Review of Alyce Joy Rininger’s KA-BOOM

Alyce Joy Rininger’s book, KA-BOOM, published by Halo Publishing International, is touring this month with the World of Ink, sponsored by V. S. Grenier. The illustrator, Diane Lucas, shows us a fantasy world any child would itch to get into, with a fairy, cute and funny animals, and a passenger butterfly.

Starting off with a bang, KA-BOOM, opens with the fairy, Sprout, blasting Taylor’s dollhouse to smithereens. Taylor grabs a flyswatter, but she’s determined to be brave. Though Taylor is distrustful of the fairy, they gradually become friends, and Sprout shrinks Taylor down to fairy size so they can go on adventures.

Sprout performs her magic tricks by touching her left wing to her right foot (or is it the right wing to the left foot?) Anyway, she gets the job done in a flurry of noise, light, and smoke.


Sprout can’t remember all that she’s supposed to do for Fairy Queen Splaminda Herminda of Spritesville, but she takes on the challenge. It has something to do with helping Taylor develop more compassion, be less suspicious, and believe in unbelievable discoveries.


Together the two teensy girls fly out of the house on a blue butterfly because one of Taylor’s wishes is to visit with a chipmunk and hop around on lily pads in the pond. While Taylor and Sprout go about seeking fun activities, danger surrounds them. For one thing, a couple of bad boys, Loozer and Doozer, the Brattz brothers, like to trample little critters. And for another, the Fish Hawk likes to swoop down to the pond and eat anything he can grasp in his talons. Taylor has to watch out for him when she’s riding on the back of Sir Leapsalot, the bullfrog.

But Taylor and Sprout also meet up with some charming characters who are friendly. Snilly Snail is the one who warns them about the Brattz brothers. And Miss Chipsie, the chipmunk, serves them her sassafras tea in pignut shells.

One of the humorous things is that Miss Chipsie’s blueberry bowl is actually Taylor’s missing tea cup from her tea set. But Taylor is becoming very generous, and she urges Miss Chipsie to keep the bowl (tea cup).

Sprout, with help from her friends, keeps Taylor safe through all their adventures and brings her back home where she adjusts her size back to normal. Sprout is sure the fairy Queen will be pleased with the way she handled Taylor.

Sprout wears a golden disk on a chain around her neck that tells something about what she’s doing or feeling. When she first arrives, she’s ZONKED.  The she runs the gamut from  HOPEFUL, DANGER, RELAX,  SPROUT CLOUTS (when she bested the fish hawk), PRIDE, and all the way back to KA-BOOM!

Lots of humor comes out in Sprout’s vocabulary. She loves to spout fancy words, and if there isn’t one, she makes one up. Here is a list of some of the words that the reader will find at the end of the book:

●Bedraggled……………………… limp, soiled and frayed.

• Bippityhooed………………….. one of Sprout’s words….loud, silly laughter.

• Camouflaged………………….. designed to look like natural surroundings.

• Cumbersome……………..….. difficult to manage because of bulk or shape.

• Discombobulated…………….. thrown into a state of confusion.

• Endeavored……………………. made a serious effort…struggled.

Follow Alyce Joy at: Website

KA-BOOM is available at:  Publisher


I was provided with a review copy of the book for providing an honest review.


Here’s another extraordinary picture book from storyteller, Liam Maher, and illustrator, Gin May. THE PLUMBER AND THE WISHING WELL is published by Guardian Angel Publishing.

The plumber is in a quandary because he lost his job and has no money with which to buy Christmas presents for his family. His friend Tupo Hoopoe flies to visit Oracle Owl to see if he has any advice. Sure enough, he does.

Oracle Owl sends Tupo to the Wishing Well, where from the tall fir tree, he sees something unexpected.

Then the scene changes as three magical creatures approach the Well: an elf, a fairy, and a leprechaun. Each one wants to make a wish.  The elf wants a robot to do his wife’s housecleaning; the fairy wants a white horse for her fiancé; and the leprechaun wants a gold bar for the Leprechaun King.

Now they are up against a quandary, too. Their wishes do not come true, even though they tossed golden coins into the well over their left shoulders as they had always done.

Tupo Hoopoe offers to go get the plumber to fix the well. The three magical characters accept his offer and the plumber comes.

The plumber is tall enough to look down into the well and see the problem. Now he’s both a clever and generous person, so he comes up with a surprising and fun solution that makes everybody happy.

The magicals all get their Christmas wishes and the plumber has enough money to buy his wife and son and daughter nice gifts. Even the plumber’s donkey wishes the fairy’s horse (the one she wished for as a gift for her fiancé) a Happy Christmas and it’s reciprocated.

Gin May’s illustrations capture the place and emotions of the characters perfectly in a variety of ways, from pastel to jewel colors and even a captivating silhouette. She does a fantastic job with the birds.

Liam Maher grew up in the beautiful gardens of Dromoland Castle in County Clare, Ireland.

This and the surrounding picturesque countryside coupled with the old beliefs during his boyhood days of leprechauns, ghosts and fairies were to inspire his children’s stories that were to come in later life and originally written for his grandchildren.

Liam has had two other books published with Guardian Angel, The Golden Daffodils and Mr. Topper, the Lucky Potbellied Pig. More are coming soon.

Liam spends his time gardening, keeping fit, entertaining his grandchildren and searching for leprechauns.

Here’s the buy link for The Plumber and the Wishing Well at Guardian Angel Publishing:


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If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.


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