Tag Archives: don m winn

Review! The Eldridge Conspiracy by Don M. Winn

1 Jun

The Eldridge Conspiracy
Series: Sir Kaye the Boy Knight 4 (1, 2, 3)
Written by Don M. Winn
Illustrated by Dave Allred
167 pages – ages 8+
Will be Published by Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, LLC on June 16, 2017

Synopsis- There is a plot of treasonous measures being taken against the neighboring kingdom of Eldridge, and Sir Kaye the Boy Knight has uncovered the horrid conspiracy! It could lead to the invasion of his country of Knox, and even more – to the death of Eldridge’s king and Kaye’s father, Sir Henry! Kaye and his friends, Reggie and Beau, set out to do what they can to prevent it. But time is of the essence, and with an evil baron trying to get them all out of the picture, it isn’t certain they even have a chance!

What I Thought- I really enjoyed this fabulous conclusion to the Sir Kaye series. Winn knows how to bring the tension up in the series, raising the stakes in the book to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. It is interesting to see Kaye unfold as a character; he fluctuates, learning and then forgetting as he lets pride or guilt or some other emotion take control of his actions. Altogether, this makes for a maximum learning experience for both Kaye and the reader. Winn writes a good story for younger kids who have progressed from early chapter books, but aren’t quite ready for another step up – the chapters are short, with a mildly challenging age-appropriate vocabulary, and neat black-and-white illustrations throughout the story. The series is good for kids who like knights and medieval times, and show that sometimes it is hard to do what is right, but having honor is a good thing to strive for. Morals are taught in the books, as well as just plain old essential character traits. Winn has written a good series about a kid who strives to do his best even when times are hard, and a lot of things can be learned from that. I am sad to see this series come to a finish, but I look forward to seeing more come from Mr. Winn!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Review! Legend of the Forest Beast by Don M. Winn

3 Sep

sirkayeLegend of the Forest Beast

Series: Sir Kaye the Boy Knight #3 (#1, #2)

Written by Don M. Winn

Illustrated by Dave Allred

178 pages – ages 7+

Published by Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, LLC on July 8, 2016

Synopsis- Sir Kaye, the boy knight, is back on another adventure! He and his two friends, Reggie and Beau, were at the castle when it is found out that the royal tutor has gone missing! And recently a man was just escaped from prison who was put in there because of the tutor. Can this be foul play? But anyway, this is Kaye’s first adventure not involving the castle! It’s his chance to earn his knight name – like Sir Griswald the Patient or Sir Harry the Just! This is his big opportunity to prove that he’s a great knight!

What I Thought- This was a nice installation in the Sir Kaye series. Winn’s writing style is perfect for his young audience. Winn shows that Medieval times were harsh and not always as wonderful as we sometimes imagine. I like that the books have a way of not hiding the fact that death happens, but also keeping it appropriate for the younger readers. I like the character development in this book. Kaye and Reggie both grow as people in very different aspects. They mature as the story goes on and we learn more about who they are as a people. The book is a nice look into medieval life, while also teaching good morals such as honesty, trustworthiness, and many more. There are also really neat black-and-white illustrations throughout the book. I really enjoy this series!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! The Lost Castle Treasure (Sir Kaye the Boy Knight – Book 2) by Don M. Winn

23 Feb

sirkay2Book 2: The Lost Castle Treasure
By Don M. Winn
Series: Sir Kaye the Boy Knight
178 pages – ages 8+
Published by Rising Phoenix Press on December 3, 2014

Synopsis- Sir Kaye, Reggie, and Beau are back in an all-new adventure! Kaye and Reggie (who is telling the story) are on their way to live at Castle Forte with the Queen of Knox. Along the way, Kaye receives a threatening message  – a stick-man dressed like Kaye hanging from a tree -from an anonymous knight. Upon coming into the town, Kaye is tossed about by mean-spirited knights and ridiculed in front of the residents. While at the castle, the other knights aren’t much better. They don’t think that Kaye, a mere boy, deserves to be a knight. When Queen Vianne gets a letter from a neighboring country saying that they need a debt paid off immediately to stop a war between the two countries, Kaye volunteers to find the castle’s lost treasure to pay the debt and prove himself. Kaye was all set to go  on the quest when a vile knight got Kaye so angry that Kaye foolishly agreed that if he doesn’t find the treasure in time, he would lose his knighthood. Now Kaye has everything to lose. Add in a haunted castle, and Kaye and his friends are in for quite an adventure.

What I Thought- This was a great book in the series about a young knight that is coming of age and his relationships with his friends. Reggie (one of Kaye’s friends) is a great character that you really get into his head. Kaye becomes more distant in the book, with all of the pressure of losing his knighthood and finding the treasure. Reggie feels left out and useless, even though he really is doing a lot. There are black and white illustrations that  seem to make all of the characters come to life. I really like the adventure in this book. It lets Kaye and Reggie explore the castle while still doing good for the kingdom, and the stakes are rather high too, creating some tension and a fantastic plot for young readers. The Sir Kaye books are completely appropriate for all ages and are a great pick for parents of young advanced readers looking for exciting adventure stories for their kids.

I give “The Lost Castle Treasure” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Space Cop Zack, Protector of the Galaxy by Don Winn

4 Oct

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I like Mr. Winn’s works, and that they encourage talk between kids and adults, and they have great messages! 😀



Space Cop Zack, Protector of the Galaxy

By Don M. Winn

Illustrated by Dave Allred

17 pages – ages 5+

Published by Cardboard Box Adventures (June 28, 2013)

Theme/Topic – Imagination / space / books for boys

Genre – Fiction

Opening and Synopsis –  “Space Cop Zack and his robot sidekick GARG skyrocketed through the stars. Zack steered his super-transformational smart ship, the Galaxian, straight into the middle of the swirling asteroid field of Vomitron 9.”

Zack and GARG are on the trail of the sinister criminal Dr. Dogbreath. They find themselves on planet X where they discover many obstacles including the Slime Forest and a giant octopus. Will Space Cop Zack be able to find and arrest Dr. Dogbreath? You decide! (no really, you do 😉 )

Why I liked this book – I love that this whole book takes place in a kid’s imagination. It makes a neat twist to the end of the book and you really can decide how the book ends using your imagination. At the end of the book you see what has really been happening and there’s a little map that shows where Zack and GARG (his toy robot) have been (his back yard). I thought it was fun to look at the map and then see where Zack really was during the story. The story fun to read and would make a great read aloud for parents and kids. I love the silly humor Mr. Winn puts in the book too. The illustrations are great! They are colorful and have a lot to look at in them.

Activities and Resources –

I didn’t have to go far to find great activities for this book. Mr. Winn included discussion questions parents can use with their kids. All of the questions help kids use their imaginations!

Make your own jet-pack! When I was little I glued two Styrofoam cups on the bottom of a cereal box and cut holes in the box to put ribbon through it to make it go around my arms. I loved my jet-pack and I used it for a long time. I thought this would be a good craft idea to go along with this book. I found this AWESOME version of it using soda bottles at Doodle Craft click HERE! You have to check out how cool it is!

Now that you have your jet pack, talk to your kids and decide how the story ends or make up a new adventure for Zack and GARG to go on!

To learn more about Mr. Winn, visit his Goodreads blog HERE or his website HERE. Find Mr. Winn on Facebook HERE or on Twitter @don_winn

Visit the Cardboard Box Adventures site HERE.

Sir Kaye the Boy Knight (Book 1) The Knighting of Sir Kaye by Don M. Winn

12 Dec

sirkayebook1Sir Kaye the Boy Knight (Book 1) The knighting of Sir Kaye

By Don M. Winn

168 Pages – Ages 8+

Published by Cardboard Box Adventures on September 21, 2012

Reggie Stork was angry with his father for sending him to work in the fields as an “unjust” punishment. Reggie got mad and decided to wander off, following a river. Soon he got lost and fell into quicksand. Kaye Balfour happens to find Reggie and rescues him and the two become friends. Reggie finds out Kaye wants to be a knight like his father Sir Henry, the last good knight in Knox. Sir Henry was training Kaye, but the old king sent him to keep peace between Knox (their land) and Eldridge. He has been there for two years. The Queen of Knox is having a terrible time trying to keep her kingdom together. The King has died, Sir Henry is away and all of the knights won’t listen to her. The Queen is desperate for a hero and then she hears of twelve-year-old Kaye and his friend Reggie who just rescued another person, well, not just any person but the Queen’s own nephew, from a bunch of bandits. The Queen has an idea, but is Kaye up to the challenge?

This was an AWESOME story!It had EVERYTHING! Action, adventure, knights, a kid hero. I love how it was set in medieval times. I like reading about knights. Mr. Winn writes in a great style that makes a very exciting story that is totally appropriate for kids. Kaye was everything I like in a main character. He was brave, smart, kind and had a lot of perseverance.  There are black and white illustrations in the book. I thought they were a nice addition to the story. With great characters,


a clean story and a great message of perseverance and believing in yourself, this book would make a terrific holiday PRESENT ! The ending of the book also sets up the next book in the series (which isn’t out yet).

It is called “Sir Kaye and the Lost Castle Treasure”. I am looking forward to reading it!

Five out of five bookworms for “The Knighting of Sir Kaye”!fivebooks

The trailer for book 1 is exciting!

To read an excerpt from The Knighting of Sir Kaye click HERE.

To learn more about Mr. Winn, please visit his website by clicking HERE.

You can find The Knighting of Sir Kay at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or iTunes.

**NOTE – Please check back tomorrow when I post my 12×12 party post! There’s a party going on and you can join in the fun! Check it out at Julie Hedlund’s blog HERE! **

Twitch The Squirrel and the Forbidden Bridge by Don M. Winn

1 Mar

Twitch The Squirrel and the Forbidden Bridge

By Don M. Winn

Illustrated by Dave Allred

20 pages / ages 4+

Published by Cardboard Box Adventures on January 11, 2012

Twitch is a very bold squirrel. He is great at collecting nuts. He saw a ravine with a HUGE tree on the other side of the ravine. The tree was full of nuts! Twitch’s parents told him it wasn’t safe to cross the ravine to get to the tree but Twitch ignored his parents rules and tried to get to the tree. Twitch’s actions put him into terrible danger!

I really liked “Twitch The Squirrel and the Forbidden Bridge” a lot. The message of the book is something that all kids should read. I have to say that I had an experience similar to Twitch’s. I went on thin ice (literally) after my parents told me to stay away from the water, to not even go near it…and I didn’t listen. I fell through the ice but I was lucky and was able to get out. I am sad because I didn’t listen to my parents when they trusted me. This book has special meaning to me. I realize that  parents tell kids not to do things to help protect them. Besides the great message of this book, I like the illustrations and the fact that Mr. Winn includes questions at the back of the book that parents can talk to their kids about. Questions like “Do your parents make rules you don’t understand?” and “If you were a parent what kind of rules would you make?” I think this book would be great for kids of all ages!

Five out of five bookworms for the very important book “Twitch The Squirrel and the Forbidden Bridge”

Mr. Winn has a whole series of great picture books with great messages. You can learn more about his books by visiting his website by clicking HERE.

A Couple Picture Books With Great Messages!

28 Nov

Forget about Cyber-Monday shopping! Read my reviews for these three picture books with great messages (well maybe you’ll want to buy them after you read my reviews so it’s ok to go back to Cyber-Monday after reading).

Superhero – Everyone Needs a Hero

By Don M. Winn
Illustrated by Dave Allred
17 pages – ages 4+
Published by Yorkshire Publishing Group in 2010

In this book a young boy dreams that he is a superhero. In his dreams he has super-powers and can defeat bad-guys, the Big Bad Wolf and even a giant! But when his dream starts to turn into something a little scary he quickly learns that a superhero doesn’t need a cape, a side-kick or any “super” powers at all. His superhero turns out to be his Dad who hugs him after having a bad dream.

I liked this story a lot for a couple reasons. First it shows that life’s greatest heroes don’t have any “special” powers at all (and this coming from a kid who LOVES comics) but they are just normal people. There is also a section in the back of the books for suggestions about what parents can talk to their kids about. For example, “How could you be a hero” and “What is a hero.” I really like how the illustrations kind of look like a comic too. Mr. Winn has a bunch of books that teach different lessons you can find his website HERE.  I asked Mr. Winn, on his blog (find it HERE), which of his books was his favorite. He said that it depended on which day you ask and today he said “Superhero” because he was thinking of his Dad. So that’s the one I chose to review! I think I’ll also be checking out his other books! Five out of five book worms for “Superhero”!



Stealing is Bad but Giving is Good

By Shawn Hipskind
Illustrated by Mike Motz
22 pages – ages 4+
Published by CreateSpace on August 16, 2011

Timmy lives next to Billy and Tom. Billy is rich but Tom’s family is very poor and Timmy’s family is kind of in between. Timmy decides to take a bike from Billy because Billy has a lot and give the bike to Tom because he has so little. Timmy learned a big lesson from both Tom and Billy that even though Timmy was trying to do something nice for Tom, it was still stealing. Timmy also learned about the power of giving and being charitable.

This book has a very nice message and it’s told in a neat way, not just straight out stealing is bad. Timmy really thought he was doing something nice. I think this book is a great read aloud for parents and kids and then families can talk about what it means to steal and maybe think of how they can give more. The illustrations are pretty good. The bright colors really make it nice to look at. This is Mr. Hipskind’s first book and I hope we see more from him! You can learn more about Mr. Hipskind at his website by clicking HERE. You can also visit Mr. Motz’s illustration site HERE. Four out of five book worms for “Stealing is Bad but Giving is Good”!



Do You Want to Play Catch?

By Chris Draft
Illustrated by Anthony Sclavi
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Brio Press April 1, 2010

Former NFL player, Chris Draft, tells us about how playing sports with his family brought them closer together in the book “Do you want to play catch.” Mr. Draft tells us that even just playing catch with your family can lead to talking with each other and learning about each other.

I really liked this book! I thought the message was really different especially for a picture book. I’ve read some sports books about how it can help out people personally with their family, but this is the first I saw this message in a picture book. The illustrations in the book are AWESOME! They remind me of the mural art I see on the sides of the buildings when we drive through Philadelphia (BTW Philadelphia has a really cool tour of the mural art find it HERE). I met Mr. Draft at the National books festival in Washington DC this year (read about it HERE). He kicked off the festival by making sure all us kids were up and ready to move for the day!  One caution there is a statement about Mr. Draft’s coach saying that girls can’t throw balls because “they wear bras”  and some parents may find that inappropriate, but my mom told me that it is sad because some people, men and women, do believe that women can’t do things because they are women. I think it could be a way of teaching kids about this type of wrong-thinking. Just to tell you, in the story Mr. Draft’s mother shows him how wrong his coach is! Mr. Draft does a lot of great work through The Chris Draft Family Foundation too. This is from the foundation’s website – “The Foundation focuses on seven primary initiatives with overarching themes that stress the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, character development, personal responsibility, self-discipline and physical fitness”. What a great message! I give “Do You Want to Play Catch” five out of five book worms!

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