Monday, December 8, 2014


I've been away from my middle grade spotlights for a while and decided it was time to join in, again. It's great to me back in the lineup for Shannon Messenger's MMGM! Click HERE for the other participants.

THE LUMPY DUCKLING: Another Weaver Tale (Weaver Tales, #3)
by Kai Strand

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Released: October 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 85
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

I'd like to thank the author for supplying me with a copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

Favorite Line/Passage: Wheezy leaned against her bedroom door when she closed it behind her. Her heart pounded from the effort of holding her feelings inside. Such strong emotions swirled inside her, she was afraid of what might burst out. She wanted to yell at the top of her voice in anger, yet her heart weighed heavy with sadness, and tears hovered just behind her eyes. Remembering Lumpy's handsome new face caused her to frown with confusion and sob from a sense of loss.

Description: Lumpy may be hefty with a misshapen mouth, but he’s funny and the most loyal friend Wheezy could ask for. When she meets Unwanted, she casts a wish for people to be able to see her best friend like she does. Her wish nearly kills him.


My Splats: a sweet coming of age tale of trying to find one's place in the world and within relationships. It's full of fun, youthful energy. 

What sets this story series apart from other shorter fantasy reads in the middle grade category is the structure of the story. These children are word weavers, meaning they often challenge each other through every day events by communicating in poetic rhyming. Initially, I thought it might become too much or take away from the main theme of the story but it didn't. In fact it did the opposite by showing character quirks, beliefs, and reactions - inner emotions. I think kids this age will really gravitate to it. It makes them think.

The story has wonderful characters such a Eloise aka Wheezy, who sneezes in threes. She has a great attitude of being strong and sure of herself - on the outside, anyway. As events unfold, the reader learns there's more to Wheezy on the inside then she shows on the outside. Then there's her BFF Lumpy, who's always been the plump, smart boy on the block. He's practically a master at word weaving, always making it a playful game. A little competition between good friends sounds fitting and intriguing to readers of this age. I absolutely LOVE this concept. 

As all good stories do, this one has roadblocks the main character must overcome. Through one dangerous wish that could have a grave outcome, Wheezy takes the reader on a journey of changing friendships as kids move from the elementary mindset and physical body to moments of awkward adolescence. How does he feel? How do I act? Will they still like me? There's even a bully to give the tale a deeper MG feel, although it's done in a new, fresh way. 
By story's end, the true meaning of friendship shines through in a delicate and very sincere way. It's a wonderful teaching tool for kids this age. I'd recommend reading together, especially with 10-11 year olds. (Psst...if you're wondering if that little blue dude on the cover is Lump, it's not. You'll have to read to find out who he is.)
Weaver Tale #1                    Weaver Tale #2
What's a good middle grade story on friendship you've read? 
 photo Sheri2.png


  1. I want to know who the little blue dude is.

  2. Love the title and it sounds like a great read-aloud. This one is new to me so thanks for sharing it today. I'll be tracking this one down for a future read.

  3. They say be careful what you wish for!

  4. Who can resist a story with that title! Congrats, Kai!

  5. I'm very intrigued, both by the premise and its execution. Yep...'fraid this one's going on the pile, too! lol Thanks for the recommend, and happy MMGM!


  6. This sounds very intriguing. Thanks for the review. I plan on checking this one out.

  7. Sheri, thanks for the kind review of Lumpy and Wheezy's story. I love writing about friendship & sometimes demonstrating what not to do is as effective as showing what to do. SO glad you enjoy the word weaving format of the Weaver Tales.

  8. The whole word weaver thing sounds really intriguing! Congrats to Kai!

  9. This is making me break out into I once was a lumpy duckling. Love this concept so much. Thanks for sharing, Sheri.

  10. So very late getting to IWSG posts but so very glad I did, because it's been just the encouragement I needed. And a good reminder... I was excited when Compulsion came out in November but couldn't read it then because of NaNoWriMo - glad I can read it now!


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