These short animal action and adventure stories set in a magic forest capture the very essence of childhood. Set in the world of forest animals who start off as strangers and enemies but who learn: to recognize the value of each other, the collective power of teamwork, about caring for and looking after each other, about the magic healing power of nature, taking care of the environment, and making the world a better place. This is a forest story and is wonderful to read at nap time or bedtime or anytime for children of all ages. Because they capture children's imagination they teach so much about imagination and play.
"As a mother, I strongly believe we need to nurture our children but yet equip them with life skills and social skills that will help develop them personally," says Orla.
These books teach children life skills and are positive, uplifting and teach children through the story about bravery, overcoming challenges, looking out for each other, helping each other, appreciating all the good things in our lives, taking care of our environment, and making the world a better place to live.
Lovely books for bedtime stories for children ages 4-8.
|Publisher:||Prodigy Gold Books|
|Product dimensions:||6.01(w) x 9.01(h) x 0.20(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|
About the Author
One night when her kids had nothing new to read, her son Michael started to write a story for his sister Emer about her favourite bedtime toy Owly, a pet owl. What he started to write, sparked an interest in writing after they begged me to write a story about Owly and his adventures.
When I was asked about what makes this series different from other children's stories, Orla says, "As a mother, I strongly believe we need to nurture our children but yet equip them with life skills that will help develop them personally. These books are positive, uplifting and teach children through a story about bravery, overcoming challenges, looking out for each other, helping each other, appreciating all the good things in our lives, taking care of our environment and making the world a better place to live. Each book builds on the previous one and is set in the world of a bunch of unlikely forest friends. I really do believe that both young in age and young at heart will enjoy these imaginative and creative stories as much as I enjoyed creating them."
Read an Excerpt
Owly Rescues Lizzy Lizard
Owly was a little owl that wasn't happy doing what other owls did. He was tired of sitting on the branch of a tree every day, just hanging out there for hours.
Not much happened in the sleepy forest where he lived. Even the animals didn't do much. They just came out to eat and went back home again. No one talked to each other, knew each other's name or cared for each other. That was until something interesting happened one day that was to change their lives forever.
This is what happened on that magical day.
It all started when Lizzy lizard fell off a tree while out climbing. She wondered if she could see beyond the forest, but as she stretched upwards, Lizzy got dizzy and took a nasty tumble.
Even though there were other forest animals close by, none of them came to help her. Owly was just about to fly down when he noticed something dangerous about to happen.
Victor Vulture, a deadly black beady eyed, sharp clawed bird was circling the sky slowly, getting lower and lower, closer and closer to poor Lizzy as she called for help.
Owly knew he had to do something, but what? He was not a fully grown owl yet and not powerful enough to go to battle with Victor. He needed to outsmart him or at least keep Lizzy safe before help arrived.
Even then, Lizzy's mom and dad were no match for Victor and could be swooped away in an instant if Victor saw them.
You see, the animals in the forest developed a code when Victor was around. Any creature that saw him was to give a signal. That signal was that they would each change the sound that they make, so it would sound different and then each animal who would hear the signal would then pass it on through the forest, one animal at a time. This would give a warning, so all animals could hide, or at least be on guard when Victor was in the area.
However, the forest creatures had gotten lazy and no longer did this, so Victor was around a lot more now, swooping down and stealing away any misfortunate animal that didn't look out for Victor.
Owly knew that if he didn't act fast, Lizzy would be lunch – Victor's lunch!
He flapped his little wings, sending soft feathers floating in the air, and off he went down to poor Lizzy. With his little beak, he shoved a leaf under her little body, and slowly he took the stem of the leaf in his beak. He carefully pulled her along the forest floor, towards a hole in the bottom of the tree that he used to hide his favorite things.
'Lizzy you will be safe here.' whispered Owly. 'I will give Victor something else to do while I get help.' Lizzy nodded. 'Don't worry, you will be okay, I promise.' Then he covered up the hole with leaves and twigs so it looked like there was no hole there.
The week before, Owly had found a piece of broken mirror and had given it to his Mom. She loved to look at herself, and had grown quite fond of that mirror, but now he needed it back for a while.
Luckily mother owl was really wise, and understood that it was an emergency, so off Owly flew clutching tightly to the mirror. He carefully passed it to Suzy squirrel, and asked that she hide and shine the mirror up towards the sun, in a gap in the forest that Victor flew over. It worked!
Victor could see something shining up at him, and it was blinding him and making him dizzy. At one stage he nearly hit a tree. He knew he had to be careful, but really wanted to see what it was that was flickering and shining from down below.
Owly knew that Victor would soon figure out it was just a mirror, and would come back for Lizzy, so he needed to get going fast. He had to get a message to Lizzy's Mom and Dad, and also get some medicine for Lizzy.
Luckily Lizzy's Mom and Dad had seen Victor circling in the sky, and had come to look for Lizzy when she didn't come home.
Owly knew by the sounds they were making, that they were worried about him. He went down to them and flapped his wings in and out so that it looked like he was asking them to follow him.
He was hoping they would understand and luckily they did. They scuttled as fast as they could along the forest floor that was more like an obstacle course for the two lizards.
Getting to the tree first, Owly pushed back the leaves and let them in to Lizzy. She gave a weak cry and her mom and dad were crying too. Owly knew she was really ill.
He had heard stories throughout the forest about a Magic Medicine Tree. It was supposed to be hundreds of years old and the grandfather of all the other trees in the forest.
Being the first tree, it took in all the magic and beauty of the world round it, and created a forest. However the tree was very old now and tired. Nobody visited him anymore or asked for help.
The forest had grown too big, and nobody really cared about their fellow creatures, or about keeping the forest beautiful and enchanted, as it once was.
Owly had been told where the tree was, but it was far away, in the darkest part of the forest, in a place where everything sounded strange, and where the light only entered the forest for a short few hours a day. He couldn't delay or it would be near dark before he got there, that is if he didn't get lost or if something should happen to him.
He had to be brave. He had to teach the other animals that they needed to stick together, care about each other, care about the forest and make it a really home again. If it was beautiful and enchanted once, then surely it could be like this again?
But first things first, he needed to see if there really was a magical medicine tree and if so, could it and would it help him?
The Journey to the Magic Medicine Tree
Squashing a few bitter berries into his mouth, Owly set off zigzagging through the forest, going deeper and deeper where it was getting darker and darker.
The forest was changing. It sounded and looked different, and he was getting scared. He felt like something or someone was watching him, but couldn't tell where from. 'Keep going' he kept telling himself.
His wings were getting more tired and feeling heavier and heavier. He was feeling sleepy and very thirsty, 'just a bit more' he kept saying to himself.
After what seemed like hours, and just when he was about to give up, he suddenly saw something up ahead. It must be the tree all the forest animals were talking about. But it certainly didn't look magical or like a medicine tree. In fact, it looked like it could do with some medicine.
All its branches were bent over and brittle, parts of it were rotten and its bark was crumbling. Its roots had risen above the forest floor and were being slowly eaten by insects, birds and other creatures.
His journey had been a waste of time, or so he thought. However, the tree really was magical and could read the thoughts of any creature close by.
Long ago it could read the thoughts of every creature in the forest. But now its powers were nearly all gone, so it could only do this if the creature was close to it.
The tree gave a deep moan and then shuddered. Owly's heart nearly stopped beating. Suddenly the tree motioned for him to move closer. Owly had to be brave. Slowly he went a little closer then stopped.
The tree moved one of his branches again like a signal to move forward, and so Owly took a bigger step this time. Then in a low, deep voice that seem really old, it asked why he had come to the part of the forest where animals no longer visited.
Owly was so frightened, he spoke really fast, without taking a breath, and told him all about Victor and Lizzy, and about needing medicine and help. When he was finished, the tree said nothing and Owly could almost hear him think.
All his branches were groaning and shaking, and the tree seemed to be breathing in and out with the bark getting bigger, then smaller, over and over.
Finally a big branch broke off, and came crashing to the ground. It was so close to Owly, he thought he was going to die. 'Oh dear' said the tree, 'I didn't mean for that to happen, but now that it has, go to the end of the branch fast before the medicine seeps out into the forest floor and disappears forever.'
'I don't have much medicine left, and that is why I gave you one of my best branches. You need to collect what medicine is inside and try not to lose any, as my body is weak and I am not able to make any more' said the tree.
Quickly Owly went over and put the largest curved leaf he could find, underneath the broken part of the branch. Slowly out oozed some silver thick liquid. There wasn't much and the last drips came out. Owly now needed to find a way to fold the leaf up and tie it so he could keep it safe until he reached Lizzy.
'Take a piece of my root and tie it around the leaf to hold the medicine inside.'
'Will it hurt you?' said Owly.
'Not as much as me having to break off my good branch. My old ones break all the time, but they have no medicine and wouldn't be any good to you.'
'Thank you so much. I promise I'll be back and will try to help you get better.' said Owly.
'Thank you.' said the tree in a weak voice.
Off Owly went clutching the leaf as tightly as if his life depended on it, but it was really Lizzy's life that depended on it. He hoped he wouldn't be too late!
As he got closer to the place he left Lizzy, he saw Victor. 'He must have lost interest in the mirror' he guessed, and now Victor was really hungry and impatient. He knew he was tricked and was really angry. He kicked at the forest floor, scattering balls of dust and leaves everywhere.
'He must think Lizzy has crawled under a leaf and he is looking for her.' gasped Owly. I can't get to her either, he thought because Victor would see him. 'What if Victor stole the medicine?'
Owly knew he needed to make a big sacrifice. He had found a little ball with a bell inside, near the edge of the forest, near a picnic area, and used to love to push it around and hear the bell tinkle. It was colorful and as the ball spun, all the colors seemed to swirl together and make a cool pattern.
He had to let Victor play with it which would hopefully give him some time to give the medicine to Lizzy, but how much time did he have, and what if it was too late.
Luckily Lizzy's Mom and Dad knew Victor was outside, and they peeped out at him. Lizzy was so ill she couldn't cry any more. They knew they couldn't make a sound or Victor would have all three of them for lunch!
Owly had time to hide the medicine. Because he was watching Victor so closely, he stood on a branch and it snapped. Victor spun around. 'I eat owls too,' he snarled, scratching the ground with his razor like claws, 'especially small soft ones like you.'
'Maybe so' said Owly in his bravest voice, 'but I bet I can beat you at a game of special football. If I lose, you can eat me and keep my magic ball and I'll tell you where Lizzy is. If I win, you go away for one day.'
'Hmm, just one day, what is the catch?' said Victor Vulture.
'None, I am just really good at football and know I am going to win, that's all,' said Owly in the bravest voice he could use.
Victor flapped his wings, and as they spread out they seemed to block out all the light in the forest.
'He is just trying to ruffle my feathers' thought Owly, but he had to admit he was afraid.
'Let the games begin.' squawked Victor. 'I can almost taste my lunch.'
Owly Sets a Trap for Victor Vulture
Owly wanted to move Victor away from where Lizzy and her family were hiding, so he said, 'Let's make this more interesting. Follow me!'
'I hope you aren't playing games with me.' squawked Victor giving Owly the evil eye. Owly thought Victor had special powers and could see right through him. Could he see his heart beating so fast also? Owly thought so!
Owly led Victor to the flattest part of the forest, but one that had secret underground traps that had been set by hunters passing through the area. He and other forest animals knew not to go there, but Victor wasn't a forest animal.
Of course Owly had to be careful. He had to remember what the signs were for the trap underneath. He had to try to get Victor to fall into a trap without Owly falling in, but it would be difficult, especially when they were playing football.
Each of them picked a spot for scoring between two trees on opposite ends of the forest space. If Owly remembered correctly, the spot nearest his goal had the deepest trap. He was happy to let Victor score, but the trick was that Victor had to get close enough to the goal.
If he kicked from far away and scored, Owly would lose. He really wasn't good at football. He just had to pretend long enough, and fool Victor, so Victor would get trapped.
All the forest animals gathered around, some covered their eyes, some turned their backs, and some hid in the trees. Every one of them was hoping that Victor wouldn't figure out it was a trap.
Shirley squirrel threw down an acorn from the tree, to signal the game had begun. Owly got the ball first and darted and dodged passed Victor. Victor pecked at him with his beak, and made poor Owly bleed. Owly's fur was punctured by Victor's sharp beak, and blood ran down his back. This was worse than he imagined.
Owly dropped the ball, pretending to stagger and fall. Victor smashed into him, and took the ball. He was heading for Owly's goal. Yes, the goal that had the trap underneath. 'Oh no, I need to go after him, I don't want him to score from this far away, it's too far from the trap.' exclaimed Owly.
As fast as he could, he caught up with Victor, just as he was about to kick the ball. Owly slid in underneath Victor's legs so his legs got tangled up with Victor's. Both of them came crashing to the ground.
Victor was so angry. He flapped his wings furiously, and opened his beak wide and then snapped it around Owly's wing. Owly howled in pain, and Victor swung him from side to side with each toss of his powerful beak.
Owly was dizzy, exhausted and in pain, but he had to stay close to Victor for the trap to work.
Suddenly Victor let go of Owly's wing, and took off again with the ball in front of him. He didn't have time to kick, as Owly was right behind him. He was getting closer and closer to the goal. Just a few more steps.
Victor looked behind one last time before he kicked the ball, and it went in the goal. However, Victor was going so fast, he couldn't stop on time and down he went deep into the trap.
All the animals cheered. Even though Victor had won the match, Owly had won the battle and saved the day. Victor couldn't get out, and even worse, he had broken a leg. He was going nowhere.
Owly flew back, and got the medicine from the secret hiding place, and quickly ran to Lizzy's hiding place. He pushed back all the leaves and climbed inside. Very carefully, he opened the leaf. Lizzy's Mom and Dad held her up and opened her little mouth to let the drops of medicine in. One drop, two, three, four, five. Suddenly Lizzy started to blink, then open her eyes and look around, then move her arms and legs a little. She was going to be okay!
At this stage, all the forest creatures had gathered around. They all cheered for Owly, for Lizzy and for the medicine tree. Lizzy rested a while until she grew stronger.
'Owly you need to take some medicine too, you are bleeding.' said Freddy Fox. Owly drank a few drops of medicine and poured a drop of it on his wounds also. Immediately he stopped bleeding, and the hole that Victor punctured in his little body, closed up.
'Wow, this really is magic.' he thought. 'It is magical because it made Lizzy better, made me better and brought all of us forest animals together for the first time in years'.
Now we need to do something that requires we all work as a team.
'Who wants to help me make the medicine tree well again and then making this an enchanted forest once more?' shouted Owly.
'Me, me, me!' they all shouted, hopping and jumping up and down.
'Okay team, let's go to work!'
'We need to call the Spirit of the Forest to help us. She will know what to do' exclaimed Owly's wise mom.
'Yes, but how will we find her since no one has ever seen her' said Owly's dad.
'We need to start paying attention to the colors we see around us. I hear she loves to spread color everywhere she goes. Where we see something colorful that doesn't belong, that is a sign we are getting closer.' said Owly's mom.
'But the forest is so dull, and the colors are all so dark here, so we really need to open our eyes and search for colors anywhere and everywhere. Maybe they are hidden here somewhere or maybe we need to travel far away before finding them.' said Owly.
'So let's split up into teams with all different forest creatures on each team. Let's work together. If your team finds something colorful, bring it back here, and put it next to the tree hole where Lizzy is. I am sure the Spirit of the Forest will come when she sees so many colors in one place.' Owly hoped.
Excerpted from "The Owly Trilogy"
Copyright © 2018 Orla Kelly.
Excerpted by permission of Prodigy Gold Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.