Musiville – a review


by Nicholas C. Rossis, illus. by Dimitris Fousekis

Purchase copies here

Synopsis: A group of animals has evolved into musical instruments. Or is it the other way around? Whichever the case, they have now formed their own little village: Musiville. And bands. Lots and lots of bands. When everyone starts playing their own tune, buildings get torn down by an invader. Can Musiville be saved by the unexpected threat?

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author. This is a funny children’s story with a great message, here is my review:

Welcome to Musiville, a village of animals that has evolved into musical instruments or is that musical instruments that have evolved into animals? Either way, each of the animals of Musiville love to play their own music until one day something terrible happens…

Musiville is a wonderful children’s book with the core message of working together. The story follows Maracerus, a rhinoceros with a maraca for a horn, as he wakes up to a cacophony of sound from the village square. Every animal has been playing their own music for far too long and the animals need to work together to create harmonious music in order to save their village.

This is a very fun read for both kids and adults alike. I wasn’t sure what to think when I first saw the book but the story had me instantly interested in reading on. It is easy to read although I did find myself occasionally wondering how to pronounce an animal’s name or which instrument it was part made of, perhaps more my lack of knowledge of things such as agogo bells than a problem with the story. However to fix this problem there is an appendix at the back of the book where all the animals are listed along with a brief description and a lovely picture so you may want to keep referring to the appendix if you wonder what the animals look like.

This book has some very fun illustrations throughout the pages. The pictures are all a bit silly and really put a smile on your face as you read through the story. Although they display well digitally, I’d recommend getting a hard copy if you can as you’ll see the double page spreads so much easier.

I really love this children’s book and I’ve read it more than once! The different animals and their pictures are what really makes me come back to this book again and again, particularly the Celliraffe and Flurrow, but with it’s core message of cooperation this really is a great book for anyone of any age to read.

Rating: 5/5

(This review has been posted previously.)

Nicholas C. Rossis has been featured on Reading Recommendations previously. happymeerkatreviews publishes a blog of book reviews and author information.


Fascination – a review


by Kevin Brennan

Purchase copies here

Get ready for a road trip! Fascination is an odyssey around the quasi-wild West, on a mission of “self-realization and vengeance.”

Gorgeous Sally Pavlou, widowed by her husband’s fake suicide, sets out with insouciant PI (and punster) Clive Bridle to track down her errant spouse. From an unnamed Midwestern burg, the two hit the road in Sally’s ’63 Dodge Dart (nicknamed “Dot”). Readers get to ride along — to Denver, Albuquerque, Phoenix, L.A., San Francisco and various side trips to spots that may or may not appear on any map. Along the way, the pair encounters an astonishing variety of sages, sinners, eccentrics and downright lunatics who offer opportunities for enlightenment.

Sally is an aficionado of an old-fashioned arcade game called Fascination. Every now and then she just has to play, even if it means a considerable detour. Clive is fine with that; stretching out the trip means he gets to spend more time in Sally’s company. His cheerful exterior hides a wounded heart and a capacity for duplicity. Altogether, there are quite a few bumps in the road to self-realization and vengeance.

Kevin Brennan has created a finely-textured novel, with laughs (or at least smiles) on every page. Whether it’s groan-inducing puns or agile prose that creates vivid scenes in the reader’s personal mind-movie, the alert reader will find way more than the captivating plot to reward their decision to read Fascination.

Audrey Driscoll
(This review was previously posted to Audrey Driscoll’s Blog)

Kevin Brennan has previously be featured on Reading Recommendations a number of times. Audrey Driscoll is a writer and gardener who lives on Vancouver Island and reviews books at Audrey Driscoll’s Blog.