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Playzak Holiday Gift Guide: http://www.playzak.com/buyersguide/category.asp?id=74

Wild Heart Ranch Inc., a children's toy and publishing company that has built its brands around original stories about nature and endangered species, encourages young readers and parents to become informed and make a difference in the animal world. The current lines, "Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop", "I Sea Horses, From Sky to Sea" and "No More Night Mares" address conservation of the critically endangered wild Bactrian camels, seahorses and wild horses.

Wild Heart Ranch recently launched a Kids Club contest asking readers to contribute their stories of altruism and goodwill towards the animal kingdom. The purpose of the contest is to spread the message to participants that "kids can make a difference"; submit your story on how you are helping animals, wild or domestic, to have a better life. The site also features a section entitled "endangered animal news" and a related blog.

Wild Heart Ranch Kids Club Contest - For more information and how to enter, check out the Kids Club Contest page at www.WildHeartRanch.com
Reviewer - Chris Byrne - The Toy Guy - theToyGuy.com Read more
The Toy Man online Award of Excellence The Toy Man on Line.com

As many of us already know, innovative new concepts in toys are few and far between. Well, Wild Heart Ranch chose to pick up the reigns and get innovative. Wild Heart Ranch Inc. www.wildheartranch.com is a content driven toy company that creates innovative non-violent toys and products based on original ideas and characters. They take the concept of "ChildSafe" product quite seriously, yet strive to keep the innovative ingredients present as well with their very special line of products for 2004. Read more

Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products 2004

This new product I Sea Horses is one of six collectible plush seahorses. I Sea Horses will also be part of a book and other products. The website offers information about real live seahorses teaching children that they are fish with unique characteristics. This company has also produced other products based on original ideas, stories, and characters. The site follows the tale of three magical horses that cross the line between ocean and Earth. It expands the ocean terrain with a new roadmap and the seahorses are protected. This product is working to also protect the wild seahorses. There are also facts about learning about seahorses themselves, what they eat and how they live. Read more

TDmonthly’s Top 10 Most Wanted Girls Plush - I Sea Horses TDmonthly’s Top 10 Most Wanted Girls Plush
by Kristin Abraham

The hottest toys of previous seasons have successfully combined interaction and cuddliness and created rage sensations among tots and parents alike. According to Michelle McLaughlin, director of retail development for Nickelodeon Consumer Products, interactive plush is on the rise. This year, these toys are tackling some difficult tasks including singing, walking, dancing, and even potty training. Read more
Seal of Approval Winner Spring '00 - Lucky Stars Collection Seal of Approval Winner Spring '00 - Lucky Stars Collection
The National Parenting Center

We dare you not to fall in love with these adorable little ponies who will snuggle with your children in bed at night. What a huge hit they were with everyone who played with them. Time and again we watched these little pint-sized plush animals work their magic with our testers. There is an almost instantaneous attachment to the small, adorable ponies with the portable nightlight built right into the nose. Wild Heart Ranch offers a pretty large assortment of ponies to choose from, each with a unique style and coloring. Each one comes with an identifying hang-tag with names like Moonbeam, Comet or Painted Sky.

Seal of Approval Winner Spring '00 - Lucky Stars Collection Seal of Approval Winner Spring '00 - No More Night Mares
The National Parenting Center


This sweet, soft and cuddly stuffed companion is destined to become a bedtime favorite of many young children. You see, not only is "Lucky Stars" an attractive and appealing horse, he also has a nightlight hidden in his nose that glows gently at your child's touch. The soft blue glow will stay on for a period of time and then turn itself off. Your child has control over when and how to use the light. This gave them a great feeling of control and calm. No More Nightmares comes in three different horse styles, each with its own legend and history, which parents and children loved. Whether it's Comet, Moonbeam or Lucky Stars (seen here), No More Nightmares will become a bedroom fixture.
Kids' Turn Central product review of No More Night Mares Kids' Turn Central
Kids Product Review: No More Night Mares - Wild Heart Ranch Inc.

Are you afraid of the dark? Do you have scary dreams that make it hard to sleep some nights? Comet, Lucky Stars and Moonbeam might be able to help! Read more

Book Reviews
Creative Child's Top Creative Toy Awards 2005


No More Night Mares, a PREFERRED CHOICE AWARD (Plush Toys for Kids category)
No More Night Mares a Dream of Freedom Book, a SEAL OF EXCELLENCE AWARD (Storybooks for Kids category)

Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop
Author: Dawn Van Zant
ISBN: 0-9761768-2-3

The following review was contributed by: Kathryn Atwood:
Click Here To View More Of Kathryn's Reviews

Bradford, the title character in Dawn Van Zant's "Bradford and the Journey to
the Desert of Lop," is a boy who watches "Zorro," who owns a shirt declaring the
word "warrior" and who wears a necklace that holds "cancer beads," one for every
significant battle in his deadly struggle with the disease..

One night, the "Sandman" comes and takes him on a journey into the desert of Lop
to meet a group of endangered Bactrian camels. Bradford, always ready for a
challenge, joins them and begins his adventure. He's just not sure what that
adventure is.

The reader is generally in the dark as well but for the most part that doesn't
seem to matter. The publisher, Wild Heart Ranch, seeks to combine the dual
themes of child empowerment with a knowledge of endangered animals, so the
denoument of "Bradford" isn't as important as the journey itself (via an
endangered camel species) and the self-esteem acquired during that journey by
the brave but very sick Bradford. And when you read dreamy descriptions like
this one: "A blanket of stars filled a sky that was endless, like the desert in
front of him. The moon silhouetted the image of a small boy riding a camel
through the desert night" it doesn't seem to matter that Bradford's destiny or
destination isn't completely clear.

The book exhibits an occasional grammatical awkwardness such as this misplaced
comma: "Maybe these camels, knew the secrets of life." "Bradford" also
occasionally contains a repetitiveness linked to "telling" rather than "showing:
"Brad was seeing the desert as a magical place . . . " Why not just show us
that magic?

Van Zant has created such a dreamy landscape in "Bradford and the Journey to the
Desert of Lop," however, that these minor imperfections will be swept away by
the magical desert sands of Lop as young readers make their way through their
own adventures on the back of an endangered Bactrian camel named Judy.

Click here for the source of the review

Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble
Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble
Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble
Dawn Van Zant's Newest Book
E/The Environmental Magazine - http://www.emagazine.com/view/?3016

Greening the Next Generation


Did you ever hear the tale of the wild horses that once fled capture and extinction at the hands of man by descending into the sea and changing form? Wild Heart Ranch Books would like to tell you and your child the story. Wild Heart Ranch founder and author Dawn Van Zant has integrated wildlife conservation into vividly illustrated children's tales of action, adventure and bravery. Three such stories, I Sea Horses: From Sky To Sea, No More Nightmares: A Dream of Freedom and Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop are presently in bookstores. Van Zant's tales fictionalize, yet explain in easily understood and endearing terms, the hardship and demise of America's wild horses. Bradford, a real young boy who suffered from the ravages of Ewing's Sarcoma, goes on a fictional journey to seek out and save the wild Bactrian camel. Each of Van Zant's stories ends with an outline of a related on-going conservation project, from Project Seahorse to the Wild Camel Protection Foundation. Available plush animals can also bring the main characters right to your children's waiting arms. - Shauna Dineen

CONTACT: Wild Heart Ranch, (888) 889-9213, www.wildheartranch.com.
Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble
 
Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop
By Dawn Van Zant
Review by Heather Froeschl of www.Bookideas.com, www.Quilldipper.com

The sandman travels each night to visit the children of the world and bring them peaceful sleep and good dreams. He is also on a mission to find a hero. From the sands of the Gobi Desert he seeks a warrior who will help the wild Bactrian Camels. The sandman finds young Bradford, a boy battling the war against cancer. Bradford knows that this is the adventure he has been waiting for as he takes the hand of the sandman and finds himself falling onto the soft sands of the vast Gobi.

In this magical dream Brad will befriend the camels that called to him, listen to the wind speak words of wisdom, and travel with the Uighur people to their village. He will battle raiders of an ancient tomb, and learn the lessons that the wild desert has to teach. Most importantly he will learn that the camels have secrets to share, secrets that possibly involve the very sickness running through his own body and those of the village children.

The wild Bactrian camel has adapted to an environment in China, the Gashun Gobi Desert, which was for 45 years, a nuclear test site. The camels seem to have been unaffected by the radiation and are breeding naturally, even evolving to consuming salt water. This leads some scientists to believe that study of these wonderful creatures could lead to a better understanding of treating cancers. However, the Bactrian camel is Critically Endangered, and they are indeed calling out for a warrior to help them. Will today’s children be the warriors of tomorrow?

This book is a tribute to the real Bradford. It is a call to arms for those willing to listen to the battle cry against cancer, as well as the call for help from the wild camels. It is also a wonderful tale of the power each child has within. An inspiration, this book will hopefully be read over and over again to children everywhere. Entertaining, educational and inspiring, it is well written, full of adventure and the power of courage; “Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop” is an absolute must read!
Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble The No More Night Mares
By Dawn Van Zant
Review by Heather Froeschl of www.Quilldipper.com

In honor of the once great herds of wild horses, the legend of Comet, Moonbeam and Lucky Stars - the night mares, is born. For all the magic and wonder that the herds instill in our hearts, the essence of the night mares shines down from the midnight sky granting wishes from the
stars.

The beautifully illustrated, magical book, "The No More Night Mares," is an inspiration - but more than that, it is a dream weaver, a mind-expanding myth, and a mystical tale of moral guidance and love. What child doesn't dream of horses or wish upon a star?

Eclipse is the fastest and strongest stallion in his territory. He is the leader of his herd and is blessed by the protection of the night. He moves his herd of females and foals through the fog and darkness so that their greatest danger, man, does not detect them. Having been captured as a foal with his mother, Eclipse's escape has made him very wise. One night though, even he is unaware of lurking danger.

A friendly rival, Golden Earth, races to warn Eclipse of an approaching herd of two-legged hunters. Dividing the herd, sending the slowest of his mares and the foals to safety with Golden Earth, Eclipse gathers his fastest mares to draw the humans away. What happens next is the stuff legends are made of. The mares become guiding lights forever more.

Creating a legend is not easy, but Wild Heart Ranch, with author Dawn Van Zant and illustrator Kim McElroy have done so, inspiringly. Appealing to horse lovers of all ages, and anyone who gazes at the stars in wonder, "The No More Night Mares" is a book to be treasured.


 
Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble
 
Book Review Rating
Bradford & the Journey to the Desert of Lop

Dawn Van Zant
(Reviewer - Rebecca Brown) http://www.rebeccasreads.com/reviews/03chi/03vand56.html
2005 Wild Heart Ranch Inc.
ISBN: 0976176823

Cancer patient Brad & the Sandman take a magical trek to discover the secrets of the heart.

Dedicated to nine year old Bradford Lawless, a true warrior at heart & his battle with cancer (Ewing's Sarcoma) this tale combines elements of his real life woven into a magical journey of hope.

“When the Sandman comes to visit you tonight, you need to listen closely as you close your eyes & drift off to sleep. It is a tale of magic that lives in the desert, of buried ancient treasures, vanishing wild camels, forgotten people & the courage of a small unlikely warrior destined to be their guardian.” Read more......

 
Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble
 
Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop
AUTHOR: Dawn Van Zant
ILLUSTRATOR: Alexander Levitas
Publisher: Wild Heart Ranch
ISBN: 0-9761768-2-3
Pages: 37 - Jan. 2006

Review by: Shirley Roe, Allbooks Reviews

Young Bradford lay sleeping in his bed, ‘Warrior’ t-shirt and nightcap firmly in place. A visit from the Sandman takes him on a journey of excitement, adventure and discovery that readers will enjoy immensely.

Bradford is a cancer patient and unable to run and play like other boys his age but in his dream he is whole again. He meets the Uighurs, a band of nomads that travel by camel across the desert sand. They lead him to a wonderful, enchanting place filled with wild Bactrian camels that possess an amazing trait; a uniqueness that may help boys and girls like him.

Author Dawn Van Zant writes with skill and dedication, using easy to understand dialogue. Children of all ages will enjoy this adventure. The illustrations by Alexander Levitas are charming and tell the story well for younger readers.

The book is intended to bring awareness to the existence of the wild Bactrian Camels of China and Mongolia and the Wild Camel Protection Foundation with patron, Jane Goodall. Readers are given contact information for the foundation and the website to further their knowledge of these amazing creatures. We wish Dawn and the Wild Heart Ranch much success in all of their very deserving ventures.

Highly recommended by reviewer: Shirley Roe, Allbooks Reviews.

May be purchased directly from the publisher @ www.wildheartranch.com or Amazon.com

Direct link: http://www.allbookreviews.com/Default.aspx?tabid=616
Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble
 
"Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop"
WHAT A READ!!!

This is one of those moving stories that REALLY MOVES you to think about Life. It is with determination and love that this young boy "Brad" shares his dreams and his wishes.

I believe also after reading this book that there could be HOPE for some in the Desert.

It is a book that all with or without children should read. The tears flowed, but at the end they flowed with the knowledge that the seed has been planted, now let all who read it, fertilize and watch it grow. Share this with your family, friends and neighbours.

It has given me a little more appreciation of life, and awe that a young boy can move me to that extreme.

we need to pass this book around, pass the word around, and never give up hope in finding a cure. We just need to remember that the camels are to be appreciated, not taken for granted.

Thank you,
Donna Foulds
Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop

by Dawn Van Zant
Illustrated by Alexander Levitas
Direct Link: http://www.myshelf.com/kids/fiction/06/bradfordandthejourneytothedesertlop.htm


Dawn Van Zant's intentions with her picture book, Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop, are commendable. The book is dedicated to Bradford Lawless, a child who lost his battle with cancer, and features him as the main character. Van Zant also uses the book to tell the world about the wild Bactrian camels and the people who live in Gobi Desert. I love camels, especially the shaggy, two-humped Bactrians, so I was very interested in reading this large picture book, which is beautifully illustrated by Alexander Levitas's watercolors. (Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them.)
The Bradford in the story is also seriously ill and is visited by the Sandman who takes him on a long journey in his dreams to a stretch of the Gobi called the Desert of Lop. He finds the wild camels and even leads a charge riding on one, chasing away tomb robbers in the sand.

The wild camels are unique because they can drink salt water, but their domestic cousins cannot. They also have never been affected by nuclear testing that was done in the desert as other animals and humans have. Even their offspring are immune. But they and their fragile habitat are endangered. Van Zant includes information at the end of the book about saving these wild camels.

I enjoyed the story but found it to be quite long. It seemed to be trying to tell too much. Also, there are three to five pages of text before a picture is found. Because of this, it is probably best read aloud by chapters, divisions of the story Van Zant does provide.

MyShelf.com
Reviewer Janie Franz
Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble I Sea Horses: From Sky to Sea by Dawn Van Zant
"The I Sea Horses story is designed to inspire young children to follow their dreams and move beyond their fears." Book Description: A magical tale of how the first seahorses evolved from a herd of wild horses. Pegasus, the leader of the herd, has had a bad dream in which his beloved herd will no longer be free to roam the land. Desperate to save their freedom, he leads his band of mares towards a new home - a home under the waves! Dawn Van Zant is the founder of Wild Heart Ranch Inc. and the author of its original stories inspired by a love of nature. Her two children, Callan and Taylor, have always encouraged her writing and love of horses. Her father read her animal bedtime stories as a child and it instilled a desire to create and pass on her own stories. Read the BooksoftheYear.com Interview

 
Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble I SEA HORSES: From Sea to Sky by Dawn Van Zant; Illustrated by Callan Van Zant
Wild Heart Ranch, December 30, 2005
28 Pages, Paperback, $7.99
ISBN: 0976176807
Genre: Children’s Fiction (Ages: 4-8)

BUY IT - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0976176807/rawreviewers 
RAWKidz Rating: 5

Fact and Fantasy Converge, December 30, 2005

Reviewer: The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers (RAWSISTAZ.com) - See all my reviews
In I SEA HORSES, author Dawn Van Zant has created a warm and inviting tale that is written in fairy tale style. The story centers around how sea horses came to be. Life on land was changing and the mere ability of the horses to run free was threatened. A herd of wild horses are led on a journey by a stallion with dreams of living in the depths of the sea. The journey to life underwater was not without fear - the members of the herd express concerns ranging from worries about what other horses will think to the change that will inevitably occur as a result of their move from land to sea. In spite of the fears, the herd bravely venture into a new life; one that comes with dramatic transformation.

I really enjoyed this story, I found that it had a good balance of fantasy and fact. Children will come away from this story not only having learned a bit about sea horses, but also having their imaginations sparked. The book also includes some useful references to other websites where children can read more about real sea horses, and learn in greater detail, about sea horse conservation movements.

Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers

Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble NO MORE NIGHT MARES: A Dream of Freedom by Dawn Van Zant; Illustrated by Kim McElroy
Wild Heart Ranch, June 2004
32 of Pages, Paperback, $9.99
ISBN: 0976176815
Genre: Children’s Fiction (Ages: 4-8)

BUY IT - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0976176815/rawreviewers 
Amazon Rating: 4
RAWKidz Rating: 4.5

Not All Nightmares are Bad...

In NO MORE NIGHT MARES readers are taken on a journey led by a noble stallion by the name of Eclipse. Eclipse is said to have been born at the moment of a lunar eclipse with the moon itself shining in his eyes. In his younger days, he and other members of his herd were captured by men who wanted to make them tame. Eclipse manages to escape, and eventually becomes the strong leader of a herd of his own. Yet the threat of humans was relentless, and eventually he and some of his herd were cornered. That is until the forces of nature unite and make a stand for freedom.

Dawn VanZant has a unique voice that is reminiscent of the fairy tales we all heard as children. She has a gift for integrating fact with fantasy, and man with nature. In NO MORE NIGHT MARES, she has taken the abstract concept of freedom, and brought it to life through the stories of the wild horses. In addition, she uses the horses to teach messages of hope, perseverance, and courage. She also demonstrates the impact of man on nature and how not all change is good. The simple illustrations compliment the story well, while leaving room for the imagination of the reader. The author includes a collection of Internet resources so that readers can learn more about wild horse preservation efforts. NO MORE NIGHT MARES will be most enjoyed by those already familiar with horses, but it will likely ignite a passion in anyone who reads it. And while the book isn't explicitly political, this heartwarming story is sure to spark an interest in this cause with a new generation of readers.

Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers
Publisher’s Website: http://www.wildheartranch.com 
Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble BRADFORD AND THE JOURNEY TO THE DESERT OF LOP by Dawn Van Zant; Illustrated by Alexander Levita
Wild Heart Ranch, October 2005
40 Pages, Hardcover, $19.95
ISBN: 0976176823
Genre: Children’s Fiction (Ages: 4-8)

BUY IT - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0976176823/rawreviewers 

RAWKidz Rating: 4.5
Amazon Rating: 4

A Brave Journey

What does a young boy with cancer have to do with camels in the Desert of Lop? Author Dawn Van Zant answers this question and many more in a story only she could tell. Bradford is a young boy who has spent a good portion of his life bravely fighting cancer. On one special night as he is laying in bed attempting to fall asleep, he feels a presence in the room. It turns out that the sandman, has been searching for thousands of years to find "the one," and it is Bradford. The Sandman takes Bradford on a journey through time and space that eventually leads them to the Gobi where he is greeted by wild camels who will guide him to the Desert of Lop. Along the way, Bradford learns about the camels, the land, and his illness while proving to himself that he too can be a brave hero. The book concludes with information about real life Wild Bactrian Camels and their status as a critically endangered species. The author also notes, how scientists are particularly interested in studying the animal's immune system, especially in light of all the species has overcome to survive over the years, and feel that it will lead to promising discoveries that could help with many human illnesses.

Once again Dawn Van Zant has written a book that clearly shows man's connection with nature. The way that she parallels Bradford's journey in the desert to his real-life battle with cancer, is heartfelt and inspiring. However, I think the book is better suited for children in the 9-12 age range rather than younger readers. BRADFORD AND THE JOURNEY TO THE DESERT OF LOP is a touching story that teaches lessons about courage and the importance of a positive attitude, while encouraging readers to learn more about nature.

Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers
Publisher’s Website: http://www.wildheartranch.com 
 
Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble

I Sea Horses, Splash into Our Undersea Magical Adventure! by: Wild Heart Ranch
Price: $9.99
Age: 3 to 100
I Want One   

The brightly colored seahorses have bendable tails that wrap around anything. Squeeze their belly and the magical starfish will light up your imagination. Each seahorse comes with a comb for their long, colorful hair. (10/12/2005) http://www.playzak.com/buyersguide/category.asp?id=74

Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop by: Wild Heart Ranch
Age: 8 to 100
I Want One   
Meet "Judy", a plush, wild Bactrian camel from the story "Bradford and the Desert of Lop". Branded with a gold moon and star, this soft, cuddly nighttime companion will send children on a magical, sleepy journey with the Sandman. (10/24/2005) http://www.playzak.com/buyersguide/category.asp?id=74

Lucky Stars Collection: Because Everyone Needs a Lucky Star… by: Wild Heart Ranch
Price: $9.99
Age: 8 to 100
I Want One   
What do little girls dream of?... Horses of course! Magical mini plush horses that light up with celestial windows of the moon & stars! The 12 mini horses come in realistic colors, with long manes and tails to comb. Each horse comes with a nametag & poem based on the original story of mystical wild horses – ‘No More Night Mares… A Dream of Freedom.’ (10/24/2005)
http://www.playzak.com/buyersguide/category.asp?id=74

Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble The No More Night Mares: A Dream of Freedom, September 23, 2005

Reviewer: Tami Brady (Calgary, Canada) - See all my reviews
With this book, Wild Heart Ranch Books brings children another lovely, melancholic story about horses and their quest for freedom.

In this story the author draws a connection between the Pegasus Constellation and the time long ago when "the land was filled with wild horses thundering across vast plains."

It is the story of a noble, wild stallion named Eclipse, and his struggle to protect his herd from hunters. It is also a story of friendship. It is with the help of an enemy stallion named Golden Earth that Eclipse is able to save his herd from a wild chase. Besides Golden Earth, the earth and the moon also help in their own magical way, as these are the "Spirits of Freedom." The author uses myth, fantasy and even a bit of magical realism to add depth to the story.

Unlike I Sea Horses, a title with a similar theme by the same publisher which is aimed at younger children, The No More Night Mares has fewer illustrations and longer, more complex text. The illustrations, though, are photo-like and rich with detail, making the beauty and strength of these animals come alive across the pages.

This is a nice book for parents to read to children who love horses, or for those who wish for their children to understand the meaning of freedom and the harm that man has unwillingly done against these intelligent, magnificent creatures.
Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble The No More Night Mares: A Dream of Freedom
FROM THE CRITICS

Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury

Do not miss this book about Eclipse, the shiny black stallion, and his mares. A rival stallion named Golden Earth respects Eclipse so much that he races to warn Eclipse of the dangers from men who have entered the area. In his quest to maintain freedom, Eclipse leads his four prized mares to safety by having them escape into the sky. The magical ascent into the night sky allows the mares to become lights of inspiration while Eclipse stays on earth to protect the other wild horses. Even the horse-catching men understand the beauty and magic of the escape. The author's poetic and lyrical words paint vivid pictures of power and excitement throughout the daring tale. Beautiful horse illustrations with star-shaped borders add extra appeal to this title. Youngsters will want to read this book again and again. As a bonus, on the back cover several website addresses for wild horse preservation are listed. 2004, Wild Heart Ranch, Ages 8 to 12.
Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble

The No More Night Mares: A Dream of Freedom

by Dawn Van Zant

In The No More Night Mares: A Dream of Freedom, the author of I Sea Horses is back to spin more legendary horse stories. In this tale, Eclipse, a fiery wild stallion, faces the challenge of protecting his herd from the ultimate threat: man. In legendary fashion, Eclipse is helped at his most desperate moment through the intercession of "the magic of the moon and the stars in the sky." It helps his herd to become "the night mares" and they can be wild and free forever.

This book will be appreciated by young children with a strong interest in horses. Preschoolers will probably have a hard time with this book because there are not enough pictures per page to hold their interest through the lengthy text. Several spreads have no pictures at all other than a grey-blue background and multicolored stars in the corners.

The horse illustrations by Kim McElroy are beautiful and very realistic. However, as is the trademark of Wild Heart Ranch books, the pictures are cropped into shapes that reflect the overall story, in this case, stars. The cropping left me wanting to see the whole picture so I could better place myself in the landscape of the story. As is, the physical medium of the book is ever present and doesn't allow the reader to become fully encapsulated in the story. Therefore, I feel that the picture book aspect of the book is not explored fully enough but the text would make a good early chapter book.

Overall, this is a nice imaginative horse story for children. The back cover provides several websites that will help children get more information about wild horses. The story itself weaves a fun legend that children will remember for a lifetime
 

Review by MyShelf.com 2005

Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble

Wild Heart Ranch - Bradford and the Desert of Lop - Hard Cover Book

Age Range: 9 - 12
Price: $17.99
Phone Number: 888-889-9213
Year Released: 2004

Toy Type: Book
Creative Product
Educational Skills
Hobby
Software





 

Your child will enjoy this delightful story that will help guide them into a unique dream experience. Help build your child’s imagination with this tale of magic. Discover the wonders of the desert and ancient buried treasures, vanishing wild camels and forgotten people. Learn about the courage of a small unlikely warrior. Your child will enjoy following Brad, Judy and the Sandman on a journey through the Desert of Lop. Learn about the endangered wild Bactrian camel that lives in China’s Gashun Gobi Desert. This book is an asset to your child’s library and will make bedtime much more enjoyable.

Read More

Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble I Sea Horses

by Dawn Van Zant

I Sea Horses is an imaginative story of a pack of wild horses who decide to take up residence in the sea. At first, most of the horses are wary of moving to such a different environment, "A rust colored mare declared in a shrill/ 'Oh my goodness some day I might have to grow gills!/ What will happen to my coat and my mane in the sea?/ I'll be all tangled and weedy, it's too messy for me!" However, after everyone gives voice to their fears, they agree to follow their leader, and subsequently, become colorful sea horses.

While the premise of the story is cute and makes for a great children's book, the execution does not live up the unique and fun story line. Told in rhymed couplets, a difficult and often dangerous format for authors, the rhymes are often highly contrived and forced. "Could it be that they wished for a new home to be free?/ Could it be they could see the future of wild horses to be?"

The illustrations, done by the author's teenage daughter, are great and lend a fabulous representation of the characters to the text. It proves that young people can be successful, and I was happy to see that her artwork was quite good. She uses great colors and contrast, however, her wonderful illustrations have been cropped to fit into small circles (bubbles) that only grace every few pages. There are several spreads with no artwork at all, other than a bubbly blue and gray background. The bubbly background was a cute idea, but it doesn't complement the text and will probably not hold the interest of the small children whom this text is created for.

Overall, the coolest feature of this book is the back cover. It contains photos of the plush sea horse toys that correspond to each sea horse character from the book. There is also information about real sea horses and how to protect them.

I feel that this story has great potential that could be more fully realized by allowing Callan Van Zant's art work to hold a more prominent position in the book to make this a true picture book. The story is fantastic and takes everyone on a fun journey into the imagination. There is also an underlying message that even though it can be scary to try to new things, if you have courage, you may just find that new things can be fun.


The Book: Wild Heart Ranch Books 2004
Paperback 0-9761768-0-7
Fantasy picture book
More at Publisher's Web Site: www.wildheartranch.com 

The Reviewer - Sarah Lomas
Reviewed 2005 © 2005 MyShelf.com

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Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble No More Night Mares, A Dream of Freedom
By Dawn Van Zant
Illustrated by Kim McElroy
34 pages
ISBN # 0-9761768-1-5
 
Book Review by Dana E. Blozis
 
Author Dawn Van Zant brings readers the magical tale of wild horses searching for freedom in No More Night Mares, A Dream of Freedom. In this delightful children's book, Van Zant captivates readers with the legend of Eclipse, a mighty stallion determined to protect his herd from capture. With the help of rival stallion Golden Earth, Eclipse deftly escapes man's grasp, valiantly leading his mares Comet, Moonbeam, and Lucky Stars into the night sky.
 
This story is poignantly written by Van Zant who has long been a lover of animals and their stories. She lovingly portrays the struggle of wild horses to remain free in a land where capture appears imminent. Weaving a lesson of comfort and victory into the story, Van Zant's words are spirited and colorful, allowing the reader to become immersed in the story. At the same time, the author shares a bit of history of wild horses and their diminished presence in America today.
 
Magnificently illustrated, lifelong horse lover Kim McElroy offers more than an artist's rendering of the lively horses in Van Zant's story. Rather, she captures their spirits and their souls, helping young readers understand the horses' majestic beauty, their dreams and their fears. The careful portrayal of each horse contains rich colors and shadows, giving it life and character throughout the story.
 
This book is offered by publisher Wild Heart Ranch, Inc. of Point Roberts, Washington in its mission to offer toys and books to empower children and to ease their fears. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.wildheartranch.com.
 
"Our original legend of mythical horses honors wild horses as a symbol of what is wild and free in all of us. May there always be wild horses upon our lands..."
 
 - Dawn Van Zant

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Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble Betsie's Literary Page

The No More Nightmares
Author: Dawn Van Zant
Illustrated by Kim McCoyyy

Publisher: Wild Heart Ranch Books (2004)
ISBN: 0976176815
Paperback: 32pp
$9.99

Rating: Highly Recommended

From Ancient Times They Come!

June 26, 2005

"On a night when the moon passed through the Earth's shadow: At that very moment fate sealed his name: Eclipse."

Equine enthusiasts, as well as children of all ages will enjoy reading the history of horses, as told by author Dawn Van Zant and of the great stallion known as Eclipse.

Zant vividly reveals their legend and courage to survive amidst humans who seek to capture and tame their wild spirits.

This enigmatic tale will leave searching for stars! 14" plush collectible horses are also currently available through publisher's website.

Reviewed by Betsie http://betsie.tripod.com/literary/id256.html

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Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble

Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble

I Sea Horses: From Sky To Sea

Dawn Van Zant
Wild Heart Ranch Books
ISBN: 0-9761768-0-7
Children’s
Reviewed by Mayra Calvani

How did sea horses come to exist? Could it be that horses on the land, threatened by men and searching for freedom, escaped to the sea?

I Sea Horses takes a magical glimpse into the origin of sea horses. With beautiful, evocative, dream-like illustrations, this is an imaginative, heart-warming story that will delight young and old alike.

Led by the young stallion Pegasus, and with the helped of a magical star, the herd goes to the depths of the sea to find peace, freedom and happiness. In the beginning, however, Pegasus encounters much resistance from the herd, for how is a horse, a creature without gills, to survive under the sea?

But Pegasus “told them his dream of things coming to be/When the land would change and they could no longer run free/He did not know when or even know why/But he felt he must turn to the sea or the sky.”

The story is written in lovely lyrical verses, but the language is pretty straight forward, making it easy for the younger child to understand. The language also has a serene, calming quality while stimulating the child’s imagination at the same time.

At the end of the book there is a section about Project Sea Horse and how people can help the survival of these exotic, fascinating, delicate creatures. Children can interact with this project’s website and even purchase the plush-toy, sea horse characters featured in the story.

A picture book that will enchant lovers of horses and sea horses, I Sea Horses comes highly recommended from this reviewer.

I Sea Horses: From Sky To Sea by Dawn Van Zant is available at Amazon.com

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The No More Night Mares: A Dream of Freedom

Dawn Van Zant
Wild Heart Ranch Books
ISBN: 0-9761768-1-5
Children’s
Reviewed by Mayra Calvani

With this book, Wild Heart Ranch Books brings children another lovely, melancholic story about horses and their quest for freedom.

In this story the author draws a connection between the Pegasus Constellation and the time long ago when “the land was filled with wild horses thundering across vast plains.”

It is the story of a noble, wild stallion named Eclipse, and his struggle to protect his herd from hunters. It is also a story of friendship. It is with the help of an enemy stallion named Golden Earth that Eclipse is able to save his herd from a wild chase. Besides Golden Earth, the earth and the moon also help in their own magical way, as these are the “Spirits of Freedom.” The author uses myth, fantasy and even a bit of magical realism to add depth to the story.

Unlike I Sea Horses, a title with a similar theme by the same publisher which is aimed at younger children, The No More Night Mares has fewer illustrations and longer, more complex text. The illustrations, though, are photo-like and rich with detail, making the beauty and strength of these animals come alive across the pages.

This is a nice book for parents to read to children who love horses, or for those who wish for their children to understand the meaning of freedom and the harm that man has unwillingly done against these intelligent, magnificent creatures.

The No More Night Mares: A Dream of Freedom by Dawn Van Zant is available at Amazon

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Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble Betsie's Literary Page

I Sea Horsess
Author: Dawn Van Zant
Illustrated by Callan Van Zant

Publisher: Wild Heart Ranch Books (2004)
ISBN: 0976176807
Paperback: 28pp
$7.99

Rating: Highly Recommended

Spellbindingly Creative!

June 26, 2005

Ever wonder how seahorses came to be?

In contemporary lyrics, children's imaginations will soar as Pegasus plunges into the ocean in search of a new home!

I Sea Horses is a sea-faring adventure sure to bewitch young and old minds alike.

The book also includes descriptions of 6 collectible plush seahorse characters with nametag & poem based on the storybook, available through the publisher's website. Other information included on Project Seahorse.

Reviewed by Betsie
http://betsie.tripod.com/literary/id257.html  

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Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble Follow Brad and the Sandman on their magical journey to the Desert of Lop to learn the secrets of vanishing wild camels, fossils and treasures buried in the desert and the magic of the Gobi winds. The book teaches us that" one small boy with cancer can change the world if you listen". 5/26/05 ENTER Wild Heart Ranch TOYSHOW

Read more http://www.toydirectory.com/monthly/ToyShow/toyshow.asp?id=176&cat=74
Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble I Sea Horses from Sky to Sea book review from All Books Reviews by Haley Hodge

By: Dawn Van Zant
Illustrated by: Callan Van Zant

I Sea Horses is the legend of a herd of wild earth horses led by Pegasus into the sea where they become seahorses.

Pegasus is the leader and wanted a new life under the sea. Some of the horses in the herd were afraid and some were curious. In the herd were Meadow, Sunflower, Splash, Sandy and Bubbles. Finally, they made their way into the blue dark sea.

This book is written in poems. I liked this book because it is a fictional legend and because it was about my favorite animals, horses. It was very interesting and I would not change it at all.

The pictures were really well drawn and it looks like they were done in pastels, which makes them very attractive. This book is just the right length.

The purpose of the this book is to raise awareness of seahorses, marine environments and the management of seashores. You can learn more at:

www.projectseahorse.org.

I give this book 3 out of 5 lollipops.
Reviewer: Haley Hodge, age 12.

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Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble Book Announcements/Coverage

http://www.cbcbooks.org/cbcmagazine/hotp/
Simple Things book review of Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop on Barnes and Noble Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop - Hard Cover Book

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Roxanne Sailors Taplett, editor, Simple Things, May 20, 2005,
Captivating story of Bradford on his mystical Journey
Join Bradford as he journeys to the Desert of Lop, with the Sandman, the wild camels and the Uighurs. I enjoyed this book very much, was fascinated by the descriptive story of a young boy battling cancer, who one night leaves with the Sandman on a journey to the desert, rides the wild camels, sees secrets of the desert and is led to the home of the Uighurs, a band of people living near the Desert of Lop. This is an inspirational read for children with disabilties, and offers information n the desert and wild camels. Highly recommended.

Also recommended: I Sea Horses From Sky to Sea; The No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom
Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble No More Night Mares... a Dream of Freedom

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Roxanne Sailors Taplett, editor of Simple Things, May 20, 2005,
Adults and Children alike will love No More Night Mares
Beautifully written and illustrated original legend of wild horses becoming stars. Geared to help children overcome fears of the dark and nightmares, adults will love this mythical story of horses as well.

Also recommended: I Sea Horses From Sky to Sea
Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble I Sea Horses

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Roxanne Sailors Taplett, editor, Simple Things, May 20, 2005,
Gear Your Imagination with Sea Horse legend..
A wonderfully written lyrical original legend of the Sea Horses. Reads like a melody - adults will love reading this book aloud to a special child who will love hearing this story of Pegasus, Meadow, Sunflower, Sandy, Splash and Bubbles.
Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble I Sea Horses : Bowker's Recommended List

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Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble No More Night Mares... A Dream of Freedom : Bowker's Recommended List

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Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble I Sea Horses, From Sea To Sky by Wild Heart Ranch

Written by Dawn Van Zant and illustrated by Callan Van Zant, this is a story of magical marine adventure. A herd of wild horses transforms into seahorses to keep the life of freedom and adventure that is disappearing from the open plains. This story of stars and magic will delight families and be passed on for generations to come. The characters come to life in plush seahorses, sold separately. This title is just one of several being shown at Toy Fair 2005. - Aire Norell 1/27/05

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Simple Things book review of No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom on Barnes and Noble Seattle Times Book review
by Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times book critic

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Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble Bookideas.com
by Heather Froeschl

For everyone who ever looked at a seahorse and wondered how they came to be, a myth is born. I Sea Horses is a delightful fantasy of how wild horses take refuge in the sea, giving Mother Nature a wonderful new species to show off.

The brave Pegasus gives thought to the way the world is changing and convinces his herd to look to the wild open seas. The darkness is frightening to some of the horses and so the first star-fish, Marina, offers her celestial light to them. With that the horses begin their new lives, and are filled with light and color.

The text is written in verse, which is light and fanciful but may be a bit hard to follow the first read through. Children will surely want to read the book over and over again though, so they will be sure to get the story eventually. The illustrations on alternate pages are rich and bold and full of the artist's love for horses.

I Sea Horses is a delightful myth that captures the magic of seahorses and sets free smiles to readers young and old. Read more

Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble BookReviewCafe.com
By LISA

A truly wonderful present to give to a child would be I Sea Horses along with a plush sea horse that lights up. The book is beautifully illustrated by the author's daughter, telling of how this herd of horses became sea horses and what their life is like under the sea.

Join Pegasus, Sunflower, Meadow, Bubbles, Splash, and Sandy and find a beautiful story hidden within the sea. Read More

Simple Things book review of I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea on Barnes and Noble I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea
Published by Wild Heart Ranch Books
Ages 6 - 10, Paperback


Wee Ones Magazine

If you love horses, this story is for you! A mother-daughter team created this charming rhyming story about how a herd of horses became sea horses. Their leader takes them to a dark place but with the help of a star fish to light the way, they enter a magical place! It's a book for young children that will capture the imagination. The illustrations are dreamy and colorful. In our ever changing world it's good to know that great things can happen when you follow your heart!

Visit the website for information about sea horses. This is a fun site that children will love to go back to.

  The Baytown Sun reviews Wild Heart Ranch children's books

 

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