Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bird Brain Book series by Emlyn Chand - review tour and giveaway

This review is done in conjunction with the author's tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a$25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave your thoughts here and you're entered! If you want more chances to win, visit the rest of her tour stops here.

I've changed up how I'm formatting the reviews today because I'm not reviewing just one book, and really, these books are so similar in style, etc., that I think an overall review would be best.  First, take a look at the books:

Honey, an inquisitive young parakeet living in the Australian Outback, decides to become a superhero after she spies a human family watching Superman. Since she already has the power of flight, all she needs to do is create a costume to conceal her true identity and then fly off in search of animals that need rescuing.

Unfortunately, every time she tries to help, Honey only ends up making matters worse. She spoils Kangaroo’s game of hide-and-go-seek by revealing his hiding place to Wallaby; Mr. Anteater must go hungry when she alerts the ants to his presence, and Mrs. Koala is made a laughingstock among bears when Honey pretends to be her Joey. Finally realizing that she’s not as heroic as she’d like, Honey gives up her day-saving efforts.

But what happens when someone actually needs Honey’s help? Will she rise to the challenge?

Davey dubs himself the luckiest crow in the entire world when he finds a wonderful,
shiny object. It even has a fantastic name: “paperclip.” Wow!

One dark and dreary day, Davey’s treasure goes missing, and he is beside himself with grief. Luckily, he knows just how he can find out which of the forest animals is to blame for the theft. Inspired by the torn pages of a Sherlock Holmes story that were used to fashion his nest, Davey calls on the help of Sarah the sparrow to investigate the mystery and, hopefully, retrieve his prize.

Together the two birds begin to collect clues. Their trail leads them straight to Mr. Bushtail, a greedy squirrel who keeps a giant store of objects in a hollowed-out tree trunk. When Mr. Bushtail refuses to cooperate, the two birds have no choice but to break into his tree house in search of the truth.

Justice will prevail and treasure will be found in this intriguing tale of mystery.

Poppy is the prettiest peacock in the entire garden, but one day his privileged existence is upset when an all-white peacock is born and promptly named the most beautiful by a smitten flock. Intensely jealous, Poppy no longer knows where he fits in and decides to reclaim his title as the fairest bird in all the land, no matter what it takes.

In a desperate attempt to regain the admiration of his peers, Poppy steals items from the humans that visit his park. He wraps himself in a beautiful silk scarf, wears a series of ornate bangles around his neck, and even tries to dye his feathers with colored dust from a festive Holi celebration. Unfortunately, each of these attempts not only fails to improve his appearance, they actually make it worse. What’s a poor bird to do?

In this compelling tale of self-esteem, pride, and learning what makes each of us special, Poppy the peacock discovers that true beauty lies beneath the feathers.

Tommy is a mischievous little woodpecker who loves to fly to the edge of the forest.
and watch the people in the nearby suburb. One evening, something strange and exciting happens—people emerge from their houses wearing costumes and carrying colorful buckets with smiling faces on them. What’s even crazier is that they shout a special codeword while standing outside of each house, and are given delicious-looking candy.

Tommy simply must join in the fun. He and his friend, Michael the raccoon, fashion their own costumes and head off to join in the festivities. Thanks to Tommy’s knock-knocking beak and Michael’s quick paws, the duo is able to heist many a candy bar from the unsuspecting homeowners and children.

But are they missing out on the true spirit of Halloween?

Courtney is a peppy young penguin who just loves exploring, and is overjoyed when she receives a compass from Santa on Christmas morning. She’s so grateful for the gift, in fact, that she just needs to give Santa a great big hug and say “Thank you!” in person. The only problem is she lives in the South Pole, and Santa is all the way on the other side of the globe!

With the aid of her new compass, Courtney sets off on a journey that takes her almost an entire year. By the time she reaches Santa’s workshop, the elves are in a flurry preparing for the upcoming holiday. Unfortunately, Rudolph is feeling very sick—too sick to guide the sleigh. If Courtney can’t find a way to help, Christmas will be ruined and all the children of the world will be devastated. What’s a little penguin to do?

My review:  With gorgeous, bright illustrations and stories that will certainly engage very young readers, the Bird Brain Book series is a winner.  The hardest task I had as a reviewer was to stop being a mom (during the first book I read, "Courtney Saves Christmas", all I could think was -- what kind of parent would send their child off on a round the world trip alone?) and try to crawl into the psyche of a kindergartener. Finally I managed and was able to enjoy these books in way they're intended to be enjoyed.

Some stories presented better lessons than others, but they were all worth sharing with your kids.  My favorite was "Honey the Hero" mainly because I felt so badly for this sweet bird trying so hard to be a help and having everything go wrong.

"Davey the Detective" was a close second.  I giggled in a few places, especially near the end when poor Davey realized how wrong he'd been.  He was so abashed!

"Poppy the Proud" was such a good lesson on what really matters and what scale we should use to judge one another.

One of the best things about these books is that they don't talk down to the kids.  There are long, complete sentences with words that may challenge young readers.  I love this!  It's a fun way to teach lessons (saying thank you, saying you're sorry, sharing and more) that will also help your little ones learn painlessly.

Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children's book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!


Website & Blog:


  1. These sound so cute! Wish they'd been around when my kids were small.

    Mnark111 AT gmail DOT com

  2. I find I'm drawn to the covers as well as the stories.


  3. The book look lovelly, the kids like the covers and the illustrations.

    anzuazura AT yahoo DOT de

  4. Did you always wanted to be a writer?


    1. Of course, I was even born with a fountain pen in hand ;-)

  5. Wonderful review and I agree the books are brillian!

    lyra.lucky7 at gmail dot com

  6. Great book series!


  7. Fabulous review!

    shadowrunner1987 at gmail dot com

  8. Thank you for the wonderful reviews. My personal favorites are Davey and Courtney. Even though I'm not a mom yet, I had to stop and think about Courtney embarking on that journey all by herself. As human as the characters are, they're still birds. Little people should never go on these adventures on their own. In fact, my parrot Ducky wrote a blog post for kids about the time he flew away from home :-D


  9. These sound like a great series for kids! Thanks for the intro to some books I think my kids and their friends would enjoy!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net