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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Corallai by Michelle Path - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Anniek

Andi is on the beach when a big wave crashes over her and pulls her under water. She's scared at first, but then she notices that she has no trouble breathing and there's a kind mermaid-like woman waiting for her. Aquanna is the Queen of Corallai, the underwater world. Aquanna reached out to Andi because the ocean and all of its inhabitants are in great danger. The reefs and fish are struggling and Aquanna knows that Andi will help her save the ocean. Andi learns all about this compelling force of nature through the sweet and kind Squillfolk living in Corallai. Can Andi find a way to help them maintain the earth's beautiful underwater world?

The Squillfolk are the caretakers of the sea. The oceans once thrived and the reefs were legendary because of their beauty. Pollution and toxics are finding their way into the ocean and the Squillfolk were looking for a human who could help them before it's too late, hopefully Andi can do something worthwhile. Every member of the Squillfolk has a purpose and they are all equal. They work in harmony to preserve and care for the ocean. Andi is amazed by all the important things she's being taught and is determined to make a difference once she's back home.

Corallai is a beautiful story about the ocean and how people, sometimes unknowingly, affect the lives of the fish and reefs. I absolutely love the ocean and I have strong beliefs when it comes to maintaining this magical world. Corallai explains the importance of the underwater world in a manner that's both fun and understandable for children. The beautiful illustrations are a clear and impressive representation of the story. I dive myself and it's so peaceful to just be under water, listening to my own breathing and enjoying a whole other world and I love how Michelle Path has managed to capture this feeling. She's written an amazing story that will teach children how they can help protecting the ocean. She cleverly incorporates education into a captivating story and I liked that combination. Corrallai is a fantastic fascinating book about an important thought-provoking topic.

Advice

If you'd like to read about the importance of a healthy ocean and inhabitants, presented in a kind and educational way, Corallai would be a perfect choice. The book is meant for the 7 to 12 year age range, but can be read by anyone who enjoys beautiful stories about the ocean.

About Michelle Path


Michelle Path is an Australian award-winning children's author as well as running Purple Pony Publishing.

She lives on a farmlet in picturesque West Gippsland which she shares with her 4 horses, 3 dogs and a tank full of goldfish. Michelle has always felt drawn to writing and began writing, particularly fantasy stories, as a teenager. To date she has published 21 children's books including 6 in her award-winning Xalien the Purple Alien series.

Xalien the Purple Alien has won a bronze Bizziebaby award as well as a Purple Dragonfly Honorable Mention award and a Story Monsters Approved award. Xalien the Purple Alien: Xalien Goes to School won a silver Bizziebaby award and Xalien the Purple Alien has won a gold Bizziebaby award. Recently her book Phantasmagorical Phobias won the New Apple book award for short story fiction. The Cowboy Who Was Scared of Horses was a silver medalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards.

Michelle has always had a vivid imagination and loves to create interesting characters and places. She likes to incorporate messages and morals into her stories, often using humour or irony to capture children's imagination and making reading an enjoyable experience. Her books encourage tolerance and kindness, caring for animals and the environment, things she highly values. Her books encourage family time where they can be discussed which also help parents instill children with important values in a subtle way.

When Michelle isn't working on her stories she can be found riding her horses, often competing in dressage competitions. She enjoys keeping fit and taking her dogs for long walks. She is a keen music fan and enjoys going to concerts and the theatre.

Links


Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself? 

I live in West Gippsland in Victoria Australia on a small farm. I have 4 horses and am an avid dressage rider. I have written 2 books about my pony Cody, called Cody the Pony and Cody the Pony Goes to Pony Club and am currently working on getting a 3rd book published. When not reading or writing I love taking my dogs on walks, going to see live bands or the theatre.

2) You're an avid reader yourself. Where does your love for books come from? 

I have loved books for as long as I remember. I loved the little golden books and fairytales. I always had a wide variety of books to read as a child thanks to my Mum.

3) The preservation of the ocean is very important to you, can you tell a bit more about this?

The ocean is my favorite place to be. I spend as much time there in Summer as I can. Conservation and caring for animals as a whole is important to me. Nature and animals is the basis for humanity, something we often forget. It is important that we look after our planet and the animals.

4) What do you like to most about writing children's books? 

Children’s books give me a chance to write quirky stories and stories with important messages. I love creating fun characters that children can identify with. Nurturing a love for reading is why I write children’s books. I want children to be inspired to read and help them learn along the way.

5) Could you describe the main characters of Corallai in 7 words each? 

Andi is conscientious, kind, curious, adventurous, helpful, selfless and strong-willed. Aquanna is ambitious, dependable, fearless, tolerant, patient, strong and selfless.

6) You love spending time outdoors, how does this inspire your writing? 

I love being outdoors. I need the fresh air and peace and tranquility to write. Unfortunately I have housing development going on around me now so I find it very stressful and difficult to create and write. The horses are a big part of my life and having them and myself put in danger is something that I find frustrating and hard to deal with. I had a serious fall off my horse 18 months ago because council did not listen. My horse got spooked by the developers and he ran off and bucked. I broke my leg and ankle as a result of this.

The council does not care and does not see or care how badly this is affecting me and my ability to write and have a nice life. I used to hide this but now I think it is important that my message and circumstances are recognized. It spurs me on to write and continue to get my message across. I hope that I may one day have a lovely, peaceful environment to work and keep my animals safe again.

7) In Corallai you've included beautiful illustrations. How do you come up with the perfect images to capture the essence of your story? 

I visualize the stories as I write them which I then convey to the illustrator that I am working with. It can take a while to get the pictures correct as the illustrators often have a completely difference vision. Sometimes it is a matter of compromise to come up with something we are both happy with.

8) You love to go and see live bands. What's your favorite kind of music? 

My favorite music is pop / rock. I love Robbie Williams, Pink and Chris Isaak and a lot of the 80’s music as well as current stuff.

9) How did your writing career start?

I had been writing on and off for a few years and decided to send in Suki and the Seedling to a publisher. I got a letter back offering me a self publishing deal. I believed in the story and that it was something I wanted to pursue. Then I was approached on Twitter by Rowanvale Books which I went on to publish the majority of my books through. I recently started my own publishing company, Purple Pony Publishing and now publish my books through there

10) What are your plans for the future? 

I want to keep on publishing books for sure. I want to branch out into chapter books more. I also am working on some YA dark fantasy style stories which I hope to complete and publish. Outside writing I would like to be able to move away from the housing development and find somewhere lovely and quiet to ride my horses safely and to spend time with my animals which bring me so much joy.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of Corallai by Michelle Path.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

19 comments:

  1. This book sounds awesome! I love how it gives the reader a lesson on ecology and the ocean at the same time as providing a great story.

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  2. Corallai sound like an interesting story about the struggles various underwater plants and animals have coping with environmental pollution and over-fishing.

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  3. this looks like a fabulous read - would love to absorb myself in the pages and forget all else xx

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  4. Sounds good, many thanks for the review!

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  5. What an interesting book. I love that it also provides knowledge about the difficulties our oceans, fauna and flora have to contend with.

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  6. This sounds like fun and I know my daughter will enjoy it.

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  7. Sounds like an amazing read - thanks for the chance to win

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  8. I love the pastel colours in the book cover.

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  9. Sounds so charming. I'm definetly reading it with my daughter.

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  10. This sounds a really enjoyable book

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  11. Sounds a good book and a bit different being underwater! (@0zzyhog)

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  12. It's great that Michelle is a character-focused author. In my experience, younger readers really appreciate this.

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  13. Sounds great, i would love to read this.

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  14. Beautiful cover I love it. And the story sounds wonderful. I'd love to read about what happened in the underwater world!

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  15. Sounds to be beautiful story with great message. Thank you for the review, interview and giveaway.

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    1. And i hope your dream of peacefull environment for you, your horses and dogs will come true. ❤

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  16. I loved this review. I'm very much in favour of books that also educate children and this book certainly does that. Children have to learn from an early age how important looking after our planet is and this book helps towards that end.

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