Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Donkey's Kite and The Three Little Horses and The Big Bully Donkey

Book Description for The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey (Book 1):

A tale (based on the “Three Little Pigs”) about three little horse brothers who suddenly lose their house that is destroyed by a fire. The young horses are totally alone and thrust into the reality of having to depend on themselves and each other against a bully donkey, who wanders the forest wrecking homes and bullying the other animals. This warm-hearted tale promotes strong values and has a fun premise. Written and humorously illustrated in vivid color throughout by Liana-Melissa Allen, the story is a proven winner for reading aloud to children.

My Review of The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey:

Before I was a blogger, I spent years teaching preschool.  I always looked for great read aloud books.  A good read aloud will have lots of pictures that engage children, lively dialogue, and a fun, fast moving story.  The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey has all these traits.  It would be a perfect read aloud for a preschool child or classroom.

This book is loosely based on The Three Little Pigs, and it is fun read for young children.   It also has a terrific message:  we are stronger when we work together and show kindness. 

The illustrations are charming, colorful and engaging.  Liana-Melissa Allen captures the different personalities of the three horses, Max, Lax, and Jack, and the bully Donkey too.  I especially loved her illustrations of the different houses the horses build.

This cute book would be wonderful at home or in a classroom.  Children are sure to enjoy it!

Book Description for Donkey's Kite (Book 2):

The three horses Jack, Max, Lax and their friend Donkey are back!

In Horse Valley, it's a perfect day to go kite flying. Jack, Max, Lax, and Donkey decide to get creative by putting together their own homemade kites. However, Donkey's kite doesn't work. No matter how hard he tries to get it to fly, it just keeps tumbling to the ground. How will poor Donkey get his kite to fly? A friendly goose named Gusty is delighted to help him out.

In this Horse Valley Adventure, Donkey learns not to give up when all seems hopeless. The friends all learn a lesson about helping others and true friendship.

My Review of Donkey's Kite:

Donkey's Kite is a cute children's book by Liana-Melissa Allen.   It tells the story of the three horse brothers, Lax, Max, and Jack, and their good friend Donkey.  The animals decide to build kites together.  The horses are so busy building perfect kites that they don't have time to help Donkey, who is struggling.

At the park, donkey meets a bully but also makes a great new friend - Gusty the goose.  Gusty helps him learn to fly a kite, and teaches the animal friends an important lesson about helping each other and working together.

This book has bright, colorful illustrations that children are sure to enjoy.  The dialogue is lively and fast moving;  it would be a fun read aloud for preschool children.

I am so impressed with Liana-Melissa Allen's talent as both a writer and illustrator.  I also love the important messages the Horse Valley Adventure books teach.  I highly recommend this book for young children.  They are sure to enjoy it! 

Author's Bio:
Liana-Melissa Allen is a young author and illustrator of children's books and books for youth. She has written, illustrated and published six books. Her most recent one is the colorfully illustrated children's book "Donkey's Kite", the second book of "A Horse Valley Adventure" series. The first was "The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey". The lovable cartoon characters, Max, Lax, Jack and Donkey makes them a favorite of first and second grade students. She is now working on her third book of "A Horse Valley Adventure".

The magical world of fantasy has inspired Liana's imagination since as long as she can remember. Part of this was fueled by her dad reading aloud to her every day when she was younger. As a result, reading is her primary passion along with music. These two passions feed her imagination into stories and drawings, which she joyously sketches out into storyboards for a potential book.

Liana-Melissa is also a dedicated classical/jazz pianist, and mostly enjoys older music, especially from the big band era and the 1940's, 50's and 60's. While playing the piano, her imagination often leads to a great amount of improvising. Frequently, Liana will improvise a theme for one of the stories she is writing. Capturing this improvised music became a priority, which ultimately resulted in theme music for "A Horse Valley Adventure". The "Horse Valley" theme will be used for a short animated video featuring her Horse Valley characters.

Liana-Melissa loves to hear from her young readers. Please visit her website at for more information, and to contact her by email. Visit her on Facebook too.

Where to buy the books:

Win one of ten sets of A Horse Valley Adventure books! One winner will also get a $30 Amazon gift card. Open internationally.
Ends April 17.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 I received both books from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Annmarie Weeks said...

I'd love to win these for my niece! They would be perfect for her!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to write these nice reviews of my "A Horse Valley Adventure” books. I love to write and illustrate books for children, hoping to inspire them to become readers. Reading aloud to children is the best gift one can give to any child. Hopefully your great review will encourage more of this.

Thank you again for your nice review of my books. :)

Liana-Melissa Allen

Birdhouse Books said...

Liana-Melissa, thanks so much for stopping by! I really admire what you are doing with these books. - Trish

ccarpinello said...

Congrats, Liana-Melissa. These look like great books for young readers. Thanks, Birdhouse Books, for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks for the visit! Love the Kids Lit Blog Hop.