Article on Mystically Oriented Children's Book
"The Land of Smaerd" is a unique and mystically-driven children's picture book which adults who value the powers of the imagination will naturally be drawn to as well. Smaerd is dreams spelled backwards, so it's a clue as to what awaits within the covers for readers fortunate enough to pick up a copy of it. You see, the Land of Smaerd is where the dreams themselves actually reside. A wonderfully creative team of two visionary authors, Andrea von Botefuhr and Angela Russell, and one stellar illustrator, Bryn Barnard, brought this children's book to life. It's a rhyming story where the flow is not hindered with strict rules of regulated rhythmic word choice, so in this there's more of a dream-like state conjured up. Concepts such as honoring your personal journey, in a dreams turned into reality kind of way, feel like they're organically fused into the storyline. Plus, it's received the Silver Moonbeam International Children's Book Award. You can go to www.thelandofsmaerd.com/story for more information on it and to see a short video about it. Copies can be ordered directly at www.thelandofsmaerd.com/products, and you can check out their blog at land-of-smaerd.blogspot.com
Gia Lee for Target Audience Magazine
"The charming,imaginary world of Smaerd"
This beautifully presented book will appeal to children of all ages. It describes in rhyme the imaginary world of dreams of a child, any child, in a creative and refreshing way. A book that the reader, young or not so young, will return to, with affection, repeatedly. Great fun!
Keith C. Williams
"A Decadent Treat for All of Us"
When I first saw this book on the shelf it completely jumped out at me, simply because of it's captivating cover. It was magnetic! While it's true one shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, this is a book that holds true to it's cover. It carries in its pages a beautiful message accompanied by tantalizing, full-page works of art that allow the imagination to play and simply get lost. Any child would be thrilled to read this and as an adult it reminded me of the magic it is to BE a child. Not only is it encouraging, it is spellbinding --literally, artistically and metaphorically. It reminds us to "dream" and will dazzle you on every level.
Kristi L. Beckett "K.L. Satori"
"It's about time!!"
Nothing less than what I expected from the creative minds and relentless driving forces of Andrea and Angie...Attitude is Everything! The Maxfield Parrish hued illustrations suggest how dreaming in full color could truely be. This may be the Blue Feather!
"Gorgeous and imaginative"
Both author and illustrator do a fabulous job with this book--the colors, the drawings, the premise, the theme--all are woven together to provide a lovely, imaginative book that young children will love. Heck, I love it and I'm... well, let's say I've been a grown-up for quite awhile now. Bravo! Educators, this is a great one for the classroom due to its positive message.
S. Kay Murphy "Heretic"
"Great Book for children and adults"
I thought this book was very imaginative. A clever way to introduce children to creating and dreaming. I enjoyed reading it and so did my husband. I've kept a copy to read to the grandkids as well as giving copies to my friends. Well worth having in your library.
Mel & Dave "Grandma and Grandpa"
"Nurturing children and adults imagination. Food for the mind"
Time stops and your imagination will enter to the land of everything possible; if you let it happen. The book is a source of great inspiration, creativity, and full of exquisite details from the beginning to the end. A book to keep for all ages and all future generations. Thanks for this lovely creation.
Elisa Pico "(Eli Reig)"
"Fantastic and Brilliant"
When this book first crossed my path I was struck by the brilliant illustrations and lyrical prose that delighted me to no end. Having read this book to several children (and adults) I am constantly impressed with the questions and discussions this book brings to light. It is a hard book to keep stocked in our children's section!
Sara Pelfrey "SoulFood Books and Cafe"
What a great Children's book. After all, dreams are just manifesting in COLOR :-) The illustrations are perfect for the lovely story!
Christopher Law "Safari Guide"
"Wondrous, entertaining, colorful! book"
This amazing book should be in every home. It is a magnificent multi-dimensional treasure to be enjoyed by children of every age. The original concepts created by a ten year old child are impressive and the re-creation in verse is both amusing and enchanting. We need more books like this one to stimulate and entertain our youth in a healthy and wonderful way. Thank you for presenting this enlightening work of art with such great illustrations. Five stars at least! Beautiful! Absolutely magical!
The Reading Tub
Age of Child: Started reading with nearly 7-year-old girl.
Little Kid Reaction: Our daughter wants to be a dolphin trainer, so she was immediately captivated by the cover (girl riding a dolphin). She really liked the book and searched for the dream mosaic on all of the pages.
Big Kid Reaction: This is a beautiful book. Even if you don't read a word, the soothing images will bring you calm. The illustrations are gorgeous and have several layers. For example, the illustration of Smaerd is more than just mountains and rocky crags. You could almost imagine Puff the Magic Dragon in the background.
Pros: A soothing story and dreamy images make this a nice story for reading before bed. Emerging readers will be helped by the rhyme scheme.
Cons: The rhymes don't always keep the same cadence. But we've read a lot worse!
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This will help kids through several stages of dreams and nightmares. The illustrations make it a book to explore without words, too.