Thursday, May 8, 2008

Reviews of CRASH!



"Children will love reading about Marcelo and his new puppy in "Crash!" by Mayra Calvani.

Marcelo's parents surprise him on his fifth birthday with a golden retriever puppy--the one thing he wanted more than anything in the world. Thrilled beyond all belief, Marcelo must now learn how to take care of his new puppy: feeding him, walking him, playing with him. But all that is easy compared to finding a name for him.

"Crash!" is a charming story about a boy and his dog and the special relationship that develops between a child and his pet. Author Mayra Calvani shows off her storytelling talents once again, as she did with "The Magic Violin".

Calvani has a way of getting right to the heart of children with her touching stories. Kudos go out to young illustrator, Anna Pylypchuk, whose beautifully drawn illustrations bring Calvani's story to life. My children each had their favorites drawings from the story. I can't wait to see what Mayra Calvani's next children's book is all about!

--Cheryl Malandrinos, The Book Connection


"Anyone who is a parent with a child that has begged, hollered, and begged some more for a pet will enjoy Crash and Marcelo, the little boy who gets his wish. The glee and joy in his cute little face is described vividly by author Mayra Calvani.

Reading “Crash”, a child and a parent discover the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. Marcelo also discovers that naming his new family member is not as easy as he thought. Many ideas come to his head, none really fitting in with the cute Golden Retriever.

The name he finally picks surprises his parents. But as you read, you realize this is the PERFECT name... This is a great book to buy for your child, you know, the one who is begging and hollering and begging some more for a pet. It will teach and prepare them for the responsibilities surely to come when a pet finally comes gift-wrapped."

--Lea Schizas, Muse Book Reviews


"Crash! has a very simple and straight-forward premise. A young boy named Marcelo wants nothing more than to have a puppy. So, on his fifth birthday, Marcelo’s wish is granted, and his parents surprise him with a Golden Retriever puppy. The only problem is, Marcelo doesn’t know what to name the puppy. Marcelo’s parents keep trying to offer up helpful suggestions for names, but he doesn’t think any of them fit his new best friend. It’s not until Marcelo is playing catch with his puppy that he finally decides on a name.

The story of Crash! is told from the third person point of view. The list of characters is also very straight forward. There is Marcelo, his mother and father, and of course the puppy. All the characters just seem to be very happy and loving. There are points in the story, like when Marcelo’s parents let him take the puppy out for short walks, where you can see that the family is loving and caring towards each other. The parents are mentioned as keeping a close eye on Marcelo as he walks his dog. Also, Marcelo cleans up after his puppy, just like his father has shown him. I think, though, that the true bond and relationship that is front and center is that of Marcelo and the puppy. The puppy is described as the best friend Marcelo has ever had. You truly get the feeling that Marcelo and the puppy have become almost inseparable. The puppy sleeps curled up against Marcelo. The puppy even follows Marcelo into the bathroom. You can truly see the pair as being best friends.

The illustrations in the book are colorful, bright, and sure to catch the attention of any young child. Drawn in a rather whimsical manner, the pictures absolutely bring the story to life. Instead of children just imagining Marcelo taking the puppy for a walk, it’s right there for the kids to enjoy. The colors are bright and bold, but still not overdone. The pictures also help lend to the fact that Marcelo and the puppy are such good friends. Through the pictures, you can see just how inseparable the pair really is."

Though I would not say this book has a strong message to speak of, I do think it is a nice tale of friendship. Sometimes that’s all you need out of a book, especially one for a younger audience. And, as I have pointed out, the friendship shows through loud and clear.

Overall, I would say that Crash! is a fun book for younger children. I think that children will enjoy the colorful pictures, and the cute story of friendship that develops between a boy and his puppy."

--Review by A. E. Jaskiewicz, Front Street Reviews


"Five-year-old Marcelo receives a puppy on his birthday. It was golden in color and had chocolate-brown eyes. A Golden Retriever! Marcelo wanted a puppy more than anything else in the world, so he was quite happy with his new puppy. It's a boy puppy, but Marcelo had to think up a special name for his special puppy.

Marcelo took good care of his puppy and kept him clean, well fed, and well exercised. Naming a puppy was a big undertaking, and Marcelo wanted to make sure he had the best name. Mom and Dad gave many names to Marcelo to consider, but he just wasn't happy with any of them.

You'll just have to read this adorable book to see what the puppy did and what the perfect name was that Marcelo gave to his puppy!

Author Mayra Calvani carefully chose every word in this book. It just flows perfect, and I really enjoyed the care Marcelo put into giving his puppy just the right name. I was astonished that the colorful, kid-friendly perfect illustrations by Anna Pylypchuk are the work of a sixteen-year-old girl! She is a native Ukrainian and I found her very detailed illustrations just as charming as Mayra's text. This is a fun read for your little ones, and the author will be donating 50% of her royalties from this book to ALMOST HEAVEN GOLDEN RETRIEVER RESCUE AND SANCTUARY, a non-profit organization."

--Gayle Jacobson-Huset, Assistant Editor, Stories for Children Magazine

"A golden retriever puppy chases his tennis ball right into a wall several times. It’s so typical of him (and his breed) that his actions actually win him his name.
The book “CRASH!” by Mayra Calvani is a children’s story about a boy named Marcelo who receives a puppy as a gift from his parents on his fifth birthday. Marcelo immediately begins the important process of choosing a name for his puppy. It can’t be just any name. He says the name has to fit his dog’s personality.

Marcelo bathes, brushes and feeds his puppy, so the story teaches children about dog-owning responsibilities. “CRASH!” is geared towards children between the ages of 2 and 6, a perfect age to begin learning about pet ownership. Marcelo walks his dog, even in the rain. He picks up after his dog like his parents taught him (good parents!) and begins to teach his dog commands like sit, stay and roll over. The puppy also chews on anything he can get his mouth on!

Since I own a Labrador retriever mix, I had to smile when the puppy chased his tennis ball straight into a wall, not just once but repeatedly (sounds like my mutt). Anyone who has owned a golden retriever, or even a lab will appreciate this book. I was interested in the story because I grew up with golden retrievers and figured I could not go wrong with any children’s story about a golden retriever.

The bright illustrations by Anna Pylypchuk tell the story on their own. Pylypchuk is a 16-year-old Ukraine native. Her pictures are enough to keep anyone interested, even a toddler. The story itself is short, about 22 pages, so it’s enough to hold the attention span of 2- to 6-year-old child (or an easily distracted 25-year-old). Children love stories about pets, and this one will teach them the value of owning a dog."
--Lindsay Stordahl,

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