THE AUTHORS: Henry L. Herz and his Sons, Josh and Harrison Herz; artwork by Sean Eddingfield and Bill Maus
Amazon rates this book with 5 stars. It is a wonderful, sci-fi fantasy, early chapter book, and I believe that elementary age children, 5 through 10 years old, will absolutely love it.
The story and the art work are creative and rich. Nimpentoad will capture the attention of young readers and hold it, and they will be left wishing for more. Perhaps there’ll be a sequel? Many children and parents will be hoping that the answer is yes.
The authors and I agree that Nimpentoad promotes creativity, perseverance, teamwork and leadership. As a past teacher, I especially love the parent list of suggestions about how to best utilize the different parts of the book so that it can be as beneficial as possible to each child. For instance, under “manners,” Dimbal, who is a Nibling (the book’s main creatures) and Nimpentoad’s friend, chews with his mouth open. You have the opportunity to talk with your child about etiquette when they are eating and the importance of keeping their mouth closed. This book truly goes to great lengths to make its story work at every level.
The art work is exquisite. You can see an example of the art work and read more about the author and his work at www.nimpentoad.com.
Nimpletoad helps the Niblings as they travel a long distance through the Grunwald Forest to reach the giant who lives in his humongous castle at the forest’s other side. The giant is very large (hence the term “giant”), and the Niblings are very small. The giant has a problem that Nimpentoad, the leader of the Niblings, has realized that his peers can help the giant solve. But good deeds come with rewards, and you will have to read the book to find how the Niblings and the giant end up.
As you might easily imagine, being a Nibling, one of the smallest creatures in the forest, has its drawbacks. Just a walk through the forest can turn into quite an adventure. According to the story, Niblings are skinny and short and just about knee-high to an adult human. This leaves them vulnerable to the bigger and more vicious predators lurking about.
The Niblings have to deal with all sorts of creatures, such as the Forest Goblins, the Neebels, the Forest Orcs, and, last but certainly not least, the Giant Scorpions. The children will love reading about how and if the Niblings escape, and all that they have to deal with in this venture.
But there are also advantages to being small, as Niblings are close to the ground and can find things that have been dropped, or “tasty mushrooms that grow among the fallen leaves of the forest floor.” You will also learn that the Niblings love to cook. In fact, your child may find a recipe for “poached termite eggs” just waiting for them.
I believe that both our authors and artists have done an amazing job of describing the creatures in this book. The artwork is so inspiring that your child will be asking for a sketch book and colored pencils to illustrate their own visualizations of these creatures, or ones that they come up with themselves. So they will not only spend hours reading and re-reading Nimpentoad; if so inclined they will indulge in making their own drawings and adventure with Nimpentoad and the rest of the Niblings.
You can buy his book at Amazon for $10.50 in paperback or on Kindle (which I read, and it is beautifully done) for $2.99. I must admit to my traditional nature of wanting to have an actual book in my hands, but I’m slowly switching over to e-books for the convenience of enlarging the font and storing the multitude of books that I read. And of course this technology lets you order and receive it from the comfort of your bedroom, while in your pjs. At least when it comes to books and convenience, these truly are the good old days.
If you enjoyed J.K. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” this book would give your younger child the same type of experience at their level. It is a spectacular story with enriching illustrations in which you get to see the artists’ rendition of Nimpentoad and many of the creatures that the Niblings encounter. These include the Giant Scorpions that seethe evil and danger through my iPad’s screen.
This book would save you on a rainy Saturday and give your child hours of sensational fun and enjoyment. And if you are looking for some basket stuffers as Easter is coming up soon, I would request that the Bunny Rabbit put Nimbentoad in your child’s basket.
Authors Henry Herz and his sons Josh and Harrison are rising stars. There is no doubt that we will read much more about them in the future. With utmost certainty, I agree with Amazon and award this book 5 out of 5 tiaras. It not only creates a wonderful reading opportunity for your child, but it gives them detailed and enticing art work in which to delve. They will learn new words, and you will have the chance to be involved with your child’s learning valuable concepts that can make a positive difference over their entire lives.
Needless to say, I am most impressed. I wish the authors and the artists good luck in their future work, and I wish you and your child endless hours of learning!
Buice, a Carrollton resident, writes a weekly column for the Times-Georgian. anitabook.com.