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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at


See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at


Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tales from Kensington Forest by Kevin Scott Collier

I always enjoy Kevin Collier’s faith-based works, and Tales from Kensington Forest is one I’m recommending today.  His animal folk wrestle with the same problems we all have.  The stories are enhanced by Kevin’s artwork which helps us see the characters come alive.
In the first chapter, Pastor Prickly Pete learns his sermons are too long and too frequent.  His congregation wants an Events Coordinator, a school and an outreach center.  They host a bake sale fund raiser, but it ends in disaster.  Fester Fox sinks in quicksand trying to save the cash box.  He’s saved only when he lets it go.  Pastor Pete realizes that folks will volunteer when asked.  It’s a great reminder to all, “Ask and ye shall receive” God’s blessings; help is available to those who need it.

An act of kindness in the second chapter results in another disaster when fire destroys Fester’s den.  He angrily confronts the culprit, Betty Brown Bear.  Then he finds out later she fell asleep baking his favorite birthday pie!  The message here is that a kindness can sometimes go awry, and accidents do happen.  However, when one’s heart is in the right place, understanding and forgiveness will shine through. 

In the third chapter, Fester Fox stays with Pastor Pete while his damaged den is rebuilt by the congregation.  However, Fester becomes too comfortable and over stays his welcome.  Harrington Owl helps Pastor Pete get Fester back into his own home.  Pastor Pete suggests he move in with Fester Fox in his new den.  Fester then realizes he has a fine new home of his own.  Now Pastor Pete can enjoy his home in solitude.  Here we learn that hospitality is valued and friendship worth preserving.  Sometimes we’re stuck in comfortable ruts, and our friends can help us see our way home.  

Thanks again to Kevin Collier for fun stories with inspirational messages.

Available from:  www.guardianangelpublishing.com


  1. Hi Penelope,

    Thanks for sharing this review. I love the lessons the book is trying to convey. It is certainly an important thing for young people to learn and appreciate the value of kindness and the value of hospitality.

    Nicole Weaver
    Trilingual Children's Author

  2. Thanks Nicole, I appreciate your comments. Kevin is a very special person, author, and artist. Blessings to you.

  3. Sounds like a delightful way to bring up some sticky situations.

    Thanks Penelope Anne, and
    Thanks Kevin for what promises to be a fun book.

    1. Thanks, Barbara, I appreciate your kind comments, as always.

  4. This was a wonderful review Penelope. I wish Keven all the best.

    1. Susan, thanks for visiting and your nice comments.

  5. Kevin is a terrific writer and his illustrations have awesome kid appeal. This looks like another winner for him. GO KEVIN!!

    He illustrated Rattlesnake Jam - my first PB with GAP.

    *Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques

    1. Thanks, Margot, for commenting and all your great support. Keep up your good work!

  6. Thank you for sharing about Kevin's book, Penelope. Sounds like it has some good lessons, and I know the illustrations must be terrific!

    1. Thanks, Connie, Your comments are always welcome and appreciated.