“Rumbold Raven’s Magic Menagerie” is a series of eighteen short children’s poems featuring an eccentric, colourful assortment of animal characters: Dorelia the extinct Dodo, Feeble Fred the dozy frog, delightfully dreamy Salome Seahorse, and wellyboot-wearing Tiger Tigbaloo to name but a few – all eighteen drawn together by scary but charismatic Rumbold Raven himself.
The book has an interesting story, since it was written by me and illustrated by my artist friend Albert Ennemoser thirty five years ago. At that time, publishers loved the book but rejected it because of the prohibitive cost of producing Albert’s wonderfully detailed and lavishly coloured illustrations. Now, the Web makes just about anything possible….
Albert returned to his native Austria and the book, which he had given to me, gathered dust in my study for decades. By the New Year of 2013 Lola,our delightful granddaughter, was nearly two and already a book lover like me. After a visit with mum Susie and dad Ben in January 2013, I came across the dusty manuscript of “Rumbold Raven….” and looked through the poems again. They leapt off the pages, lively and quirky as ever. “Mmmm”, I said to my husband Ian, Lola’s granddad. “Lola would love this book when she is old enough, wouldn’t she?” So, with the able help of local web designers co-occurrence, it has at last been born. Enjoy!
Read some five star reviews:
Diane rated it 5 of 5 stars
This was recommended to me on the basis I would love the illustrations which are simply wonderful, perfectly complimenting the authors words. Head and shoulders above the majority of children’s books I would like to see more books of this calibre inspiring young minds.
Elaine rated it 5 of 5 stars
A magical and beautifully illustrated children’s book that really inspires the imagination. It really has a classical feel to it and is a cut above the majority of drivel written for children these days. Would and will be recommending to friends with young children.
Annastew1144hotmail.com rated it 5 of 5 stars
A short but magical children’s book. The poems are interesting and in the main flow well, but it is the illustrations that made this book for me. I have been telling all my friends about it and think it would go down really well with schools.
Danni rated it 5 of 5 stars
You cant help but fall in love with the words and illustrations in this book. Actually over 30 years ago it is a testament to the quality of writing and illustration that it has an instant classic feel to it. Great for young readers with an active imagination and parents who jts want a great little book with words to cherish.
Simon rated it 5 of 5 stars
I received the book in exchange for an honest review and very much enjoyed it. Transporting me back to my own child with its wonderful illustrations and words that made me smile. one for the grandchildren and hope to see more work by author Anne Whitaker…
Emily Cutts, independent psychology researcher and community activist with Glasgow, UK’s “The Children’s Wood” campaign:
“There are very few children’s books that manage to combine great writing with great illustrations. “Rumbold Raven’s Magic Menagerie” has managed to do both. This book is a treasure of beautiful illustrations and engaging words. Each story and picture is unique and will have children’s imaginations captured. The fact that they are both beautiful to look at and interesting to read makes them unusual. I am hoping to frame a couple for my child’s room. Well done Anne for persevering and bringing these treasures to us now after all these years.”
You can download a free two page sample from Rumbold Raven’s Magic Menagerie as a PDF (480KB) and if you like it, why not buy the entire book of eighteen characters ?
Just send $10.00 to my PayPal a/c firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the PDF by return email.