My View Book Review: Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far by Regan Macaulay

Title: Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far

Author: Regan Macaulay

Illustrator: Javier Duarte

Publisher/Year: Mirror Publishing/2017

From Back Cover: A good Samaritan takes her to a local animal shelter that cares for “special species” like Tamara. There, she learns about the plight of rescue turtles just like her.


When Tamara, a baby Red-eared Slider turtle, was chosen from the pet store and taken home by a little boy and his mom, she thought it was the start of a good life. And it was good, for a while, until the boy lost interest in her and forgot to clean her tank, and sometimes even to feed her. Not knowing the right thing to do, the boy’s mother released Tamara into a nearby creek. But the Painted turtles who lived there told her she didn’t belong, so Tamara set off to find a place where she did belong–a place where she could thrive.

I love reading animal stories, and if I can learn a little something in the process, all the better. Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far is engaging, with an interesting story and delightful illustrations, and it’s also educational. Readers, young and old, will learn how to properly care for a Red-eared Slider turtle. I learned that owning a Red-eared Slider requires a lot of commitment. They require a tank with room to grow, clean water, and lamps to bask under, among other things. I also learned that Red-eared Sliders should not be released into just any old creek or pond. Doing so will disrupt the ecosystem and displace native species.

Growing up, we had several pets in our home: cats, hamsters, fish, a parakeet. We never had a turtle, but I think I would have liked one. Having pets is a terrific way for kids to learn responsibility. And caring for animals helps children develop compassion for other living things. That said, if you’re going to get a pet, it makes sense to learn all that you can about the animal’s needs first. Make sure that you and your child are ready before you bring home that dog, snake, iguana, rabbit, guinea pig, gerbil, etc.

And if you have a child at home who’d really like to have a turtle for a pet, Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far is a great first guidebook on turtle care.

My View Book Review: Sloth the Lazy Dragon by Regan Macaulay

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Title: Sloth the Lazy Dragon

Author: Regan W.H. Macaulay

Illustrator: Alex Zgud

Publisher/Year: Guardian Angel Publishing/2016

Back Cover Blurb: Sloth is a lazy and overweight dragon taking up space atop a hoard of gold and jewels within a mountain inhabited by dwarves. One dwarf helps Sloth lose weight through diet and exercise. The grateful dragon, now able to fly, leaves the dwarf and his people a special gift.


Radish the dwarf bravely and cautiously enters the cave where Sloth the fire-breathing dragon resides, surrounded by mounds of gold and precious gems. Radish is hopeful that Sloth won’t eat him and offers to help the portly dragon lose weight. Sloth is skeptical at first, wondering why the little fellow, so small he’s “hardly a mouthful”, would want to help him. But he’s keen to get in shape, so he accepts Radish’s offer. After three years of exercising and eating healthy, Sloth is ready to fly again.

Being a dragon fan, I was immediately drawn to this book. When I was much younger, I collected dragon figurines, along with other mythical creatures, such as winged horses and unicorns. Lore that features these fantastical beings continues to fascinate me. 

What I like most about Sloth the Lazy Dragon is that it’s not your typical “knight defeats evil dragon and rescues the princess and all the townsfolk” kind of story. Instead, we meet a chunky, overweight, can-barely-move dragon and a little dwarf who is willing to put his fear aside and help him. There’s no damsel in distress, but rather, a suffering dragon. There’s no weapon-wielding, white-horse-riding hero, but rather, a tiny man with a beard and a pointy cap…and oh yah, some free weights.

Through a clever story told with a captivating voice and filled with interesting words, like diminutive, atrophied, and dirigible, as well as enchanting and fun illustrations, this book, oh so subtly, relays the message that being active and eating nutritious foods is important for your health. Kids will eat this story up, no pun intended, because it will capture their imaginations. 

Favorite lines:

“Why do you not fly outside the mountain?” the dwarf asked anxiously.

“Use your eyes, little man,” the dragon snorted. “Can you not see my girth?”

My View Book Review: Beverlee Beaz The Brown Burmese by Regan W.H. Macaulay

Title: Beverlee Beaz The Brown Burmese

Author: Regan W.H. Macaulay

Illustrator: Alex Zgud

Publisher/Year: Cricket Cottage Publishing/2015

Back Cover Blurb: Beverlee Beaz, the brown Burmese, longs for adventure and has the powerful imagination to make it happen! On a lovely but otherwise ordinary day, she seeks excitement among the forests and fields surrounding her home, where she lets her imagination run wild. The ordinary suddenly becomes extraordinary in the eyes of this little brown cat. Let’s follow Beverlee on her adventure…through the forest, and inside her mind!

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As Beverlee the cat sets off from home on a beautiful sunny day to explore the neighboring countryside, she hasn’t a clue what’s in store for her. She’s eager for adventure and heads to the meadow. She spots a monarch butterfly, and that’s when it happens–her imagination takes over. The butterfly becomes a parrot, then a rabbit becomes a kangaroo. It’s great fun at first, but then the animals she meets begin to transform into more frightening creatures. Can Beverlee control her imagination before her imagination gets her into big trouble?  

Though I now have a dog (whom I adore), I grew up with cats and have a special fondness for them. I remember especially our family cat, Sammy, an orange and white kitty, who loved to explore outside. He’d be away for hours until one of us called him home for supper. (Back then, the issue of indoor cat versus outdoor cat hadn’t taken hold yet.) But what was he doing all that time? Perhaps he was a bit like Beverlee, yearning for adventure, letting his imagination run free, and probably getting himself into trouble. Upon occasion, he did come home sporting battle scars. But the adventurous little tiger lived a good long life.

Beverlee Beaz The Brown Burmese is gorgeously illustrated with lots of color and beautiful, imaginative borders around the pages that have the text. The illustrator also did a fabulous job depicting the overactive imagination of our playful feline star Beverlee Beaz. Overall, the story is fun, the main character is sweet, and the illustrations are lovely–well worth a look!