Thursday, May 16, 2013

“Percival the Prairie Dog” … A Classic Childhood Fable Now with all the Beauty and Grandeur of the Southwest! 5-Stars!


Sandy Wardman’s, Percival thePrairie Dog”, Will Delight a  Child and Surprise an Adult!

8 ½” x 11” -- Full color
Illustrated by Jeff West
Vesuvius Press, 2011
“Percival the Prairie Dog”  is like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” but enhanced to tell a far more interesting and educational story. This is the kind of story that children have always loved.
Once, a long time ago, there was a boy who cried wolf so many times that no one would believe him any more.  Today, in the Southwest, there is a prairie dog named Percival. He is far more creative and naughty than any little boy ever was! As a prairie dog. Percival, has a different bark for each of the different predators that like prairie dogs for lunch. Each distinctive 'bark' lets all the other prairie dogs know what to do to find saftey. These are smart little creatures.
Just for fun and something to do, Percival loves to bark a danger warning and then laugh and laugh as all his family and friends ran to safety.  To be sure, each time Percival does this he gets punished by having to do unpleasant prairie dog chores. But even when punished, Percival can’t resist playing this game again and again each time with a different predator bark. Each time he is punished with a new chore. Each punishment more unpleasant than the last. But punishment just does not seem to work with this naughty creature.
Then one day the worse predator of all, the coyote, comes to the Prairie Dog town.   Percival, always on the lookout, because Percival is a very curious prairie dog,  sees the coyote and barks out the warning! But no one runs and hides. Percival has placed the whole community in danger. So it’s up to Percival to save all t he others before it is too late.
What Percival does will surprise and delight both children and adult readers!
“Percival thePrairie Dog” is an inspiring, character-building story that children love hearing and adults enjoy reading. Adults will also appreciate the exceptional artwork. The artist, Jeff West, is world class. An Emmy winner, Jeff is a retired genius from the Disney organization.
"Percivalthe Prairie Dog” provides a great way to inspire an early love for the Southwest. At the end of the book there is a nature lesson on the animals mentioned in the story. This offers a child a very educational experience.
Sandy Wardman and
  young fan Taite
I asked the author why a book, with so many full color illustrations, was priced at only $6.95. Sandy said, So more people can buy it.”   If you have I Tunes, it is only $2.99. Indeed, the author lives in the Southwest and loves the setting. You can get the book direct from the author’s website or from the I Tunes store.

I loved reading this book for the story, the illustrations and the ease of reading it out loud. “Percival the Prairie Doghas the five features I look for most when buying a book which is designed to be read to young children.
The Five Essential Things I Look For When Buying a Book to be Read to Young Children:
1) It has to be written well enough to hold my interest. “Percival the Prairie Dog” is that well written. I wanted to know how the story was going to end just as much as any child.
2) I want the illustrations to have facial expressions that give the characters personality. “Percival the Prairie Dog” has these and they are as well drawn as any I’ve ever seen. You can almost 'read' the story  by the characters  expressions alone.  It's just marvelous. These illustrations are the reason I bought all these Southwest books in the first place.
3) the text has to be easily understandable by the child. This is very hard to do. I’ve read many children’s books where adult concepts slipped in. This book is ideal for children in both concepts and expression. The type is centered on the page which makes you want to read it as poetry. The words just flow with ease when reading it out loud.
4) if characters are mentioned in the copy, then I want those same characters to be illustrated in the picture – if pictures are central to the value of the book. In this book each illustration was perfect. It's fun to ask the child to find the characters mentioned in the story within the current illustration.
5) I like the story to teach a moral lesson. It does not have to be a religious message. “Percival the Prairie Dog” is like a Native American folktale of the coyote variety of which there are many. Such stories are how many cultures have taught values to the next generation. This is such a book.

     A book that’s fun to read.
All and all, “Percival the Prairie Dog” is a 5-Star book from the point of view of the adult reader and also from the point of view of the young child listener. The illustrations are very much like Disney creations. Many are of full page size. So you can read the text and ask the child to point out the different animals as mentioned in the story.. This makes reading the story more fun for both parties. 
“Percival the Prairie Dog” … A 5-Star  Book Brings a Classic Childhood Fable to Life with all the Beauty and Grandeur of the Southwest!


  1. Vince you are amazing. Thank you for all your insights and support. Writing picture books is fun and rewarding, especially when you meet your readers. It is fun to hear their comments. You can see the smile on Taite's face. His aunt and uncle bought the books for him and when he came to camp with them, they asked to meet me. What an honor.

  2. Hi Sandra:

    I’m a big fan of illustrations of the highest quality and of reading the award winning children’s books each year. I think the best children’s books each year are better than the best mainstream grown up books. And I mean that. When I saw “Cody” for the first time I just had to have it. I think I like “Hector” the best because it rhymes and I love making the ‘monster’ the loveable hero. The pictures of the bad boys in the book are just classic. I know this would be great fun to read to a child. Then I like “Percival” the best for the ending. Kids will love it. I sure want to see more books in the series. Once the public discovers these books, I think demand will explode and you’ll be spending more time in that RV office. : )