Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:
Winner of the West Pacific Regional Reader Views Literary Award
Shimji: The Channel Island Vixen
by Christina Steiner
Illustrated by Steve Ordonez
Shimji, a young Channel Island vixen, dreams to go where no Island fox has ever gone: to the place her ancestors came from thousands of years ago. By talking with a sea lion named Malibu and a seagull named Topanga, she finds the island’s harbor and stows away on a boat headed to the California coast. During her adventure on the main-land, Shimji befriends wild and domesticated animals. She learns from their different ways and thus gains knowledge of the world. Her curiosity satisfied, Shimji longs to return home, only to be discovered by humans. Scientists want to send her to a zoo. Can Shimji escape and find her way back to her island home?
* courtesy of Amazon.com
Shimji, the Channel Island Vixen is an adventurous children’s book written by Christina Steiner. After hearing so many tales of her ancestors, Shimji, a young fox kit, decides to explore the world and see what it has to offer. Knowing that water vessels travel between the islands and the mainland regularly, Shimji sneaks onto a ferry and makes it across, but has no idea where to go or what to do. She meets many different animals on her travels, but after being chased across town by angry dogs, Shimji finds herself befriending a cat and his human family. While trying to assist Shimji in returning to her island home, the family quickly discovers that Shimji would be taken by the government to a zoo instead. This causes Shimji to put all of her efforts, survival skills and cunning into trying to find a way back to the island on her own.
Positively engrossed in every word I read, I found that Christina Steiner’s story about a young fox named Shimji not only presented a wonderful, exploratory adventure of an animal eager to see the world, but also showed how different animal species interact, regardless of their difference in size or habitat, while helping each other escape the perils of various predators. Learning which foods and animals to avoid, Shimji is able to make her way across the treacherous sea and onto the mainland, where she finds new species of animals and is able to determine for herself whether or not they can be trusted. From sea lions, seagulls, possums, horses, cats and even skunks, Shimji has an incredible tale to tell, should she ever find her way back home. Each animal interaction left me smiling, with the exception of those with an evil motive in mind, and I found myself cheering Shimji on the whole way, while easily visualizing each interaction with each turn of the page. I thoroughly enjoyed Shimji, the Channel Island Vixen, and recommend it to readers aged 7-14 years of age, who enjoy books about various species of animals interacting in a peaceful, almost humanlike way. I look forward to reading more books from Christina Steiner in the future.
– reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers’ Favorite
This book is adorable. I purchased it for my grandson who just turned 4 and we read it together as a chapter book. The tale is about Shimji, a Channel Island vixen, who sneaks off to the mainland for a look around the home of her ancestors. She runs into a delightful variety of animals who help her along on her adventure before she decides to sneak back home, a task fraught with some challenges.
Shimji is a sweet character with a courageous and friendly nature, and the animals that she encounters are a hoot with distinctive personalities and voices. The opossums made me laugh out loud, and Blackout, a domesticated cat, is a riot as he explains how he manages his humans. The gulls are pretty funny too. Throughout the book, Steiner weaves in a bit of history about the island foxes as well as information about all the different animals Shimji meets.
A highly enjoyable book for kids with gentle characters working together to help each other. My grandson gave it 5 stars, and I second the opinion.
– reviewed on Amazon by Diana
With a story that takes you inside the world of wonderful little Shimji’s life and takes you on a quest to accomplish her dreams this book is a wonderful read that will educate you in a way that feels more like fun than just being told facts. The characters, story and setting will give any young reader a new favorite to go on their book shelves.