If I can be perfectly honest for a moment, I find it puzzling that my 7-year-old daughter loves to read about school.  About kids going to school, the routine things they do there and the funny/odd/exciting moments that happen to them….at school.  I think to myself, she goes to school almost every day!  She lives what happens in those books.  So why this constant interest in reading about school?!  I don’t know the answer, but I do know she loves it.

And I suspect that most young readers enjoy books in which out of the ordinary things happen at a school.  Take this fact and combine it with the passion that we here at knowonder have for stories with some clever magical or fantasy aspect to them – and you have a winning combination for a great book.  In fact, you have our newest chapter book:

Burkley and the Beasts: The Sea Serpent

written by Tiffany Nicole Smith

illustrations by Holly Weinstein

front coverBurkley Brooks (a.k.a. Quirky Burkley), the book’s feisty main character, definitely has some strange things happen to her at school.  Such as being the only one who can see a mysterious tentacle pop out of her terrarium!  She also has to work on a science project with the meanest girl in her class.  A girl who calls her “Broccoli” instead of Burkley.

But that’s not all.  Burkley is seeing visions of snake tongues and tails in other random places as well – like under her calamari at a fancy restaurant and even in the kitchen sink at her house!

Thankfully, her Grandma Brooks is there to explain these visions. Burkley has been chosen as the next Brooks to inherit the beautiful Heartstone, the key to a mystical Portal. Through the Portal lies a mysterious place called Mermaid’s Lagoon, where Burkley’s Grandpa Brooks and Uncle Charlie disappeared years ago.  They are being held captive by an evil sea queen.  To find and rescue them, Burkley has to recover the missing pieces to a puzzle.  The pieces are completely black right now, but once she has all of them, the finished puzzle will change to a map – revealing the location of her grandpa and uncle.

Sounds easy, right?  Well….to get the puzzle pieces, Burkley has to travel through the Portal and battle a series of big, bodacious beasts.  In this first book, she has to fight a sixty foot sea serpent!  It’s a good thing Burkley has a pet boa constrictor back home.  She’ll need to remember all she knows about snakes in order to defeat the sea serpent.  The magic trident she’s given will certainly help, but it will be her wits and bravery that hopefully win the day.  Well that and some help7 from Cheyenne and Hayden – her best friends in the world.

Beat the sea serpent, save the day AND get her science project turned in on time–just another week in the quirky life of Burkley Brooks!

2This book has so many things kids love – including friendship, adventure, magic, a little bit of conflict at school, and leopard print high top sneakers, of course!  Tiffany Nicole Smith has created a story that has plenty of imaginative fun yet it stays rooted in a normal world with which young readers will definitely identify.  And the book has some fantastic illustrations by experienced, professional children’s book artist Holly Weinstein.  We are so proud to have Miss 5Weinstein’s impressive images throughout the book and to display on the front and back the beautiful, bold cover she created.

As with all knowonder books, you can be sure that “Burkley and the Beasts: The Sea Serpent” is clean and safe for young readers and is a well-written, enjoyable book for parents as well.


Please click here to “jump through the Portal” to amazon and buy our new book right now!

Thank you for supporting knowonder and happy reading!

– Kevin J. Doyle

Managing Editor, knowonder! publishing


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