Category Archives: Being Brave

Tell Me A Story, Babushka, by Carola Schmidt

“Would you like a story about a princess, Karina?”

“Maybe one of those stories about a princess and monsters, Baba.”

Mawson Bear reads about what happens to a little girl in the story that Babushka tells.

The direction Baba’s story takes surprises herself as well as her granddaughter. This folk tale ‘about memories and families’ begins with a lovely cottage in the Ukraine and a little girl ‘poor of money but rich of soul.’ But all too soon the Monsters come. And everything changes forever.

What will happen to our princess and all the other children in this frightening world where the monsters roam? After sad events, the little girl finds a matryoshka doll, and inside the doll a message of hope. Will the children be able to escape to safety? Listen closely, as Babushka unfolds her story.

Mawson’s Guardian says: Who do you think the monsters might be? They are the soviet soldiers who, in 1932, stripped the Ukraine of so much grain that millions died of famine, and who transported thousands of people to Siberia. It is a hard story of awful history (‘The Holodomor’) and I am only now learning about it (!) in a deftly written children’s picture book.

I admire this approach to telling about a confronting subject. Using the form of a folk tale the author employs just enough words and no more. Being a children’s book, the illustrations by Vinicius Melo do not directly show awful things but the colours and details suggest more than enough, and the images are all the more powerful because of that. The contrast between Katrina’s gorgeous little cottage with the sleeping dog, for instance, and the harsh red sky and black silhouettes on the next page tells us in one instant how much her world has changed. In the picture of Katrina hiding under the bed in the darkness, everything in the shadows looks scary, even the old stove, and her big eyes show her terror.

With this story of drama and hope, Carola Schmidt has, I think, created a wonderful little book that confronts a hard part of history that will intrigue grownups as well as children.

Boumund Bear and Mawson read three of Carola Schmidt’s books, Tell Me A Story Babushka, Babushka is Homesick and Chubby’s Tale.

About the Author: Carola Schmidt, the author of the Babushka Tales series, is a Pediatric Oncology Pharmacist. She has written scientific books on paediatric oncology and also, for children and their families, Chubby’s Tale . Mawson and friends proudly read and reviewed Chubby’s brave story here. You can find Chubby on Twitter and on Facebook.

Carola’s Amazon Author Page is here where you can find these books and her other titles listed.

The next post on Mawson’s den will be about Babushka is Homesick.

Where to find Tell Me A Story BabushkaAmazon, Book Authority, Book Depository, and AbeBooks.com. Follow on Twitter too

You have wandered into Mawson Bear’s web-den. Mawson is the Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In . “Reading this book is like receiving a great big hug of reassurance and a huge hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows.” Review by Lady Bracknell

Chubbys Tale, The True Story of a Teddy Bear Who Beat Cancer, by Carola Schmidt

Mawson’s Guardian Mark is proud to talk today about a bear so brave that all of Mawson’s friends are very impressed.

On reading Chubby’s Tale this Guardian learned things about leukemia treatment he didn’t know. It’s a grand book for children who have this sickness (and their bears). It’s also very helpful for the Grownups who want to know more about it because the explanations given to Chubby by Dr Doll are so clear and understandable. Grownups and children can talk about it together as they read.

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Chubby’s Tale helps children to learn about Leukemia

The Story: Chubby has a good job sitting on a shelf in the La La Land Toy Store waiting for someone to take him home. But he doesn’t feel well.

Urged by his shelf neighbour, Superhero, he sets off to find help. Guardian Angel in the Christmas Department knows what Chubby has to do: he must see a Doctor.  La La Land is a big store and Chubby has a long way to go. The yellow Beetle car takes him all the way. 

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Gustave, HB Bear, Scruffy and Mawson read about Chubby travelling to see the Doctor

Dr Doll gets right to work. Chubby learns about exams and blood tests and scientists and pharmacists and cancer cells. It’s not good news! On the other hand, Dr Doll knows the right kind of treatment. She explains all about it with useful diagrams.

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Explaining about bone marrow matching

We follow Chubby’s brave journey. The chemotherapy makes some of his hair fall out. Oh dear, who will take home from the shop a teddy with bald patches?  How does it all work out?  Well, that’s all in this book which I (and Mawson and his friends) recommend highly.

Where to find Chubby’s Book: Book Authority (where Chubby is ranked in Best Leukaemia books of all time),  Amazon, Book Depository, and AbeBooks.com. You can also follow Chubby on Twitter and on Facebook.

Chubby’s Tale  is illustrated by Frederico Schmidt. Carola Schmidt, the author, is a Pediatric Oncology Pharmacist and also author of several scientific books on paediatric oncology.

Carola also wrote Bald is Beautiful: A Letter for a Fabulous Girl, a book about ‘about love, beauty, happiness, and friendship when going through various changes in our lives ‘. Find it at Amazon and Abebooks.

And next here in Mawson Bear’s web den you can see us reading Tell Me A Story Babushka, by Carola Schmidt.

You have wandered into Mawson Bear’s web-den. Mawson is the Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In . Reading this book is like receiving a great big hug of reassurance and a huge hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows.” Review by Lady Bracknell

Valiant Reader, You can help the writers (and writer-bears) of the world

Mawson Bear’s Guardian Mark speaks:

As you know our Mawson is a Writer-Bear. She Ran Away From Love  is his brand new book. It features a small heroine called Frilly who goes on a Quest. I’m sure lots of grown-ups and children (and their bears) will love Frilly, if only they knew about her.

Frilly front cover

THE POWER OF REVIEWS: Writers need YOUR help. When you are quiet sort of writer, or writer-bear, it is not easy to be heard out there in the wide world.

WHERE CAN YOU REVIEW: You can place your own review, even a brief remark, about a book on Amazon and Good Reads . These have the greatest reach. Reviews on Barnes and Noble (USA), Waterstones (UK), and Chapters Indigo (Canada), and Library Thing are also much appreciated.

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Frilly sits shyly on her cushion while Mawson makes notes for her book

BUT HOW EXACTLY do you go about it you quite rightly ask?

At this link you can read how Mawson’s friend, Sir Scotland the Brave, smites his keyboard to help writers. If you are new to Valiantly Reviewing books, I have plonked down more tips  (SCROLL LOWER DOWN THIS PAGE).

Please let me know if you would be interested in doing a review for She Ran Away From Love . If you would like to help to tell the bright world about Frilly, may I send you a free PDF copy?  Don’t fear that the world ‘review’ means an essay is required. Short remarks are fine. Or just bash at the star ratings – see below.

Oh and, umm, if by a wonderful chance you have got your paws on Mawson’s first book, It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In, could you also possibly (perks up ears winsomely) leave a review for that one too, if you haven’t before? Thank you for considering this request.

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TIPS if you are new to the world of on-line book reviews.

About your name: You don’t have to leave your name if you don’t want to. You can be anonymous. You can be ‘JohnWicks007’, or ‘ReadRidingHood1’ or ‘ILoveBears123’ for example, or anyone you want to be.

Here are links to She Ran Away From Love (more to be added as I find them):  Amazon, GoodReads, Bears Are Noble, sorry, Barnes and Noble, Chapters Indigo. Or, search your preferred book retailer for the title She Ran Away From Love and for ISBN 9781925652543.

You’ve found Frilly. What now? Scroll down past the book’s description and click on ‘Leave A Review’, or ‘Write Your Own Review’.

The Bother part: This takes you to a Customer page where you need to sign in. If you haven’t before used that book retailer you need to register for it. This is a bother, I know.

The Fun part: But then comes the fun: bashing away at the Star Ratings. If you are an excitable sort of person, or if you love the book, just keep on smiting. Smite Thrice!!! Smite Fourfold!!!! And, yea even unto Five times!!!!!   Disappointingly, the Retailers don’t let us smiteth more than five  times, even if you have got into the rhythm of the thing.

Writing more stuff : You will see a big field where you can say things. Here, if you wish, you can write a line about the book or more lines. Then click Submit.  Valiantly done! And what happens now?

The power of the reader, yes, that’s You: The Dreaded Algorithms that decide the fate of writers, and writer-bears, record that some one (You) has taken the trouble to review this book. Note of this is taken by the mysterious Algorithms on those websites.  The visibility and ranking of  Mawson’s book titles (and of any writer you kindly review) now gets bumped up a bit.

That is how important you are! On behalf of writers and writer-bears everywhere, I thank you.

Having tasted your awesome power, why stop there? You can copy what you have written and go to any other on-line retailer, to as many as you like, depending on how mighty waxeth your Smiting arm that day, and you can paste in the same review. It all adds up. And up. And UP. And it means lots of people will fall in love with our Frilly, just like you.

YOUR VALIANT COMPANIONS: And do you count other bold Readers among your boon companions? Share on this very post, so that they too may do these valiant deeds!  We writers (and one writer-bear) will never disavow your selfless mission!

You have wandered into Mawson Bear’s web-den.  Between naps among cushions, Mawson ponders about Baffling Things. He is the Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In and of She Ran Away From Love.

‘The book brings back such nostalagic memories that it made it comforting, like a  old security blanket.’  FNM Book reviews about Bright World.

Someone Brave Has Got To Do It: Lots of Brave Someones

Scotland the Brave: ‘Mawson, Mawson’.

48 Scottie on Truck Large

Mawson: ‘Oh hello, Scotty. What a nice day. I was just writing down little ponders and things and ..’

50 Change everyone Large

Scotland the Brave: ‘I’m not happy, Mawson. Not happy at all. Things aren’t Right.’

Mawson: ‘Err Things? Not umm .. Right? But umm ..’

51 Some One Brave

Scotland the Brave: ‘So I’m going out there. Right Now. I’m going to Change Things. I’m going to … I’m going to … I have no idea … But I’m going out there. Things are Wrong. Things have to go Right.’

Mawson: ‘But .. but .. Change Things? That sounds, well, big. And Scotty, there’s just you, a small brown bear in trews. With an old truck. I .. errr .. ummm .. I’m not sure ..’

52 Gone Some Time Large

Scottie: ‘I’m going anyway. Someone brave has got to do it.’

Mawson: ‘Oh dear. He’s brave but whats the use. Hmmm .. But what if we ALL go Out There. Together. To change Things. That could do it.’

You have wandered into Mawson Bear’s web-den. Mawson is a Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps) and the Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In .“The book brings back such nostalagic memories that it made it comforting, like a old security blanket.” FNM Book reviews.