Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “Charlene the Star,” by Deannie Humphreys Dunne

  • Title:  Charlene the Star
  • Author: Deannie Humphreys-Dunne
  • Illustrator: Holly Humphrys-Bajaj
  • File Size: 1207 KB
  • Print Length: 100 Pages
  • Publisher: Self-Published by Author
  • Publication Date: February 8, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B06X3RH9SN
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Literature & Fiction, Children’s Books

*I was given a publication copy of this book from the author for review purposes*

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“Charlene the Star was born into a family of famous racehorses. Unlike her big brother, Charlie, Charlene decides she doesn’t like racing. How will she explain this to her mom? How does she show her trainers she doesn’t like racing? Will she become a model instead? Will Charlene discover her natural gift? Her career path takes many twists and turns before she finds her place to shine. You’ll love reading about Charlene’s adventures. She may surprise you with her unusual talent.

Charlene the Star is first in the series of Charlene the Star
books. The others are Charlene the
Star and Hattie’s Heroes and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog. In addition, she wrote an award-winning children’s autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier and a fictional story, Charlie the Horse. Her books have won a number of awards and recognitions.

Deanie loves spending time with her family and their dog, Elliott. She also enjoys watching equestrian events, figure skating competitions, and baseball.

Deanie’s sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, beautifully illustrates their books. Holly’s passion for Art began at an early age under the guidance of famous artist, Ray Quigley. Holly earned a Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University. She dedicates her talents to children’s book illustrations, equestrian and pet portraits.”

Charlene and her Mama

Quotes from Charlene the Star: (These are thoughts from Charlene the Star)

“I should change the subject. Ann and Blossom are talking about racing. I’m not even sure I’ll like it. Everyone has different gifts, but I don’t know what mine is. That’s kind of scary.”

“I wonder how you are trained to jump. Does that mean you can win prizes for jumping up and down? I liked jumping up and down during my tantrum. I’ve heard people say practice makes perfect. My outbursts could be almost perfect already. Maybe that could be my specialty.”

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Charlene the Star is a sweet story for young readers who love horses or animals in general. In the beginning, soon after Charlene is born, she learns that she has been born into a family of racehorses. Of course, her family wants her to follow in their footsteps (literally). However, this is a tough act for her to follow. Charlene soon discovers that being a racehorse just isn’t something she enjoys which causes her to have an identity crisis about what her role in life should be.

One thing Charlene does love is jumping, and that leads her to a major life opportunity. She visits the Jumping for Joy Ranch and is introduced to rail jumping, and she ends up excelling at the sport. In fact, after much practice, she proves to be so good that she wins a first and second place ribbon while participating in a competition.

As with all of Ms. Dunne’s books, Charlene helps young readers learn the lesson that it is all right to choose your own path in life. I would say this story would appeal to children from four years through eight years. The story would be an excellent bedtime read to share over the course of a few days where the parents and kids could talk about Charlene and her predicament. The author includes questions at the end of the book to prompt an active dialogue.

I wish I had a grandbaby young enough to read to… I loved the story and the message. Besides, the book was about animals. I’ve added this book to my “Me-Time” Children’s Category because after all, I still love stories about horses. ❤

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate:  5 out of 5 stars



Author, Deannie Humphreys-Dunne

About the Author

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is an award-winning children’s author. She spent her childhood in Easton CT. She has written 5 award-winning books; Tails of Sweetbrier, a true story about the power of perseverance, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog. All of the fictional stories are told by the adorable animal characters.

Her books have won a number of awards and recognitions including The Feathered Quill Book Award silver medal, The CLIPPA finalist, The Purple Dragonfly Honorable Mention, the Reader’s Favorite Silver Medal and a cover Award bronze medal in the Authorsdb.com contest. Additionally, she was one of the winners in the Authorsshow.com contest, “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” contest.

All of Deanie’s books and covers are beautifully designed by her sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj.
Deanie loves spending time with her family and their dog, Elliott. She enjoys watching baseball, figure skating, and equestrian competitions.

Deanie has been featured on several author websites such as; TheAuthorsShow.com, blogtalkradio.com and WTNH.com/CTStyle television show. Be sure to stop by Deanie’s website; www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com for more information on her books.

Author contacts

Website: www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeanieHDunne/

https://www.facebook.com/Memories-of-Sweetbrier-Farm-Easton-CT-1736497933252082/

Email: Deanie@dhdunne.tk

Blogs: dhdunne.blogspot.com
https://deanieblog.wordpress.com/


FREE??? DID I HEAR FREE???

FREE chapters of Tails of Sweetbrier and Charlie the Horse: https://payhip.com/deaniehd


“Charlene the Star was born into a family of famous racehorses. She had beautiful dark red hair, brown eyes, and nice long legs just perfect for being a racehorse. However, Charlene decides racing is not for her. Charlene does not know how to tell her mother this. Quite a dilemma for a youngster. You will have to read Charlene the Star to find out what happens next in this delightful story by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne. I recommend this book for young readers 7-12, and especially for those who are horse lovers.” By Virginia Wright on February 9, 2017

***

“Deanie Humphrys-Dunne was blessed with the wonderful gift of telling inspiring stories that encourage children to believe in themselves, work hard and achieve their own unique and special dreams. As we well know from our human experience, it is not easy to be born into a family of super-high-achievers. Charlene was born into such a family of champion race horses and, naturally, she was expected to become a famous racehorse herself. But Charlene found horse-racing boring, and she wasn’t all that good at it. So Charlene tapped into her own inner talents and found her vocation in the aptly titled “Jumping For Joy Farm.” This beautiful book has much to offer to young readers, but it will also assist parents in raising happy, confident and successful children. Readers will find amazing illustrations, exquisite writing and plenty of life lessons in this delightful and educational book. It is a labor of love! Most highly recommended!!” By Yosef Lapid on February 10, 2017


Thanks for stopping by to meet Deannie Humphreys-Dunne and “Charlene the Star!”


A New Neighbor

petchallenge

I was so excited yesterday when our new neighbor showed up looking  at us through the now infamous, “Horse-Hole.”  He is a black pony that the neighbors recently acquired.

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He was eager to eat some of the carrots that the other two horses get and finally stuck his head over the fence.  While eating his carrots, he let me pet his velvety nose.  I talked to him the whole time and his ears pricked up at my voice.

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Finally Paco pushed the little one out of the way, demanding all the carrots for himself.

Sugar and Spice barked their heads off the whole time the neighbors were visiting!

Thanks for stopping by to see what I am up to today.  The neighborhood is quiet and back to normal again after all the commotion yesterday.

Silver Threading

The Horse Hole–A Halloween Tale

 

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The sun slowly slipped behind the trees leaving a warm glow to the field. Night birds scattered in the branches of the trees while insects droned on in monotony. The air felt cooler now. Ground fog swirled around the grasses casting eerie shadows on the ground. The evening gloom was rapidly approaching. I shivered in anticipation.

Not far off in the field, our two neighbor horses steadily crunched grass, their teeth reflecting bone-white in the rays of the setting sun. It was Halloween night – All Hallows Eve. Trick-or-Treating kids would soon fill the neighborhood with the sounds of laughter, as they went from house to house showing off their costumes and collecting treats.

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The horse hole was visible in the fading light. The horses visited me daily looking for handouts of carrots or even an occasional apple. They would hang their enormous necks through the opening, all the while munching, as I rubbed their velvety noses. They were the best neighbors.

I was ready this time. Last Halloween I ran out of candy early. This year I made sure I had plenty of candy to hand out to the kids. My pumpkins were lit and my decorations spread around the front porch were inviting – not too scary for the little kids. I made myself comfortable in a chair and sipped my glass of wine, enjoying the descending darkness.

The kids came from every corner of the neighborhood, dressed as fairy princesses with dainty shoes, green colored Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, skeletons, Count Dracula’s, monsters of every variety you could imagine. Babies dressed up as bugs, teddy bears, and even a vampire baby stopped at my door to receive a treat.

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The darkness filled the neighborhood. The street lights were lit and an orange glow cast long shadows on the street. The children ran ahead of their parents, laughing with their friends. Parents milled about in small groups watching their children, always near. The sounds of laughter completed the friendly Halloween atmosphere. I watched and smiled at how cute the kids were, enjoying their banter.

By 8:30 p.m. most of the children and parents were finished with Trick or Treat and were heading home. A few crying fairies stomped their way behind their parents, mad because the great adventure was over for another year.

I cleaned up the porch, and put away the decorations in the bin I stored them in. It was such a lovely night, and a Friday night too. I refilled my wine glass and went out back to my patio that overlooked the field where the neighbor horses grazed.

It was a marvelous night. Stars lightly sprinkled the night sky and were spread out like a mantle overhead. The warmth of the day barely lingered and I could feel the coolness creep in between the folds of my sweater. I sipped my wine and appreciated the view of the night sky.

Suddenly, I smelled the most obnoxious odor. It seemed to waft, thick like fog from the horse hole in the fence. Far in the distance, I could hear the neighbor horses running as their thundering hooves hit the ground. They seemed frightened as their cries filled the vicinity of the field. I was rooted to my chair, unable to move.

There he was – the Headless Horseman! His profile was etched in the inky darkness of the horse hole! I heard my wine glass fall and shatter to the ground as shards of glass flew all around me.

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(Image credit: Telltale Games)

The horseman’s black steed snorted flashes of lightning through his muzzle, as his blood-red eyes glared at me! He balanced a glowing Jack-o-lantern in his right arm. I could see him clearly and there was NO head! The buttons on his coat were visible in the light from the pumpkin.

I swallowed hard and felt like my eyes were popping out of my head. I stared transfixed at the horse hole. The Headless Horseman whirled about and was gone! The fog churned in great billows and drifted about the field.

Slowly, the smell faded. The fog grew thicker and moisture dripped from the remaining leaves left on the trees. I started trembling uncontrollably. All around me it was silent. My breaths came in great gasps. I shifted in my chair and looked around my back yard. I looked specifically at the horse hole. It was all dark – just swirling fog.

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He was really gone! I could feel my heart pounding inside my chest. I relaxed my tightened muscles and gradually stood up. My shoes crunched in the ruins of the wine glass beneath my feet. Behind me, inside the house, a light came on in the kitchen which illuminated the patio outside.

My husband came to the back door and called out to me to come to bed as it was getting late. I told him I was just coming in and would be right there. Could I really tell him what had just happened without him laughing at me, I thought. No, I would keep this encounter to myself. Too much wine and a tad too much chocolate, I figured. I will just clean up this mess in the morning.

I went into the house, locked the door, and turned off the light. I had enough Halloween for one night.

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I hope you enjoyed my Halloween tale which was inspired from one of my favorite television shows, “Sleepy Hollow.”  Thanks for stopping by so I could scare see you!

Silver Threading

The Neighbors

Sugar and Spice are taking naps right now…  I had to sneak into my creative room to post these pictures of the neighbors for Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge this week.

petchallenge

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This is Paco and Poncho, the horses that live right behind our house.  They are frequent visitors and are always looking for a handout of carrots or, maybe an apple!  Sugar and Spice are jealous of them and bark at them the entire time they come to get their treats.

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Paco is the dun-colored horse on the left.  The big red guy is Poncho.  He is the greedy one and always pushes Paco out of the way.

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This is why we named this opening, “The Horse Hole.”

Glad you stopped by to see the neighbors.  Always a pleasure to see you all,

Silver Threading

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