forever homes, too!
You can also visit Chloe’s BookStop Page, hosted by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators...
Welcome to the blog, Lynn! Now, tell me about yourself.
I write under the pen name of Laya Brandt for children. I am a new author, having written my first book over several years and publishing it with Jurnee Books, an Imprint of Winged Publications in 2021. The second book came out on May 18, 2022 (my birthday) and is a prequel to the first. It supplies the background to the story of the first book.
Tell me about your first two books.
Book 1, Evod and the Children of the Star is about a mysterious bird, Evod who shows up at a school in New Hampshire. There, he finds the Children of the Star, David, and Julia who are fifth graders. David is a shy, awkward boy, and Julia is a scruffy, streetwise girl. Evod leads them down a strange tree and outside into numerous adventures. What they encounter isan intriguing tent, a scary whirlwind, a treasure chest that tests them, and a comforting fire.
Evod also leads them to a glass star in the basement of their school. David takes it to Mel, the janitor, and Mel gives him a book written by his great-grandfather. Assuming they are doing the right thing, David and Julia give the star to their principal, Mr. Aark. That turns out to be a mistake because, he and Mrs. Barrey, the secretary, are plotting against David, and his parents, and they hide the star!
David and Julia are interrupted from solving the mystery of the star’s disappearance when a nearby school has an explosion. Mr. Aark is arrested. Evod continues to lead, protect, and comfort them.
After the star disappears. David, Julia, and JJ trace it to a millionaire who doesn’t want to share it. The kids take it upon themselves to return the star to its rightful place.
The second book, Evod and Moishe, describes the history of the star featured in the first book. We learn who made it, why, and its importance to the school.
Evod and Moishe is a historical-fiction prequel to Evod and the Children of the Star. In other words, its action takes place before the action in Evod and the Children of the Star. The reader is taken back to a real-time in history, although the characters are fictional.
Evod again reveals unsolved mysteries and even future events. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself crying, laughing, and gasping with surprise while reading this story.
What do you hope children, and their parents, will take away from your books?
I hope that children and parents take away the idea that there is HOPE. There are unseen helpers that guide and protect us through life. What may seem to be a terrible disaster can become a launching pad for something wonderful through love, friends, faith, and family.
What are your favourite scenes in Evod?
My favorite scenes are when the supernatural dove first appears to the main characters, David and Julia (and Moishe, in the second book.) I love the surprise and curiosity that draw the kids to follow and befriend the dove, Evod. I also love it when Moishe escapes death in the second book and is reunited with his father.
Where do you get your ideas?
My stories generally come from my imagination. I see pictures of scenes and write them down. Then I meditate on them and they are connected somehow to develop a story. Some experiences from my own life were seeds to sprout the plot, but most things just develop from the pictures I see.
Get something of lasting value for the kids in your life. Cheap toys last a short while, then end up in landfill. "Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far" is a valuable resource and learning tool, and a portion of proceeds go to Little RES Q Reptile Rescue—so you’re also helping turtles! 🐢🐢🐢
Did you know that “Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese” was my first picture book? It even goes all the way back to a Grade 6 project of mine at R. A. Sennett Public School. Children’s author Emily Hearn (do any of you out there remember her? She was awesome!) was our guest teacher and took us through the process of creating our very own picture storybooks by hand.
The result was what I called “Down, Out, and Around for Beverly” … a book I wrote and illustrated myself. And the idea stuck with me—all these years later, it’s out there as a bona fide published picture book!
Cheap toys last a short while, then end up in landfill. “Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese” emphasizes the importance of letting your imagination run wild! This holiday season, give something of lasting value to the kids in your life. Give a gift worth keeping.
Also available in French as “Beverlee la chatte de Birmanie”!
It's brief, and it will definitely need to be edited, possibly changing a lot before it's finally published (and I have no idea when that will be...I'm at the very beginning of the process), but here's a little preview of my first Halloween-themed children's book, the second Mixter Twizzle tale:
It’s that time of year In the neighbourhood of kale Where ornamental cabbages adorn The gardens and boulevards Mini demon and imp extraordinaire Mixter Twizzle does conjure his friends For the one time of year they might Galavant in the public square. It is Halloween, The eve of thin veils Between the world of peoples and animals, And the land of shadows where monsters do dwell– When they are not cavorting with chickens And other farm friends. This year, Mixter’s hundred and thirteenth… Mixter does dress his chick—now well on her way to henhood– In the garb of a spooky creature, So she might go forth with Mixter and company Into the night of revels and treats. When his little hen, Harley, is dressed and ready He casts his invocation spell To call on his friends beyond the veil Who do not live beneath a coop at Riverdale Farm Like Mixter does. A dash of witch hazel into a black pot of hot water, A splash of holiday latte with whipped cream, A pinch of petrified candy corn, A smash of smirking jack-o-lantern, Then Mixter mixes, one, two, three… …the froth bubbles forth And explodes with light and smoke Then is it the right time for Mixter’s chant… “On Gnazzleboot, on Aarobellow, On Zinfoot and Cinobrillow! On Shockofane, Jack-o-Blitz, Bristolbane, Krinkelnitz On Swizzfizzbinn, on Roarefaction, On … Frank! Sally forthwiths and meets with me For Halloween treatses and revelses of glee!”