Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Story Shell - A Tale of Friendship Bog written by Gloria Repp illustrated by Tim Davis

About Gloria

In one of my earliest memories, I am sitting on my father’s lap listening to a bedtime story. His stories were always original, always exciting, and they lifted me out of my small space into larger worlds of adventure and intrigue and wild creatures. At the same time, growing up in Hawaii and later, the Pacific Northwest, I began to take a lively interest in the natural world surrounding me. The ocean and beaches, mountains and forests, fired my imagination and gave shape to the stories I was beginning to dream.

The gifts of my early childhood—a love for story and for nature—stood me in good stead during the lonely years that followed. My mother died, our family disintegrated, and I was sent away to school. In books and the stories I wrote for myself, I found delightful companionship, and I learned that the mysteries of nature could be unlocked by careful study.

Finally I recognized what I’d always wanted to do: write stories for children to read.

I studied the craft of writing juvenile fiction and then began. My three children seemed to like my stories, so I started on the long road to publication and found that others liked them too. Since then, I have taught creative writing, worked as an editor, and written more books—for children, teens, and adults.

The past four years have added a new dimension to my work as I’ve made numerous trips to explore the thousand-acre wilderness of New Jersey’s Pine Barrens. I found inspiration for story settings in the pine forests and the abandoned cranberry bogs near the ruins of a town named Friendship. One April, I listened to a chorus of frogs singing, and I knew I had to share these marvelous creatures with children.

I would tell them about the adventures of Pibbin, a Pine Barrens Treefrog, beautifully colored in green, lavender, orange, and white. Although tiny, no bigger than a thumb, he would be brave, a frog who dared anything on behalf of his friends. I’d write Pibbin’s stories with simple words and sentences so children who were entering the world of reading could enjoy them. The series would be called Tales of Friendship Bog.

Pibbin’s adventures have taken shape, young readers ask for more, and each year I return to the Pine Barrens to listen to its frogs. The Tales of Friendship Bog continue.

Website http://www.gloriarepp.com/

About the Book

The Story Shell Easy-to-read adventure for ages 6 and up. Gaffer’s story shell, the delight of Friendship Bog, has disappeared! Worse yet, his birthday party is tonight, and for a treat, he’d promised to tell one of his famous stories. Someone has left large tracks on the old treefrog’s deck. Is there a thief in Friendship Bog? If only Leeper were here, that brave, strong frog would have a plan. But Leeper is gone, and Pibbin wants Gaffer to have the best birthday ever, so he sets off alone to track down those tracks.

Read a sample chapter

Note to Educators: 

Tales of Friendship Bog are easy-to-read chapter books with controlled vocabulary, simple sentences, and short chapters. Illustrations add context clues. Beginning readers enjoy these stories, and reluctant readers follow Pibbin’s adventures with enthusiasm.

Discussion Question

My Thoughts

We are back for Pibbin's new adventure in book two of The Tales of Friendship Bog.

There is a birthday party being planned and all of Friendship Bog are anticipating stories the old treefrog Gaffer will share with his friends at the party. But as they are cleaning and preparing things at Gaffer's home Skitter the lizard puts the story shell out on Gaffer's deck only to be stolen. Pibbin is determined to find the thief and bring the story shell back before the party begins. Pibbin still fears he is too small to be of any help in the search of the thief. How will Gaffer tell his stories without the story shell? So he searches for clues. 

Pibbin tried to find his pal Leeper to go with him but there is no time to spare he must go searching for the shell without his pal. Pibbin follows the clues he finds and on the way ask other friends of the bog if they have seen anyone with Gaffer's shell. He befriends a new resident of the bog that claims he can take him to the location of the suspected thief. Pibbin is not sure he can trust his new friend. If only his Leeper were with him.

Will he find the story shell in time for Gaffer's birthday party? The author has not disappointed me in Pibbin's second adventure. She captures his fears, bravery and determination. Even though there are amazing illustrations in the book the author provides plenty to stir the imagination to the descriptions of the characters and their surroundings.

The illustrations, especially the front and back cover images, of The Story Shell will peak your imagination feeding the need to read yet another tale of the brave little treefrog Pibbin and the Friendship Bog.

I highly recommend this book.

I rate this book a 5 out of 5.

I received a copy of this book from the author for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.

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