Posts Tagged ‘wolves’

Meet Author Illustrator Alisha M. Risen-Kent

Posted on June 20th, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

Author Illustrator Alisha M Risen-KentAlisha M. Risen-Kent is working toward her BA of Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. She lives at home with her four children and cat in Texas where she loves working in her garden. Her passions are reading, writing, drawing, and photography and she often creates the artwork for her books.

She is an avid player of Dungeons & Dragons© and she comes up with most of her story ideas from the campaigns she plays in. She also loves Renaissance festivals where she can dress up as the characters she creates. She’s an advocate for conservation efforts, volunteering where she can to help rehabilitate injured animals and she donates to good causes. She is also strong in her faith and she believes that God has a plan for everything.

Author Twitter Account @Skydancer792007
Facebook page

Timber's Gambit by Alisha M. Risen-KentTell us about your latest published children’s book. Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of?
My latest book is about a grey wolf named Timber who decides to leave his pack and find one of his own. On his journey his meets friends, and foes, including an annoying coyote who becomes a priceless friend, an old badger that keeps him from starving, and a she-wolf who completes his pack. During his journey he faces many challenges, including human hunters. After being shot, he is rescued by wolf conservationist who eventually returns him home. While this book, as well as the rest in the Nature’s Guardians series is targeted at children 8-12, readers of all ages can enjoy this coming of age story. Each book contains a section on conservation that talks about where I gathered my information, the current plight of endangered species, such as the American grey wolf, and how readers can help. I have several things I am proud of: One, the illustrations; Two, how I was able to capture the true essence of the wolf while allowing children to “be” the wolf; and Three, the connections I made while doing my research, such as the Wolf Conservation Center.

Timber’s Gambit: A Nature’s Guardian Novel: Book Two at

Timber’s Gambit: A Nature’s Guardian Novel: Book Two at

When did you realize that you would be a writer/illustrator? Is there a particular person who has inspired and/or supported your work along the way?
I knew I wanted to be a writer from the moment I could read. Despite the odds, and my family and friends discouraging me, I persevered. I wanted to tell stories and did so whether they had publishing potential or not. In fact, most of my short stories can be found for free on websites like and DevianArt. Many people have inspired me along the way, to include friends (mostly D&D partners or fellow writers from DeviantArt) and published writers, like Margaret Weis and Stephenie Meyer.

Tell us about your experiences sharing your book with children. Has anything unusual / endearing / funny / unexpected happened?
Children are the most interesting people on the planet. They are like sponges that soak up everything around them. When I read to children, I accompany the story with a collectible plush, a wolf in Timber’s case. Children’s eyes light up when they see that animal and are able to associate it with the story. I remember at my first book signing, I had a two year old sitting in the audience. At the time, I was reading my first book, Haji’s Fight for Freedom, and I had a plush falcon that made noise when you squeezed it. That little boy took the falcon and squeezed it the entire time. In the end, I let him keep it.Haji's Flight for Freedom by Alisha M. Risen-Kent

How do you stay connected with your readers? Have you gone on book tours? Do you engage on social media or through a website? Do you visit classrooms, libraries or bookstores?
I stay connected with my readers in several ways. One: most of them are local. Two: A have a website a website and social media site. I’m also very active on DeviantArt and FictionPress. Three: I make donations for every child who buys a collection set and, since I keep their information, I am able to inform them when new books are available. I also have book signings and readings at schools and libraries.

What are the joys of being an author / illustrator? What do you derive your greatest pleasure from?
My biggest enjoyment of being a writer/illustrator is the joy I bring to readers of all ages. That’s why I submit most of my writing on free sites. In my Nature’s Guardians series, it is my goal to do what I can to help conservationist protect our wildlife. My greatest pleasure is being able to make those donations.

What are the biggest challenges of being an author / illustrator?
My biggest challenge is finding a publisher or agent. Because of the importance of my topic, I didn’t want to wait to find someone willing to publish my book. However, I am still on the lookout while bringing my books to the most readers I can.

Chick-O-Saurus Rex Shines in Anti-bullying Picture Book

Posted on September 30th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts reviews anti bullying picture book Chick O Saurus Rex by Lenore and Daniel JenneweinChick-O-Saurus Rex written by Lenore Appelhans and illustrated by Daniel Jennewein
Anti bullying picture book published by Simon and Schuster

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Donkey, Pig and Sheep have formed an elite group and, to the disappointment of the smaller farm animals, they exclude all others from the tree house.

“This is a club for the brave and mighty. First you have to prove you belong.”

Little Chick does his best to gain entrance to the tree house but the bullies refuse to allow him inside. Little Chick asks his father for advice. He learns that his relatives “invented the chicken-dance craze and even… crossed the road.” Being seen as brave and mighty appears hopeless until Little Chick notices a picture of Grandpa Rooster studying a fossil. He is keen to leave the farmyard in search of evidence of his heritage. illustration from Chick O Saurus Rex  an anti bullying picture book

Before long, Little Chick is shocked to discover that Tyrannosaurus Rex is his distant relative and he rushes to share the news with the bullies. When he arrives at the clubhouse, he discovers a wolf is attacking Little Donkey, Little Sheep and Little Pig. Little Chick is quick to dispatch the wolf and, shortly thereafter, all of the farm animals are allowed to climb the ladder and enjoy the treehouse.

An author’s note explains that the chicken is the Tyrannosaurus’ closest living relative and explains how the determination was made by scientists.

Chick-O-Saurus Rex could be used to prompt a discussion about excluding children in social situations and other forms of bullying, it will be enjoyed by children aged four and up.

Chick-o-Saurus Rex at

Chick-o-Saurus Rex at

Good Little Wolf by Nadia Shireen will charm young readers

Posted on April 6th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

Good Little Wolf by Nadia ShireenGood Little Wolf written and illustrated by Nadia Shireen
Picture book published by Alfred A. Knopf, and imprint of Random House

“It is madness for a sheep to talk of peace with a wolf” ~ French Proverb

Rolf is happy to be a good little wolf. He’s helpful, he’s a vegetarian, he likes to bake and he’s a good friend to pigs and Mrs. Boggins.

Rolf hopes he won’t ever encounter a bad wolf but, one day, when he is out walking in the woods, he meets the renowned Big, Bad Wolf. Big, Bad Wolf is quite dismayed at Rolf and his good behavior. Big, Bad Wolf expects wolves to howl and destroy houses and eat people.spread from Good Little Wolf

Big Bad Wolf challenges Rolf to be a “Real Wolf” and the good little wolf decides to give it a try. After a couple of disasterous attempts, Rolf discovers his inner ‘badness’ and proudly demonstrates his newfound abilities to Big, Bad Wolf.

Success demands a celebration and before long Rolf, Mrs. Boggins and Big, Bad Wolf are enjoying a delicious meal together.

Alas, author/illustrator Nadia Shireen is not content with happy endings. Big, Bad Wolf has one last wicked trick to play…

Fans of I Want My Hat Back will delight in Good Little Wolf as will those who have enjoyed Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf and Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf.

Good Little Wolf will be enjoyed most by children who know the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs. It most certainly will prompt discussions about “good” versus “evil” and whether a leopard (or wolf) can change its spots.

Simple, charming illustrations are a perfect match for both Rolf’s loveable personality and Big Bad Wolf’s nastiness.

Good Little Wolf at

Good Little Wolf at

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness – Terrific Series For Middle Grade Readers

Posted on September 9th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Need to find a new series for middle grade readers?

Storytime Standouts looks at a Terrific Series For Middle Grade Readers - Chronicles of Ancient Darkness

Michelle Paver’s books: Wolf Brother, Spirit Walker and Soul Eater sat unread on my bookshelf for far too long. These days, they are rarely in my office. These are the first three titles in a terrific series for middle grade readers. I have loaned each of them to many, many kids and, without exception, the books are devoured and the series is completed.

Wolf Brother is captivating, it has the perfect combination of tension and excitement. Set in primitive times, Wolf Brother begins when young Torak’s father is killed by a terrible demon – a huge bear that has been possessed by a creature from the Other World. Now, orphaned, Torak adopts a wolf cub and discovers he can communicate with this new ally. Together, they begin a seemingly impossible quest; to reach the Mountain of the World Spirit.

The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness is a terrific series for middle grade readers. I strongly recommend it – especially for boys. Relatively short chapters, a fascinating setting and terrific tension make for a series that appeals to many reluctant readers.

Web Resource: The Clan

Wolf Brother at

Wolf Brother at

Wolf Island Helps Readers Appreciate the Importance of Biodiversity

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at picture book Wolf IslandWolf Island written and illustrated by Celia Godkin
Picture book published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside

In Wolf Island author-illustrator Celia Godkin has created a sensitive, fictional exploration of the importance of biodiversity, the relationship between predator and prey, and the complex relationships within an ecosystem.

Wolf Island is home to many plant and animal species including a family of wolves. The island ecosystem functions well until a log raft drifts near the shoreline. Curious wolf cubs climb onto the raft and are soon floating away from the small island. Frantic howls draw the adult wolves to the raft and, moments later, the wolves are all aboard the raft. With the departure of the wolves, the island’s natural balance has been disrupted.

As the seasons pass, the wolves’ absence begins to be felt. An abundance of deer produce more fawns would otherwise be on the island so more grass and leaves are consumed. With less vegetation available, the rabbit, fox, mouse and owl populations are each impacted in turn. Soon many animals experience hunger and suffering. A difficult winter causes hardship but produces an ice bridge from the mainland to the island and the emaciated wolves are able to return home to their territory.

Well-suited to late primary grades, Wolf Island is an excellent introduction to biodiversity and offers many possibilites for further discussion and exploration.

Detailed Teachers’ Guide including page-by-page commentary, topics for discussion and a glossary

Wolf Island at

Wolf Island at

You may be interested in our page about children’s books that encourage environmental awareness.

Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.

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