Suzy Has A Secret teaches a child, ages four to eight years-old, about personal safety and body ownership. Children learn how to identify who safe adults are in a child’s life. This book shows in positive and practical ways how parents, and educators, can talk to children about personal safety. Children learn about bad touch and good touch, and how their body belongs to them. Parents and educators can help children learn who the safe people are in their lives, and that they can always tell one of them about anything that may happen, and they aren’t comfortable about. Using little bug fairies and fairy houses, ensures that children aren’t scared when this story is read to them, or they read it on their own.
Reviewed by Tiffany Davis for Readers’ Favorite
Suzy Has a Secret by S. Jackson with A. Raymond is a children’s story about educating them on self awareness and inappropriate behavior. The story is simple and easy to read to children. It’s important to allow children the opportunity to learn what should and should not be done to them by family members. Suzy did not like the game of tickling that Uncle Bob played with her when her parents weren’t around. Suzy did not want to keep the secret from her parents, but Uncle Bob made her feel that she couldn’t tell anyone about the way he touched her. Although the story is short, it has a powerful message because all children should know the importance of not allowing anyone, young or old, to touch their bodies.
Children have a right to be happy and understand what should not be happening when Mommy and Daddy aren’t around. The portion of the story designed for Parents and Educators was a good read because it reaffirmed that children have the right to know that their private areas are off limits, and that when playing no one should ever touch those areas. When dealing with children, it’s important to ensure they understand at an early age that they can talk to their parents about anything and not be scared. Abusers use manipulation when abusing children to keep them from telling their parents, that’s why parents need to have a strong bond with their children to make them feel comfortable. One thing I learned is that you should not ask a lot of questions if you suspect abuse, but rather ask simple questions for the best and most reliable answers.
~ Raven H. Price, Author
“This is a wonderful book for those with children or little ones in their life. Kids are told not to tattle and are afraid to speak up when someone is hurting them. This book will give them the courage and hopefully spare a child from abuse.”
~ Susan Vance, Author
From the Author
This book shows in positive and practical ways how parents, and educators, can talk to children about personal safety. Children learn about bad touch and good touch, and how their body belongs to them. Parents and educators can help children learn who the safe people are in their lives, and that they can always tell one of them about anything that may happen, and they aren’t comfortable about. Using little bug fairies and fairy houses, ensures that children aren’t scared when this story is read to them, or they read it on their own. Included at the back of the book is a section for adults, parents, and educators. As a mother, and as a nurse, this book strikes me to my core, regarding the importance of this topic.
In The Big Cheese Festival, we meet Stubby Mouse and his family and friends. We learn that Stubby Mouse has a secret, that he is being bullied by another mouse, simply because his tail is short. Read how Stubby Mouse stood up for himself, and how he ended the bullying, in this delightful story for children. Targeted at ages 4-8, the book is easy to read and perfect for home or classroom. Children learn how bad bullying is, and what they can do to help stop bullies! Stubby Mouse encourages children to take a stand against bullies, and always be kind to each other. This story illustrates how everyone is different and unique, and it is a delightful read with cute illustrations for both children and adults. Take a stand against bullying today!
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
The Big Cheese Festival is a children’s educational picture book written and designed by S. Jackson with A. Raymond. Stubby Mouse was happy and excited when he woke up on the morning of the Big Cheese Festival. All the mice in his neighborhood looked forward to this big event. There would be dancing and lots of cheese, and they would elect a King and Queen of the Festival. This would be Stubby’s first Big Cheese Festival, but something happened to spoil his happiness and sense of anticipation. When Cutter Mouse came to pick up Stubby’s brother, Zippy, he made fun of Stubby’s short tail. Cutter laughed and said that no girls would want to dance with him. Zippy got angry with his friend for picking on his little brother, but the damage was done. After Zippy and Cutter left, Stubby began to cry. Cindy heard him crying inside the house, and she wanted to know what was wrong. She liked Stubby just as he was, and thought Cutter was an awful bully. They would go to the festival together, and she’d love to dance with Stubby.
S. Jackson and A. Raymond’s educational picture book for children, The Big Cheese Festival, addresses the problem of bullying and the pain children can experience when they’re victimized by bullies. This story shows how being different is not a bad thing or something to feel ashamed about. Stubby may only have half a tail, but he ends up with an amazing thing happening to him. He also gets to dance with the bully’s girlfriend. The Big Cheese Festival has gorgeous graphics that bring the woodland setting and its characters to life. Jackson and Raymond address an important issue, and they do so in an enchanting tale that’s a perfect choice for story time. Adults should consider using this tale as a springboard for discussions about bullying in school and in the playground. It’s also a good starter primer for new readers as it has large print and an easy-to-follow story. The Big Cheese Festival is highly recommended.
“There are issues that plague all children as they grow up. Each child struggles with identifying who they are as a person, how they relate to other people and how to find out what they believe in. Children can be cruel to each other while they learn how to navigate the messy world of emotions. This can come out in the form of bullying. In The Big Cheese Festival the authors explore the concept of bullying and how it can impact the life of another. What may seem like funny and harmless words to one can truly hurt another. We’ve got a fantastical world of anthropomorphic mice, one of whom only has half a tail. He is named Stubby and due to the unkind bullying from his brother’s friend worries about whether or not he’ll find any worth in himself.
“The Big Cheese Festival” is a must read book for those with children of all ages, even though it is geared towards ages 4–11. Children learn what bullying is, and how to take a stand to stop bullies. This story is perfect for home, schools, and libraries, as it is so important that children be taught, and learn, kindness towards others no matter how different someone is to them. Jackson has cleverly used both boy and girl mice, in a manner that gets the point across while keeping children captivated. I highly recommend this charming book. ~ Susan Vance, “Leaving Savannah.”
Winner ~ 2016 Pinnacle Gold Award for Best Book in the Category of Children’s Adventure
Winner ~ 2017 Bronze Medal in the Children-Adventure Category at Readers Favorite
Finalist ~ 2017 Finalist IAN Book of the Year for Children’s Fiction Illustrated
How A Dog And Two Squirrels Become Friends is about how one small dog, a baby squirrel and his mama squirrel become best friends. A baby squirrel is lost and found safely. This story book helps children to learn how to be safe when they are outside their home and illustrates that children always need to keep the adults in their lives aware of where they play and how to stay safe.
“This book is about how one small dog, a baby squirrel and his mama squirrel become best friends. A baby squirrel is lost and found safely. This story book helps children to learn how to be safe when they are outside their home and illustrates that children always need to keep the adults in their lives aware of where they play and how to stay safe. “How a Dog and Two Squirrels Become Best Friends” was an enjoyable read from the first page. One would never think that a dog would not only befriend a squirrel but help him. I was reading with a smile on my face. I will certainty read this story to my grandchildren and buy as a gift for others. This would make a wonderful children’s story for my church. Thank you for your efforts in making this a lovely book. The graphics are awesome…” Susan Vance, Author, Forever My Sister
“First of all I thought the moral behind the story was a great idea, really important to teach small children to listen to their parents and so straight away this book is a must!!
The animals were helping each other and were really kind which kids will think about and I thought the graphics were brilliant, lovely pictures to look at.
This would be great for all small children and should be a must in every nursery. Definitely worth adding to your kids book collection and it could also be shared with friends.”
Jane Goodall (author of “Diet Tips and Recipes for a Healthy Weight Loss – Learn How to Keep The Weight off Forever”)
Shadow and Friends Go Camping is about one small dog and three squirrels, who go camping. After obtaining permission to camp, a wise squirrel teaches the young ones how to stay safe on land and in a boat. This story book helps children learn how to be safe when they are in a new area, and illustrates that children always need to keep the adults in their lives aware of, and obtain permission for outdoor activities. Camping and water safety is explained so that children can understand the importance of what could happen if they don’t listen to parents and teachers.
“It was an awesome story. My 8 year old grandsons said they love camping too. It is an excellent learning story about camping. That other children will enjoy it! I received this book from the author and I am voluntarily giving a review. I highly recommend it for everyone.” ~ Bernadette Hopke
“Really cute story. I read it to the neighbor kids and they enjoyed it very much. Can’t wait to visit the grand kids!” ~ Susan Vance, Author
“It was cute. More for the little ones than me, but I won this book so I might as well read it. Lol.” ~ Author J L Clayton
This story is about a ground squirrel that lives in a burrow, in the mountains of Colorado. Shadow, a dog, and Uncle Stubby, a fox squirrel, and their friends go on a trip to visit Uncle Stubby’s cousin, Rocky, a ground squirrel. Cousin Rocky takes them skiing, teaches mountain safety, how to ski safely on the bunny slopes near his burrow, the difference between tree squirrels and ground squirrels, home safety, travel safety, and to watch out for cars. This story provides children with knowledge about different squirrels and their habitats, and teaches children safety when visiting a new place illustrating how important safety is, and promotes new adventures at the same time.
Reviewed By Rosie Malezer for Readers’ Favorite
“Shadow and Friends Visit the Mountains is the third book in the Shadow and Friends series written by S. Jackson and A. Raymond. After Uncle Stubby, the fox squirrel, invites his canine friend, Shadow, to visit Stubby’s cousin (a ground squirrel named Cousin Rocky) up high in the mountains of Colorado, Shadow cannot resist. Stubby’s family and Shadow board the next flight to Denver and catch a taxi to a spot close to Rocky’s burrow. As it had been first snow the night before, Rocky’s home and surroundings look magical. A feast of various nuts is served to the visiting squirrels, while dog bones and meat are made available to Shadow. A nearby stream provides an endless drink of fresh water to all. It is not long before Stubby’s family realizes that there are no tree nests for the squirrels to sleep in, but as Rocky is a ground squirrel, he invites them all to sleep in his burrow. During the visit, they learn how to ski on the snow. They also learn about the hibernating habits of ground squirrels, which is a concept quite foreign to the fox squirrels who live in the trees. Rocky then goes into hibernation and his guests return home to Kansas.
S. Jackson and A. Raymond have penned a wonderful portrayal of different types of squirrels, each living in different environments and learning things unique to them while their dog friend tags along. The contrast presented between Kansas and Colorado is quite remarkable, especially since both are in the same country. The illustrations are bright and colorful, bringing the story of the visiting squirrels to life beautifully and educating young readers not only about the different places, but also the different breeds of squirrels and their unique mannerisms (which are not shared by all squirrels due to their particular surrounding environments). I found Shadow and Friends Visit the Mountains to be a delightful read and recommend this book to younger audiences, whether it be read to them at story time or as an early read-alone children’s book. Shadow and Friends Visit the Mountains would ideally be stocked in kindergartens, home libraries and in childcare centers.”
“Jackson’s and A. Raymond’s second book in their new Shadow series, “Shadow and Friends Go Camping” was an enjoyable read from page one! As I read this book, I could feel a smile on my face, at the antics of one small dog and her squirrel friends. I will read this story again and again to my grandchildren. This would make a wonderful children’s story for my church, Thank you for your efforts in making such a lovely book, and the graphics are awesome…” ~ Susan Vance, Author, Leaving Savannah
2016 Reader’s Favorite Five Stars
In Shadow and Friends European Vacation, a small dog named Shadow wins a free trip to Europe because of all of her books that teach children safety at home, and during adventures. Shadow is allowed to take five friends with her on this fabulous trip, and she chooses to take five squirrel friends. In this delightful and funny book for children, safety is taught through the hilarious antics of her friends. Throughout this story of teaching children about historical areas and places in Europe, squirrel antics keep children entertained, and safety is learned. Targeted at ages 4-11, this book is easy to read and perfect for home or classroom. This story illustrates a few of Europe’s fascinating features with illustrations for children and adults.
Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers’ Favorite
“Shadow and Friends European Vacation is the fourth book in the Shadow and Friends series written by S. Jackson and A. Raymond. As a reward for all her hard work in publishing books which teach safety to children, a small dog named Shadow wins a trip to Europe, not only for herself but also for five of her closest friends. With her favorite squirrel friends (Stubby, Foxy, Big Whitey, Little Whitey and Pilot) in tow, Shadow arrives at Heathrow Airport, London, before touring the city on a double-decker bus. A tour of The Tower of London and Big Ben are both on the agenda, as are Stonehenge, The Eiffel Tower and more. After visiting the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and the Vatican City, and learning special facts about the animals and tourist attractions in each country, Shadow and his friends board a plane and make their way back to the United States, excited to have learned so much during their European journey.
S. Jackson and A. Raymond have produced an educational children’s book filled with fun facts about some of the different countries in Europe. Red squirrels are introduced as newcomers amongst the squirrel family, as well as teaching the reader about their habitat and characteristics. The mischievous, yet entertaining antics of the squirrels when they visit each of the incredible European landmarks add a wonderful humorous element, making the learning process enjoyable while teaching the reader right from wrong regarding local customs when visiting another country. Shadow and Friends European Vacation is the perfect recipe to give any child the urge to travel to new places and read about the flora and fauna in areas which are different to their own. Reading about a foreigner’s view of Europe was enlightening and I recommend Shadow and Friends’ European Vacation to children between the ages of 7 and 12, who love to learn fun facts about nature and foreign lands.”
“Hilarious indeed! A short story about historical sites and tourist attractions in and around Europe as seen through the eyes of a small dog named Shadow and his five squirrel friends. Shadow and his friends are not unlike typical kids excited about seeing something new and different for the first time. I liked how the authors moved the plot along quickly from one visit to the next. The authors use a unique approach to teaching a history lesson. Teaching through the voice of a dog and squirrel has the potential to hold children attention better than just story lines from humans. I would have liked to have seen more colors in the pictures and perhaps larger pictures. This storybook is ideal for elementary age students.” ~ Verified Purchase
2016 Reader’s Favorite Five Stars
In Shadow and Friends Spend Christmas in New York, a fox squirrel named Stubby receives an invitation from his twin, Shorty, to spend Christmas with him and his squirrel family and friends in Central Park. Stubby invites Shadow, a small dog, and his squirrel family to go with him. They board the Rodent Road Adventure Tours jet, flown by Pilot, and Shorty greets them with a hello from atop the Empire State Building as they fly past! Not only do children learn safety and are introduced to the Eastern Gray Squirrels that range on the east coast of the USA, they have many fun adventures. In this delightful and funny book for children, the squirrels and Shadow learn about the huge Central Park in the middle of New York City. Children are entertained by the adventures of the group as they build a snowman, and Foxy goes shopping at Saks on Fifth Avenue. They decorate a Christmas tree, go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, and decorate a float for the annual Central Park Christmas Squirrel Parade! Add to this mix a few rocking horses, teddy bears, nutcrackers, candy cane castle, angels, elves, and a manger scene, and children are entertained. On Christmas Eve, all of them go to the Central Park Chapel, and celebrated the birth of baby Jesus! Targeted at ages 4-11, this book is easy to read and perfect for home or classroom. This story illustrates how beautiful Central Park is in winter, and the illustrations will fascinate children and adults.
“Shadow and Friends Spend Christmas in New York” is a cute and hilarious book for those with children of all ages, and certainly hits age target range of 4–11. My grandchildren loved hearing about the adventures of one small dog and a squirrel family. They loved the illustrations of Central Park, and they laughed at seeing Shadow and her squirrel friends on ice skates! This delightful story kept them engaged with all the Christmas floats, rocking horses, teddy bears, nutcrackers, one candy cane castle, angels, and elves. As a Christian, I loved how the authors wove in Jesus’ birth, and made this children’s book to be Christian as well. This book is perfect for home, schools, and libraries. I highly recommend this book.” ~ Susan Vance, Author, Leaving Savannah.
‘This book warmed my heart at the same time it made me laugh out loud! The combination of illustrations and photography is very funny and seems to be done tongue-in-cheek. Yet they’re done in a way that a child will absolutely adore because they’re so child-like and simple and so darn cute. The story reads in the way that you would tell a story to a child, with simple phrases and straight to the point. But that does not take away from it. What child doesn’t love a great little story, full of detail and whimsy, with adventure and a happy ending, after all? I highly recommend this book for children of all ages. And for adults that like to ‘tell’ stories aloud to their children at bedtime rather than always reading them. This gives that sort of opportunity, but with funny pictures, to boot!” ~ elizR ~ Verified Purchase
2016 Reader’s Favorite Five Stars
In this children’s picture book, and sixth book in our ‘Shadow and Friends Series’, Uncle Stubby Gets Married, a fox squirrel named Uncle Stubby has fallen in love with a girl squirrel named Sparkles. Squirrel family and friends, including a small dog named Shadow, and her boyfriend, Max, are invited to attend the wedding in a special Valentine Fairy Forest. Uncle Stubby thinks Sparkles is the most beautiful girl squirrel in the land. Uncle Stubby’s twin, Shorty, flies in from New York City with his family, and Shorty is best man for his brother. Foxy is matron of honor for Sparkles. The Valentine Fairy Forest is truly a magical land, the illustrations show how this dream forest looks, and all the animals are safe in this forest both day and night. Along the way, we meet mouse fairies, and Minister Mouse conducts the wedding. Sparkles’ wears a crown, and Uncle Stubby is dressed in a cummerbund. Various other animals are present, including one unicorn, and the bride and groom spend their wedding night in Walnut Forest, a special part of the Valentine Fairy Forest. Children will love seeing how magical the forest is, with abundant sparkles thrown in for good measure. This delightful and funny book for children, targeted at ages 4-11, is easy to read and perfect for home or classroom. This story illustrates how beautiful the Valentine Fairy Forest looks, produces pure imagination in children, and the illustrations will fascinate children and adults.
“You need to be able to tap into a certain flavour of whimsy in order to write a good children’s book. Let’s not forget that the illustrations need to be catchy and colourful to hold the attention of the little ones either reading or being read to. A children’s book is most entertaining when it spins a different point of view on something that children have already been exposed to. Uncle Stubby Gets Married by S. Jackson and A. Raymond takes the idea of simple squirrels and marriage and melds them together. This book is part of a series with other animals and their lives. Perfect for children, this book draws out the marriage between Uncle Stubby and his betrothed Sparkles as their friends and family travel to help them celebrate it. The story is full of kindness, cheer and all the good feelings weddings are supposed to elicit.
The language in this book is very simple. It may be difficult for a child who is learning to read but it is perfect to read to a child. The pictures are bright and interesting, which should help keep the attention of the audience. At the beginning of the book there is a comprehensive breakdown of the entire story so parents or teachers can determine if the book will suit their needs or themes. As it takes place in the Valentine Forest, this is a good book to read around Valentine’s Day, if you are looking for theme-specific books.
The images are, for the most part, real animals manipulated to be posed or displayed in a certain way. It is interesting for children to see ‘realistic’ pictures of animals they are familiar with engaging in very human activities. It allows them to have a sense of imagination and wonder just what exactly squirrels get up to when humans aren’t looking.
Jackson and Raymond know how to craft an interesting children’s tale. The story is cute and even though it is part of a series, it can stand alone quite well. Readers do not need previous knowledge of the characters to understand the story in Uncle Stubby Gets Married. For children, and maybe even adults, who have a fantastical view of the world this is a lovely tale of romance, happiness and friendship.” Hungry Monster, Feb 2017
2017 Reader’s Favorite Five Stars
2017 Second Place Hungry Monster Award
In this children’s picture book and seventh book in our ‘Shadow and Friends Series’, Shadow and Friends Celebrate Ellsworth, KS, 150th Birthday, two dogs and a family of squirrels decide to help Ellsworth celebrate the 150th birthday of the town’s history. This book coincides with the actual 150th birthday of Ellsworth in the summer of 2017. Illustrations are found on each page, most of them painted. Big Whitey tells the history of Ellsworth, and Fort Harker, with historical buildings, notable landmarks, and scenes painted by the author. At the end of this story, Little Whitey asks his father if they can re-enact the old west, dress like cowboys, and do a pretend cattle drive just like Ellsworth, KS. The squirrels dress in cowboy and cowgirl gear, and they even have a chuck wagon cook. They herd longhorn cattle, sing the state song of Kansas, and have lots of fun during their re-enactment. At the end of the story, they enjoyed a barn dance, celebrated the 150th birthday of Ellsworth, and Uncle Stubby took pictures and ‘selfies’. Children will love seeing the old west come alive with two dogs and a family of squirrels dressed in western attire, and using a small amount of cowboy slang. This delightful and funny book for children, targeted at ages 4-8, is easy to read and perfect for home or classroom. The story illustrates how cattle drives worked, the long dusty trails, life in the old west, and illustrations that produce pure imagination in children. Note: Actual gunfights and ‘adult type’ history were left out in this wild western history of Ellsworth, KS.
“Shadow and Friends Celebrate Ellsworth, KS, 150th Birthday” is a wonderful and fun children’s book that both children and adults will enjoy. The story hits the targeted age range of 4–8. The painted illustrations provided are a delight, and my grandchildren loved them. Who would have thought to write a book using dogs and squirrels as friends, and the old west thrown in? This book is perfect for home, schools, and libraries. I highly recommend this book.” ~ Susan Vance, Author and Realtor
From Literary Titan
Shadow and Friends Celebrate Ellsworth KS 150th Birthday, written by S. Jackson and A. Raymond, is a tale of animal friends who are preparing for a very special birthday- the 150th celebration of their town. The animals gather round whilst Big Whitey takes a trip down history lane where he tells his friends about the importance of Ellsworth and how the town was first established. Prepare to be thrown into a wild world of cowboys, railroaders, and sheriffs as you learn the fortunes and misfortunes the town has endured to finally reach its 150th birthday. After the history lesson, the animals then begin the celebrations and re-enactments, songs, and poems will entertain them all.
Shadow and Friends Celebrate Ellsworth KS 150th Birthday is a very special children’s book that delves into the history of Fort Ellsworth in an exciting celebration with animals, cowboys, and Indians.
Legendary historical characters of Ellsworth come together in lessons on cattle pens, dusty trails and important landmarks. Authors S. Jackson and A.Raymond are able to beautifully paint a picture of the wild west through incorporating animals and history in a playful and engaging story. The storytellers are dogs and squirrels which give the book an animal twist- something which will be sure to spark the imagination of all children. The animals towards the end of the story throw a fabulous re-enactment of history and will encourage children to consider their own town’s history and how they too could get involved with historical celebrations of their town.
Travel through time as Big Whitey takes you on a history lesson that begins in the 1800’s and finishes in the present day. The once wild cow town starts with Indians and Cowboys that made homes out of bluffs and built their town through supplying to the military. I loved reading the small excerpts of cowboy slang which gave the story more authenticity and character.
I enjoyed how the story had a taste of the old and the new twisted together for a fun-loving plot line. One moment you were in the wild wild west and the next you were taking selfies with animals which are sure to delight both children and adults alike. Even though it is a children’s story, the plot line contains depth and interesting information about life in the old west that will entertain both children and adults. It’s a fun and light-hearted way to explore history and has the perfect mix of education and entertainment.
The illustrations throughout the story were bright and colorful and will be sure to grab the attention of all children as they eagerly learn about the town’s history. I particularly enjoyed the animals dressed up in cowboy outfits and old saloon style dresses and how they rode the buggy. The illustrations will only serve to ignite the imagination of the children reading the story and compliment the history lesson perfectly.
I would recommend this for children who enjoy stories about cowboys and animals.