Archive for the Category » Children’s books «

New Release of Book #5, Cheets Heads for Troublesville

NOW Available!   Book #5 in the Fabled Forest series.  CHEETS HEADS for TROUBLEsville

Cheets is looking for an adventure!  The elf had heard about ‘town’. Emma and her mother went all the time but no one from the fabled forest had been there. Cheets was certain it was a magical place and he decided that he must head for troublesville. He stows away in the car one day and finds himself in busy, noisy streets all alone. He begins his adventure by befriending two cats who live in a house with two humans. Then because of his obsession with carrots, he is captured in a trap and that’s when his adventure no longer is any fun.

 

 

 

Don’t miss Cheets’ escapade and ultimate rescue!

 

Beautiful full color illustrations by Jefferson O’Neal.Click here to Purchase
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MY features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months? March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: World Traveler, Tal Gur. June: mystery author, Manning Wolfe.
                                                                                   
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Interview with Childrens Book Author, Rita Avaud Najm (part 2)

Continuing my interview with author, Rita Avaud Najm. ‘Poursuivant mon interview avec l’auteur, Rita Avaud Najm’

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

RN. Each situation needs a character that goes with it and fit its plot. I cannot create a character without giving it a role. Just like movies! The scenarios come first and then finding the right actors for every scene you have created.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

RN. I never get lost, maybe because I write for children and my stories are usually short.

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

RN. I don’t have a Muse, but I hope my “Petite Rita” stories will become as famous as “Martine,” “Madeline” and “Dora the explorer.” All of my other stories, even the fictional ones, teach children about the importance of virtue, honesty and love. They all have a message and teach life-long lessons while entertaining the readers.    

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

RN. Publishing my third volume of “La Petite Rita” is my next step, as well as finding an illustrator for my other pictures books that need a lot of colorful, joyful and eye-catching drawings.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

RN. My first serious book was a guide for teachers and parents to encourage students to read more poetry and non-fiction books. That guide was my graduation project in 2013, while I was working at one of Houston’s public schools libraries. Since then I’ve been seriously writing with a goal of publishing my works. 

Q. How long after that were you published?

RN. I’d been looking for a publisher for a year and a half. It’s not easy to make your dream come true.

Q. What makes a writer great?

Creativity, imagination, a unique style make a great writer, as well as knowing their audience’s interest, and expressing their ideas clearly and be passionate about the subject or story they are writing about.

Q. And the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

RN. It’s just time. “No book” is the starting point that needs a push to make the invisible visible, and to put thoughts into sentences. The “keep on” is the key to finally typing the joyful two words of mine, “The End.” It’s not a hard process; it’s a plan or a goal that one should enjoy achieving and seeing it in hand.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

RN. “Memories are special moments that tell our story” My childhood memories are the basic of most of my stories. They flash through my mind and give me ideas to write more and more.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

RN. I am a Children’s book author who writes fiction and non-fiction stories and I love it.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

RN. Writing is more than putting sentences on a page; it’s a gift that any reader might have. If you are a good reader, love books, have plenty of feelings that you would like to express, why don’t you let them be heard? I never thought that I would be an author one day and that I would bring my characters to life!


Did you miss Part I of my Interview
with this children’s author? Click here.

To purchase Rita’s books: click here
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author was Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. In December we will be saying hello to English mystery writer, J.G. Dow. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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To Purchase: click here  

 

 

 

Interview with Children’s Book Author, Rita Avaud Najm

A new author, raised in Lebanon and France, writing children’s chapter books with a quirky twist.  Some of her dialogue is in simple French phrases with definitions as a footnote. Introducing youngsters to French. These are charming little stories about Rita coming to America as a child. T.S. 

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?   Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

RN. I don’t have a specific place. But I always keep a note book next to my living room seat to write any idea that comes to my mind. Once I gather my thoughts, typing and saving them on my laptop will be my next step. I usually keep it on my dining table where the lights are bright.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

RN. My note book should always be handy to look through my thoughts or my simple scribbles as a reference. My cup of tea is always there on my right side, yet many times I drink it cold since once I start writing, I don’t stop and keep on until I am tired, or hungry. 

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

RN. Other than writing Arabic poetry and French stories, writing plays and song lyrics since I was 7 years old, I am a painter. This hobby helped with illustrating my two books. I also do crochet and knitting. All of my storylines have to do with something I’ve been through in my childhood or things I do or did. My memories make my stories alive. 

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

RN. I prefer evenings. I know by then that my children did their homework, had dinner and the house is clean and the housework is done, for the day!

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

RN. Some people procrastinate because they are lazy. Others are afraid of change and the heavy success, or they just fear failure and risk. “Someday I will,” keeps those writers who might have plenty of amazing stories to tell and a vivid imagination never known, and always living in the past. Go ahead! Start that project! Celebrate your success and live the moment when your hard work pays off!

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

RN. Besides my “Petite Rita,” the little French girl who represents me, I was shy when I came to The USA because of my French-Lebanese accent, anything can be my character when I have the story.  I can make a story about my cup of tea or my toothbrush… When you are creative with imagination, you can create and make any object or animal talk your talk.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

RN. French Dual immersion programs in many public and private schools are the reason behind my main character to be a French girl, as well as the love of students to learn a foreign language. I decided to publish those two volumes first, before any of my other stories, because of their passion to read and to learn some common French words.

Join us for Part 2 of this interview. ‘Rejoignez-nous pour la partie 2 de cette interview.’  November 24th.

To Purchase Rita’s books: click here
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author was Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 
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To purchase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review ~~ La Petite Rita by Rita Avaud a Najm

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing 3 out of 5 quills   A REVIEW  La Petite Rita

Part of my job and responsibility is to give ‘new’ authors a chance at exposure, through my reviews and interviews. It is part of my mission to support other authors and offer advice. 

Vol. I & II of La Petite Rita are a good start to a charming series.  Based upon the author’s childhood memories, it revolves around a little French girl (Rita) immigrating to the United States with her parents.  Seen through Rita’s eyes, we observe Thanksgiving, first day at school, shopping, weddings, bicycles in the rain. 

The unique feature in the author’s books is the use of the French language. Simple phrases that any child could learn.  BUT, the footnote translation should be in phonetic (fa-net-ic) form as the actual phrase is already in the text of the story. This would teach the child ‘how’ to say the phrase in French. 

The covers of the books have no title, so the reader isn’t told immediately what the book is about. By the title, La Petite Rita, my first impression was that it was a children’s book written in French.  And the illustration on volume 2 really doesn’t tell the reader what it’s about. Only when they begin to read the book do they realize that it is a collection of very short stories. Missing inside is a content page with the title of each story. 

New authors should value the cover artwork and ‘title’ beyond all else. These are the first things that might inspire the reader to carry your book to the check-out counter! 

The books are charming little vignettes with a cute introduction to French.   To purchase
Don’t miss my Interview with the author in November!

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author is Donna Kauffman. In NOvember we say hello to ‘Rita’ the author of the above books. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!
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Emma and the Lost Unicorn, A Children’s Book

Announcing the second edition of this popular children’s chapter book, Emma & the Lost Unicorn

Book 1 of the Fabled Forest Series: Emma, an earthling girl visits her friends in the forest with great regularity. She delights in the antics of Stare, the rhetorical owl and Cheets, the mischievous elf.  One day she’s introduced to Rainey, the unicorn,  a prince who’s been banished, for centuries, by the warlord, Hazard.   He can never return home unless Emma solves more riddles than Hazard’s Lieutenant, Kodak. The fable ends with a surprise twist which will delight readers young and old.  While written for children, this fairy tale is sophisticated enough to appeal to adults as well.

Queens, warlords, faeries, elves, unicorns, handmaidens, scary henchmen and one small mortal girl child in an enchanted forest.  This fable offers many subtle lessons.

 

Available in illustrated paperback, audio-books and e-books at all book stores. 

fairy tales, fables, elves, fairies, running away, audio books

greed, ecology, elves, warlords, love, friendship

fairies, books for children, literacy, reading, bullying, bullies, elves,

Book 4 in the series/Beautiful illustrations

 

Guest Blog ~~ Write from the Heart! Joseph Drumheller

joe-headshot How to Land a Multi-Book Children’s Publishing Deal?  Write From the Heart!

About a year ago, I was paddling down a familiar stretch of whitewater when I found a tangled up crawdad in a fishing line.  After about five minutes of meticulous unwinding, I launched the little fellow back into the wild. My wife Tamara and my paddling buddy Tom, both thought that would make a great children’s story.  The next morning, I wrote my first children’s book, Jason and the Crawdad King, on the back of a few napkins while sipping tea in a coffee shop.

nearing-the-crawdad

Not far from where I found the Crawdad King

It was the first time in my life it felt like all the pieces were falling into place.  The premise of the story came out of doing something I love.  The suggestion for the story came from people I love.  Plus, the story imbues a sense of wisdom from my personal experience and philosophy˗˗something else I love.  And the whole package is directed toward the people that everyone loves—their children. From the time I found the helpless little crawdad, to the moment I’m typing this out on my laptop, it’s been one endless magic carpet ride.  I think in spiritual circles they call it divine Flow.

The day I finished writing the story, Tamara’s daughter Chantelle came to visit.  It was the first time I met her.  It just so happens, besides being a professional ballerina in San Francisco, she’s also a brain child from Columbia University.  In the two days she visited, she edited my book.  Flow on, man.

Next I met my illustrator, Lili Avakem.  Major Flow there. Lili and I met via the modus operandi of the 21st century…the internet.  I was hoping to find an illustrator who was exceptionally talented, in love with illustrating, relatively unknown (like me), and hadn’t reached their full potential yet (hopefully like me too!).  In short, I was hoping for an enormous stroke of good luck.

I held a contest on Freelancer.com, searching for samples from illustrators.  Lili beat out 25 other entries. However, to win the contract to illustrate the entire book, I asked Lili and another artist from Thailand to submit one more illustration.  I took one glance at Lili’s second submission and my jaw dropped to the floor in utter disbelief.  I realized the enormous stroke of good luck I was hoping for had actually arrived. As I sit and write this, I still haven’t met Lili face-to-face.  It’s like she’s some angelic creator of magic, hanging out in cyber space.

jason-3Shall we Flow a little further?  After Lili and I finished the manuscript, I sent out queries to about 120 literary agents and publishers.  After about a month, as rejection notices started to pile up, I was contacted out of the blue by Golden Bell Entertainment in New York.  I never submitted anything to them.  They contacted me based on an illustration of Lili’s I posted on Facebook.  Go figure!

I recently landed a children’s picture book publishing deal, for nine books, with Golden Bell Entertainment in New York.  “Wow!”  You might be thinking.  “How did you pull that off?”

I’ll lay it to you straight.  It happened on accident. I’m was born a creative free spirit.  It took me a long time to figure out what that was, let alone accept it.  I was also born with powerful spiritual inclinations and an incredibly strong connection to nature.  I’ve  always seen things from a philosophical point of view, as I’ve wandered deep into the wilderness. That framework led me to a Master’s degree in Geology and a patchwork career as an exploration geologist.  With a helicopter pilot as my chauffeur, I’ve prospected the Alaskan Arctic, the Yukon Rocky Mountains, and the Barren Lands of the Arctic Ocean.  I also hung my hat for a spell in northern Sweden.

arctic-tundra

Artic Tundra…that little speck is me

And what was the result of those fascinating explorations?  It deepened my connection to this planet we call Earth. So here I sit, a published author with the sky as our limit.  And how did it all happen?  By being myself and doing what I love, with people I love, to the core of my being. If you’re looking for success as an author, I’d suggest you start there.  The rest will take care of itself.  Your only job is to enjoy the journey.

Bio

Joseph Drumheller is a three-time award winning author with works in non-fiction, fiction and now children’s books.  He has a deep love for nature and adventure, which fueled his previous career as an exploration geologist. He lives with his twin flame and extraordinary performing arts spouse, Tamara. They live in the great Pacific Northwest. www.josephdrumheller.com

Did you see the Interview with Joseph?  Click here

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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   September’s author will be Joseph Drumheller and October: Author, Lisa Jackson.  November’s author will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes                          Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

Conclusion: Interview with Author, Joseph Drumheller

jason-3

Illustrations by Lili Avakem

The conclusion of this delightful interview with author, Joseph Drumheller.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

JD. Characters. They tend to tell me what to write.  After I found the crawdad that inspired, Jason and the Crawdad King, I spent the next morning sipping tea listening to Jason dictate.  As he spoke, I wrote the story down on the back of some napkins.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

JD. Absolutely. One day I began writing at 10 a.m. I vaguely remember getting up to grab a bite to eat or to go to the bathroom.  The next time I looked at a clock it was 3 a.m.!

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

JD. I have two. (1)  My wife Tamara.  She’s the focus of out next work, Aura the Angel, The Ballerina’s Beacon. She was a child prodigy ballerina whojoseph-and-tamara-1 spent 30+ years working in Off-Broadway productions in the San Francisco area.  She is the epitome of love incarnate.  (2) Lili Avakem.  She’s my award-winning illustrator—born, raised and educated in Tehran, Iran and now living in LA.  It seems everything we touch turns into magic.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

JD. I haven’t yet. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a (serious) day in your life.

Q. What makes a writer great?

JD. Heart, soul and passion. You can’t ‘try’ to be a writer. You either have it you or you don’t.  And if you do have it in you, it still takes a lot of time and energy to sculpt your craft.   But it it’s what you’re born to do, you’ll love it.  Also, don’t worry about spelling.  They have editors for that.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

location-of-jason-and-the-crawdad-king-1JD. For me, it’s called a magic carpet ride. I wander around in nature (places I love) then go home or out for tea and write about it.  I was born to be a free spirit.  Writing is the only thing that has completely fit my lifelong tendency to be there proverbial round peg that doesn’t fit into any the square holes out there.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

JD. When it come to writing, my life experiences are the whole ball of wax. Almost everything I write about is based on what I’ve seen and done.  That’s why it’s so easy to write.

Q. Have you? Or do you want to write in another genre`?

JD.   I have three published books in the genres of non-fiction, fiction and now children’s books.  I also have eight more children’s books to come, with Golden Bell Entertainment out of New York.

The Subconscious, the Divine and Me (2012, Pine Wood Press) – An introduction to spirituality.  Non-fiction.

The Unity Oracle (2015, Self-published) – An award-winning spiritual adventure novel.  Fiction.

Jason and the Crawdad King (2016, Golden Bell Entertainment) – A picture book, featuring award-winning illustrator Lili Avakem.  Children’s Book.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

Don’t force your writing and don’t stop. If you love it, it will show. I would like to thank Golden Bell’s Polar Press

Visit Joseph’s website www.CrawdadKing.com  and Joseph’s page on  facebook

Did you miss Part I of this Interview? Click here

Release date of Crawdad King  Winter, 2017.

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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   September’s author will be Joseph Drumheller and October: Author, Lisa Jackson. November’s author will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes                          Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

 

 

 

Interview with Children’s Book author, Joseph Drumheller

jason-1

Illustrations by Lili Avakem

We are all so looking forward to this delightful children’s book by Joseph Drumheller. Joseph, in your own words, describe yourself. TS

JD. I’m a creative free spirit with a spiritual bent and a strong connection to nature.  Cathartic mystical experiences and/or memorable happenings in the great outdoors are the underlying influences to almost everything I write.  Yet, as I mature, the most powerful force I’ve experienced is love, especially from my wife Tamara.  Without her consistent love, belief, and support, I’d be nowhere.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? (shed, room, closet, barn….) Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

JD. I spend a lot of time outside. When I walk, kayak, or cycle, the channels open up and the creative juices start to flow.  Most of my books have been written entirely in my head.  Typing them out in a coffee shop or in my office is the part that requires discipline.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

JD. No, not when I sit down and type. Walking, kayaking or cycling in nature does the trick for me.joseph-at-work

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

JD. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen some of the most remote and glorious parts of the planet via helicopter, working as an exploration geologist. Some of those places include the northern arctic of Alaska, the continental divide in the Yukon, the Barren Lands near the Arctic Ocean, and northern Sweden.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

JD. No. I tend to be more of a morning person but when inspiration hits, it’s time to write.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

JD. If writing doesn’t flow from the core of your being, take up tennis. With that said, I’ve never had a problem with procrastination.  I was born two weeks early and always seem to get things done ahead of time.  That creates its own set of challenges, like when I’m working with procrastinators!

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

JD. I write almost exclusively from personal experience.  The closer my characters are to home, the easy they are to write about.  I found a crawdad tangled up in a fishing line while whitewater kayaking.  That inspired Jason and the Crawdad King.  Aura the Angle, The Ballerina’s Beacon is a story about my wife Tamara who was a child prodigy ballerina.  My award-winning novel, The Unity Oracle,  is essentially glossed over non-fiction, detailing mystical experiences I’ve had.

jason2Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

JD. Divorce. In the early days of a separation that led to divorce in 2009, I went on a solo self-directed retreat in a log cabin, along a mountain river. I spent four days writing.  I’ve never stopped……

Join us for the conclusion of this fascinating Interview ~~ Saturday, September 17th

Release date of Jason and the Crawdad King  Winter, 2017.

Visit Joseph’s website www.CrawdadKing.com  and Joseph’s page on  facebook
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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   September’s author will be Joseph Drumheller and October: Author, Lisa Jackson.  November’s author will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes                          Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

 

Your Child’s Next Book!

Thomas the sea turtle isn't certain he approves of BertieExcerpt from “Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bully Boys  (c)  A very large, beautiful sea turtle came down the path.  He wore a bright red kerchief tied at his neck and a captain’s cap on his head.

“A-hoy there, mates. ‘ Tis a fair wind at my back that blew me to my home port.”
Donald and Emma rushed forward and hugged Thomas almost knocking him over.
“Steady as she goes, mates. You’re about to knock me off me’ pins.” Thomas laughed.
“Oh, Thomas, we are so happy that you are home.” Emma cried.
“How was your voyage?” Donald asked.
“Rough seas around Cape Horn but that’s the way the ’horn’ is.  We came back with a hold full of spices and teas from the Orient. I have to tell you that I miss the constellations in the southern hemisphere. But, all in all it’s good to be at anchor and  to see my friends again.”
“We could have a reading circle about the stars in other hemispheres.” Bertie said.
“Oh!  Excuse me, Bertie, for not including you.  Do you know our friend, Thomas the sea turtle?”
“I can’t say as I’ve had the pleasure, Emma.”
“Thomas, this is our dear friend and teacher, Bertie, the bookworm.” Donald said.
“Well, blow us over and wet me sails.”
Thomas looked Bertie over. “You’re an old one, ain’t ya?”  Thomas declared.
“I’ve lived some years, it’s true,” Bertie replied.
“Thomas! I know you didn’t mean that as rudely as it sounded.
Bertie is a respected elder of the forest. He teaches all of us how to read and spell better.
He introduces us to many new words. It’s very exciting.” Emma scolded.
“No harm done, Emma. I know that Mr. Thomas didn’t mean anything by that. It’s true, I am old.”
“It’s Captain Thomas, if you don’t mind.” Thomas told him.
“Sorry, of course, Captain Thomas.” Bertie smiled.
Thomas turned to Emma. “So, Emma, what brings you so far? You’ve set your sails a far league from your home port.”
“Slam and his gang took Bertie’s eye glasses more »

FREE Audio Book: “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”

fairies, books for children, literacy, reading, bullying, bullies, elves,

A story book with full color illustrations

FREE!!  Have you got a child, grandchild or great grandchild under the age of ten??  FREE audio-book of “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”  (Five lucky winners and One per family)

And I would like to share this with you…..first come, first serve.  Sign up for my blog and leave a comment on my site Code: ‘Bookworm’. and I will send you the code and the instructions on how to get your copy.

Listen to Sample of the book by clicking here

Bertie, the bookworm is the fabled forest’s elder and teacher. Every week he has a spelling and reading circle where everyone is welcomed. Slam, the badger and his gang of bully boys are forever teasing, disrupting, and bullying Bertie and the group of faeries and woodland creatures.
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