Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Yesterday I reviewed Donkey's Kite and today, as promised, is my thoughts about the first book The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey, both from A Horse Valley Adventure series. It is a short book illustrated by its young author, Liana-Melissa Allen. I strongly recommend reading this first and then continue with Donkey's Kite.

This is the Kindle edition and the start of a wonderful story...

Book Synopses: 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.

In this first book, we are introduced to the three little horse brothers named Jack, Max, and Lax. When they lost their house to a fire, they are forced to go live in the woods. However, there is a problem because the well-known bully donkey lives there too, and everyone avoids that place because of him. The brothers decide to be brave and build separate houses despite Jack's disapproval

Here is where the similarities with Three Little Pigs start. The three brothers build their own houses: Lax builds a house of bush, Max a house of sticks, and no prize for guessing, Jack builds the sturdiest house made of stones. As expected, the bully donkey comes a-knocking and wrecks havoc, but is he successful all the way through? Also, please pay attention to the little blue bird that is always with Jack wherever he is. Maybe he (or she) is Jack's little pet friend... Would you like to know what happens to Donkey? Well, read this book to find out!

I have thoroughly enjoyed both The Little Horses (book one) and Donkey's Kite (book two). The author's illustrations are impressive and she's such a talented young lady! As mentioned in my earlier review, the book format is conducive for reading aloud too and it's worth reiterating that it's a fun platform for discussion by adult readers with their young readers. The Little Horses has also been translated to the Spanish language titled Los tres caballitos y el burro bravo.

About the Author: 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 www.lmabooks.com for more information, and to contact her by email. Visit her on Facebook too.

Where to buy the book:
On Author's Website
Barnes & Noble

Many thanks to Laura Fabiani from iRead Book Tours for sending me a complimentary copy of this book. I'm proud to be a part of this book tour!