Friday, August 3, 2018

Tales of the Forest by Johanna Sarah Aldridge – Book Review

Book: Tales of the Forest
Author: Johanna Sarah Aldridge
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Children's, Middle Grade


The Forest Realm is a magical world within our own. You cannot see it, nor can you hear it, and only very few might be able to feel it. The realm feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, and protects the hunted... so long as their hearts are pure.

Recently orphaned, two heartbroken brothers are at risk of separation by the government...

A black Labrador leads a colony of rabbits away from danger...

A destitute family of rats seek a new life away from the pollution of the big city...

All have been rescued by the realm of magic, and their lives are truly about to change.

Come and join us in The Forest where magic thrives, adventures are rife, and friendships last forever.

Book review by Nadaness In Motion

Tales of the Forest by Johanna Sarah Aldridge is a collection of children's stories, featuring a fun, friendly, and overall wonderful cast of characters.

The tales are both connected, in terms of recurring characters, while also being non-sequential. Story no. 1 doesn't lead to story no. 2 but it's recommended that they be read in order because some events are added as background in other stories.

I can't comment on character development because by the end of each story a character – or more – develops in a way or other.

At the beginning we meet two orphaned brothers Ben and Jamie, who find their way into the forest and become one of its inhabitants. They make several appearances in the  stories afterwards.

I found several of the stories to be quite emotional and heartfelt, some even made me teary, including "A Sacred Friendship" and "The Candletree".

"Growing Pains" is one of the strong and emotional stories. It is also about misinterpreted actions and how they affect children and adults alike.

"Fracturing" the third story in the book is simply beautiful, tackling themes and ideas of friends, family, bravery, and helping others.

"Bear Essentials" was very funny and adorable. It's about a bear family going to visit grandma bear and I like how Aldridge portrayed that grandma were the same everywhere, especially with getting a certain pleasure from feeding their children and grandchildren.

"You're way too thin, Felicia dear! You must put some weight on if you're going to survive the winter. And you boys could use some fattening up, too!"

My only comment was that when I picked up this book its genre was labelled as young adult (YA) fantasy. It's a children's book. So I had slightly higher expectations based on the genre. Still, it's a good read.

Although most of the tales are short, the last three ones are quite long. Fun but long considering each of the ones at the beginning could be finished in a sitting. The last three make up 40% of the book.

"A fat bear was a healthy bear, as far as she concerned, any anything less was not good enough."

I absolutely love the cover!

Overall, I enjoyed reading Tales of the Forest. The stories were fun, exciting, funny, and above all magical and cozy. The book is highly recommended for children and for parents to read with their little ones. It is also a great bed-time read with lots of lessons about friendship, family, and love.

Overall rating for Tales of the Forest by Johanna Sarah Aldridge: 4 stars.

Note: I received a free copy of Tales of the Forest by Johanna Sarah Aldridge for a review as part of a blog tour. This has not impacted my review in any way.

Add Tales from the Forest on Goodreads and/or pick it up on Amazon. 

As part of the blog tour, there is a Giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card, $10 Barnes & Noble gift card, $10 subscription (to any magazine within the price range)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also follow the rest of the Tales from the Forest blog tour for more reviews and other posts and exclusive content. 

About the Author:

Jo was born in Colchester, Essex, in 1974 and since an early age has always been accused of having a wild imagination. This didnt stop her from studying for an honours degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, training as a science teacher, then go on to train as a Biomedical Scientist. She eventually took a post in Clinical Chemistry at Jersey General Hospital in the Channel Islands.

Whilst holding down a full time job, and working 28 hour emergency on call shifts, she has managed to find the time to share that wild imagination with the world by writing online fan fiction stories about the CW series Supernatural.

She enjoyed it so much that, with a lot of encouragement from her husband, she decided to write her own stories. Not an easy task for somone dogged by anxiety and depression, and since her diagnosis in 2013 she has also been battling with Ulcerative Colitis.

In spite of her struggles, Tales from the Forest, a series of short stories set in a magical realm, began to take physical form on her laptop screen, and her black labrador Nelson is a valiant hero in some of the stories. As an avid animal lover, she has vowed that all proceeds from the sale of this book series will help to set up a forever home sanctuary for stray, elderly and abandoned dogs.

Although still working full time at the hospital, she has turned her thoughts to the future, and now holds a Diploma in Dog Training from the Centre of Excellence, and is currently studying towards a Diploma in Canine Communication in order to prepare for a life of working with rescue dogs.  

Connect with the Author via: Website * AllAuthor * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads

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