Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 43627
date submitted 14.09.2011
date updated 30.06.2013
genres: Children's, Comedy
classification: universal
complete

Mary's Magic Muffins & Other Tales for Children

Brian G Chambers

The stories in this book are for children of all ages. There is something for all in here. Even parents will enjoy them.

 

If this book gets published, or any part of it, part of the proceeds will go to Hull Royal Infirmary's NICU, where my granddaughter Tilly was looked after, after she was born. She had to have a life saving operation. Therefore a special thank you has to go to surgeon Miss Besarovic, or Miss B. as she's known locally.
Tilly was my inspiration to try and have my stories published.
The stories in this collection could be published separately. They are in this collection so that the publishers can see the diversity of my writing They would of course be enhanced by illustrations, but unfortunately I am no good at drawing or art work.
A special thanks to Gillian Bergh for designing the cover page, and to Jessica Berg for editing the stories.

Mary's Magic Muffins.
Daisy the Dairy Cow.
Brainy Brian Comes to the Rescue.
Brainy Brian down on the Farm.
The McCoos.
Adventures of Spike & Squeak.
Tilly & Mary the Fairy Versus Wanda the Wicked Witch.
The Pink Ribbon.
Kris & the Giant Leek.
Tom & Wee Davie.
Granny Martha Touchstone & Her Taser Mobile Phone.

 
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Jumberly wrote 312 days ago

Hi Brian
Great read. As a Primary Headteacher I'd put this book in the school library and recommend it to parents.
Yes, it does need illustrations....but that is just a detail....the writings great. My daughter was reading it over my shoulder and she loved it too.
Backed, watchlist and bookshelf for this one!

Good work....don’t stop now...keep writing.

David

andersensapphire wrote 297 days ago

What a quaint story you have! I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I read. Your writing style is perfect for children. I don't believe many people can successfully write children's stories, but you most definitely can!

Truly, as I read, I envisioned myself reading this to my three young godsons. It's written in that perfect way that they can follow along logically and learn new concepts at the same time. I believe that you must be a very logical, organized thinker, and it comes through in your writing.

I don't have any criticisms; I have placed it on my bookshelf and given you high stars. I just wish you all the best of luck with it!

Take care,
Caitlin

Randall A Stone wrote 298 days ago

Hi Brian.
One of the hardest things, I think, for an adult to do, is to write stories for young children. It is so natural for us to explain things in an adult way, forgetting that young children would find it hard to understand it. This however, doesn't seem a problem for you.

I'm sure that children of all ages, and some adults too, if only they'd admit it, will love these stories. I could easily see this flying off the shelves in local libraries, especially with some illustrations behind them. I used to illustrate my own children's stories, once upon a time, but never actually thought of publishing them. I used to do them for my own children and their friends.

In view of how well written and entertaining this book is and the valiant reason behind publication, I am going to back the book and put it on my bookshelf in a week or so. It really was a delight to read.
God Bless You, My Friend.
Randall

Voice wrote 315 days ago

Kids love gross stuff and you have a great opportunity to add a humorous line or two about collecting that chewing gum! I love the grandparent/grandchild relationship - older/younger generation connection!

Also, on a personal note, it was grandma's birthday party yesterday so I didn't get to read any stories with my kids, but I think this is the one for tonight!

pam cartwright wrote 310 days ago

Chirg/YArg
Hi Brian, sorry for the delay in returnng your review of Badgerbear.
As brief reviews on the site seem to be the norm, I'll do the same(your pretty high up the editor's desk so anything I might have to say will be of no use)
I think your book is pitched well in its age range. Although I'm personally not keen on the rhyming myself, I think it helps the keep the pace flowing nicely and implants the idea of magic, somehow going into the cakes, straight into a childs mind. Subsequently, each person who takes a bite, goes on to have an adventure, this is nicely original and provides variety that will keep a child engaged throughout the story.
All in all I think anyone who gets reviews enough to get as far up the editor's desk as you have, has allready succeeded. So well done with this, i'm sure kids will love it.
Pam

GILLIAN.M.H wrote 288 days ago

Brian, Beatrix Potter used 'soporific' in 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit'. Some would say soporific is not a word children use, but it did her no harm. An occasional 'big word' helps broaden a child's vocabulary.

Harcourt Tendhall wrote 289 days ago

Brian,

Congrats on getting to the Editor's Desk. I hope they like it and this brings you deserved success.

Harry
(Bitches)

Pretzki wrote 295 days ago

Childish but not for my children, reads like Richardson's Five Go Mad in Dorset. A man writing a child's view for an adult.

charlespR2D2 wrote 296 days ago

Hi Brian
Sorry its taken me a while but I've been incredibly busy over the last week. I read your book with great interest and know my six year old, who is a very keen reader, would love the book. Hope its a big success and good luck with raising lots of money for the Hull Royal Infirmary!

Ben Zwycky wrote 296 days ago

Mary's magic muffins review:

I can see that you don't need my rating or backing or anything like that, since you'll be on the ED in no time, so I'm just going to look at how best to polish your writing, IMHO. Most of my comments are about stylistic choices or issues of tone (you have a nice child-friendly language throughout, but occasionally there'll be some phrasing that's far too much of an adult way of saying things), so feel free to disagree with me.


Mary's magic muffins Chapter 1

"an unconscious reaction to extreme concentration"

This is far too adult in tone, clashes with the rest and won't be understood by your target audience very well. Suggestion:

"which she always did without thinking whenever she had to concentrate very hard."


"sang a chant of the old witch"

as above, suggestion:

"sang one of the old witch's chants"


"the mixture was at just the right stage"

suggestion:

"the mixture was/looked just right"


"were diabetic which kept them"

need a comma after diabetic


"flailing its front paws in the air, preparing to strike at her"

maybe 'waving' instead of 'flailing' and 'about to hit her' instead of 'preparing to strike at her'?


"lunged forward as fast as he could"

'lunged' is the wrong word, it's a sudden forward thrust of the body, usually with an outstretched arm or weapon to strike or grab an opponent, not movement over a longer distance, which would be 'rushed' or 'charged'.


"The polar bear took fright at the sight of the flames and sprinted away"

Do bears sprint? suggestion:

"The polar bear was frightened by the (moving) flames and ran away"


"Mary's dad then proceeded to free his wife from the hole in the ice, assist her to the shed and sit her on the chair."

'proceeded to' is again a little too adult IMO, suggest dropping that and putting your verbs here into the past tense, i.e.

"Mary's dad then freed his wife from the hole in the ice, helped her to the shed and sat her on the chair."


In this chapter you use seal skin, but both bearskin rug and bear skin rug. These should all be one word, sealskin and bearskin.

Chapter 2:


"he had to dodge and swerve horns and hooves which were flying in all directions"

needs 'around' or 'out of the way of' after 'swerve', since otherwise he'd be moving the horns and hooves instead of himself :-)


"Seeing the incredulous stares of his classmates"

again, too adult, suggestion:

"Seeing the (funny) looks his classmates gave him,"


Chapter 4:


"The girls used the front of their skirts as pockets"

fronts


"It's a skull and crossed bones"

it's crossbones, but perhaps a child would describe it that way, so you can leave it.



I see from another comment that this book has already been edited by a professional editor that is respected in the business. Is it an editor that normally edits books aimed at your intended target age group? Do you value the kind of feedback I am giving here, or should I stop and move on to other books?

Pam B wrote 297 days ago

Whilst this is a lovely story, I am dismayed by the amount of positive feed back you have. With the grammatical and typing errors too many to mention I will instead concentrate on your writing style.

I used to like reading aloud to my children but that would be impossible with this book. The language does not flow, it flips from a condescending talking to the reader to an adult understanding of concepts. The narrative voice is strained at times and the way the story is told is very confusing.

Needs a lot of work before it is anywhere near publication.

Pam Balsdon
The King's Blessing

andersensapphire wrote 297 days ago

What a quaint story you have! I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I read. Your writing style is perfect for children. I don't believe many people can successfully write children's stories, but you most definitely can!

Truly, as I read, I envisioned myself reading this to my three young godsons. It's written in that perfect way that they can follow along logically and learn new concepts at the same time. I believe that you must be a very logical, organized thinker, and it comes through in your writing.

I don't have any criticisms; I have placed it on my bookshelf and given you high stars. I just wish you all the best of luck with it!

Take care,
Caitlin

booklover1 wrote 297 days ago

Hi Brian. I have read a little. I wanted to show my support and have given you a good rating. I still have some books on my bookshelf and will back yours in a few days :-)

Randall A Stone wrote 298 days ago

Hi Brian.
One of the hardest things, I think, for an adult to do, is to write stories for young children. It is so natural for us to explain things in an adult way, forgetting that young children would find it hard to understand it. This however, doesn't seem a problem for you.

I'm sure that children of all ages, and some adults too, if only they'd admit it, will love these stories. I could easily see this flying off the shelves in local libraries, especially with some illustrations behind them. I used to illustrate my own children's stories, once upon a time, but never actually thought of publishing them. I used to do them for my own children and their friends.

In view of how well written and entertaining this book is and the valiant reason behind publication, I am going to back the book and put it on my bookshelf in a week or so. It really was a delight to read.
God Bless You, My Friend.
Randall

C. A. Thomson wrote 299 days ago

Brian, This is a delightful wee story!
I love the camaraderie between 'Brainy Brian' and 'Uncle Duff,'' and the whole farm thing so reminds me of my childhood days in Scotland. Your writing is lovely and your cause great. I wish you all the best.
Craig Thomson.

Margaret0307 wrote 299 days ago

What a great story! And, in my view, children would love it. Well-written and I couldn't find any obvious errors in the chapters I read. I intend to read more when I have time but in the meantime am giving you high stars for an excellent piece of work.

So glad to see you have made it to number 2 and therefore should make the ED this month! Well done - you deserve it.

God bless you
Margaret
How do I know God answers prayer?

Magdalena Dufour wrote 299 days ago

I read the first story and it is absolutely fabulous! I think that it's ideal for children, and it teaches them things in a fun and easy manner. The writing is very good and the story flows well. It fits it's target audience wonderfully! High stars from me, well done!
Magdalena
PS: you're from Hull? I'm from York! Isn't that weird!

JB Wilson wrote 300 days ago

Mary's Magic Muffins & Other Tales for Children

Sorry for the delay in reading your work Brian, you book has been on my WL for some time. I read the first three stories and they are great. Nothing much to complain about.

Your writing flows at a great pace and holds my interest, let alone those little ones of your target audience. I particularly like the well observed details, like Mary doing her baking and tying her hair back, still in curls from her birthday..

This whole first story is very inventive and strikes the perfect balance for kids of all ages. Reminds me of my Glastonbury days, when I bought what must have been one of Mary's muffins.

A couple of problems. For instance, Man Utd? Winning the cup? Correct City but wrong team. This kind of fantasy writing really interrupts the lovely flow of the narrative. I mean...United? Only because of Catrina and Mary's Muffins!

Names of Simon Carol and Alex Fergus, people who are not quite real, but then we have Ant and Dec... ok, I see your point.

I liked the poem of Daisy the Cow as well, though some of the rhyming lines could scan a bit better in places, but a minor point and not a show stopper. Mind you, a bit worried about the farmer making hay...

I had a bad dream once, I think, there was angry farmer in that, and a large musical cow shed..


Glad to star you highly and back you, hopefully you will make it this month to the ED. I hope it does well.

Cheers
John

Josh W Droefam wrote 302 days ago

I really like this, and I reckon children will to. The voice makes it both an easy and enjoyable read, along with familiar repetition and a hint of comedy; I think this book will have children rolling about on their knees. I especially the adventures that each of the recipients go on, they're really imaginative and keep the reader desperate for more.

Highly starred and happy to back this all the way to the desk.

Josh

Leesha McCoy wrote 303 days ago

Hey,

Really enjoyed the first story and will happily back until you reach the desk.

Best wishes.

Leesha - Becoming Aware.

NicolaHoppe wrote 304 days ago

Brian, this is amazing. Being out of my depth when it comes to literature for kids, I don't feel 'authorized' to comment on your style of writing and the like. What I can say, however, is that I know kids who would love to listen to one of your heartwarming stories before going to sleep. The daughter of my cousin, who is now almost sixteen, would've gone all crazy about stuff like 'Mary's Magic Muffins' as a kid.
Great job. It will be my pleasure backing your work until the desk.
All the best and good luck with this,
Nicola
'The Burden of the Badge'

Karen Eisenbrey wrote 304 days ago

Brian,

I enjoyed reading Mary's Magic Muffins. It's a nice wish-fulfillment fantasy for kids 5-7 or so, with lots of little adventures but not too much actual danger. I like that almost every adventure ends with a souvenir of some kind -- kids would be tickled that it really was magic, not "just a dream." The magic muffins could be seen as a veiled reference to pot brownies, so you might want to think about that. The target audience is presumably pure enough of heart not to read it that way, but their parents might.

Most of the vocabulary seems like it would be in reach of an early independent reader. They might have trouble with "unconscious" and "concentration." It might be more accessible with more consistently short sentences. For example, the last paragraph could go: "Before lessons started again, every pupil stood up in turn to say a big thank you to Mary for her muffins. Each of them had a special memory of their adventures. Mary didn't know this, but she was delighted her friends all liked her muffins. She couldn't wait to rush home and bake some more." I was a little disappointed for Mary that she didn't get to have an adventure herself, but the idea that she will be the inadvertent instigator of more hijinks almost makes up for it.

Mary's diabetes is dropped in suddenly in the middle of the first chapter. Maybe open the story with something about how Mary can't eat sweets herself, but she loves to bake for others? (Or maybe she does eat sweets, but she isn't sure there will be enough muffins, so she doesn't this time.) Then right into the muffins for school.

The mixed up nursery rhymes are charming. Be more straightforward about them: When Mary concentrated on any project, she began to sing nursery rhymes without even knowing it. She always got the words wrong; she thought someone must have taught them to her, but she couldn't remember who. Little did she know, they were actually magic spells!

A point to consider: if Mary bakes often and if she always sings these rhymes when she's concentrating, then this magic should be happening all the time -- unless the sugar container has just been added to the scenario. What if the sugar container is new to the household -- her mother just got it from an antique store and this is the first time Mary has used it?

spooning the stuff . . . Maybe better to say "batter" since the baking vocab so far has been pretty standard.

One of the great pleasures of baking is how it smells. Devote a sentence or two to the wonderful aromas that filled the house. Someone might even comment that it smells magical.

Careful of people noticing, realizing or verbalizing things that are already apparent in the narration. Mary's dad finds himself in a hut in front of a stove, listening to the radio and wearing seal skin clothing. He doesn't need to articulate it again in his thoughts. He doesn't need to realize that he's surrounded by snow and ice -- he _is_ surrounded by snow and ice. Recast as: He flung the door open. He was surrounded by snow and ice!

stray comma in . . . if I have my muffin now,.

Before you could say "Blue Beard" . . . You might want to change this to Blackbeard, or Long John Silver, in keeping with the discussion of Treasure Island and pirates in general. Bluebeard wasn't a pirate.

bright blue coloured row of beads -- awkward phrasing. What about "a string of bright blue beads"

Some of the adventures are described in much more detail than others. Would it be possible to develop each of them to the same extent? Maybe devote a short chapter to each adventure, with as much colorful description and near-peril or amazing wonder as possible. Each of these is a mini-story within the larger frame of Mary's story.

Best of luck with this project!

Karen Eisenbrey
CRANE'S WAY
ENDURANCE
TIME SQUARED

cjl04 wrote 305 days ago

Mary's Magic Muffins:

I loved this. I was a twist in what I am used to. I can't wait to read more of these stories as soon as I can, but I loved this one and I am very happy to back you.

Malo Bel wrote 307 days ago

Review of Mary’s Magic Muffins…

I like the quick pace of the book in general – maybe that appeals to my ADHD personality type, bit I think this is likely to keep children’s attention. It moves from the outset into the key plot, rather than boring children with long introductions.

In the first story I like the clever way you take what is happening around the people and make it into something else. For example Greedy Grant and the herd of cattle.

Small point – referring to “dinner” as “tea” in chapter 3 may confuse non-UK readers, and especially US readers. I like the clever “kids idea” of chewing gum to solve a problem in this story and his continued ideas in chapter 4.

Seems that chapter 4 and 5 are the same story?

I like the way you switch through a range of story types from fantasy - Mary’s Muffins, to reality Brainy Brian to Animals to Poems and more. Great mix.

There are some minor grammar and punctuation issues, but nothing that can’t be edited out.

Overall a great mix of stories that will entertain children.

Diana Ranger wrote 307 days ago

Hey Brian, I enjoyed reading your book. It's a really great book for kids! Well done :-)

John J. Lawrence wrote 309 days ago

This is an excellent anthology of children's stories.

Consider the following:

In "Mary and her magic Muffins" there is a need for Mary and her mother to not eat the muffins. Remove the diabetic reason and replace it with altruism. Mary resisting the temptation to eat her own muffins and selflessly ensuring enough muffins for everyone else will make the readers like your protagonist even more than they do now. You will also be able to ratchet up the tension in the story. When readers know that eating the muffins causes magic to happen and then when Mary almost gives in to the temptation... well you can her the reader saying out loud, "NO Mary NO! Don't do it! Don't eat the muffin!"

Only Shakespeare could get away with memorializing the verb "to be". "To be or not to be..." We all know the rest of the quote. For the rest of us word smiths, it is best to replace the very passive 'to be' verb with an active verb. To demonstrate, please see the following start of "Tom & Wee Davie":

The orphan Wee Davie loved his grandfather, Tom Borthwick, for providing a good home for him.

Wee Davie never knew his father. The townspeople believed that Frazer, the son of the local laird, fathered Wee Davie. They reasoned that because curly blond hair covered both the head of Frazer and of Wee Davie and piercing blue eyes, possessed by both of them, belonged to no one else in town.

Frazer strongly denied fathering Wee Davie. Frazer believed that unbearable shame would cover him, the son of a laird, for fathering a child in a family of tinkers.

Notice that all forms of the verb "to be", (be, is, are, was, were, has been, etc.), no longer exist in the story. Stronger, active verbs help this wonderful morality tale makes its point.

Hope this helps!

J. J. Lawrence
"Uncharted Waters"

pam cartwright wrote 310 days ago

Chirg/YArg
Hi Brian, sorry for the delay in returnng your review of Badgerbear.
As brief reviews on the site seem to be the norm, I'll do the same(your pretty high up the editor's desk so anything I might have to say will be of no use)
I think your book is pitched well in its age range. Although I'm personally not keen on the rhyming myself, I think it helps the keep the pace flowing nicely and implants the idea of magic, somehow going into the cakes, straight into a childs mind. Subsequently, each person who takes a bite, goes on to have an adventure, this is nicely original and provides variety that will keep a child engaged throughout the story.
All in all I think anyone who gets reviews enough to get as far up the editor's desk as you have, has allready succeeded. So well done with this, i'm sure kids will love it.
Pam

Jjkendrick wrote 311 days ago

Hi Brian, What lovely children's stories you've written. My baby is 23, so it's been a lot of years. Initially, I thought your book would appeal to girl's mostly, but you've woven in stories for boys nicely.  Love the mis-worded nursery rhymes. I'm not sure I would include the diabetes bit, seems your target audience is pretty young, and some parents might not appreciate having to have that conversation on someone else's terms. It wouldn't have bothered me, however, I know some mothers who would be put off. Good luck with publishing. All the best, JJ

Luke Bramley wrote 311 days ago

Heartwarming stuff - pitched perfectly for three to six year olds, I have read the first three stories (nursery rhymes etc.) and know that my two little ones would love them. In fact I think I'll go up and read them one now. Backed by Brammers (The Kingdom Within).

giallaneve wrote 311 days ago

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the welcome! I'm still learning my way around here.

This is a fun collection of stories and poems -- kind of reminded me of Enid Blyton's. I couldn't help but smile that Mary starts singing nursery rhymes when she has to concentrate -- nice twist about the nursery rhymes actually being old witch spells!

I noticed quite a bit of typos in the text and you might like to double-check on those. Otherwise, the stories were enjoyable, easy to read, and flowed well. Love the puns!

A few nits:
[1] The simile in Chapter 1 about walking on the moon feeling like being in a bouncy castle. Since it's all open air on the moon and the castle is all walls, the visual image kind of clashed for me.
[2] No need for the extra hyphens in Chapter 2: Science for Ten-Year-Olds monthly magazine. (BTW, the old folks chewing gum without teeth was a hoot.)
[3] Typos that appeared throughout the book: Disneyland, iPod, and Granny Martha -- to cite a few.

Hope this helps,
Arlene

Yvette H. wrote 311 days ago

I was very impressed with your stories for children and you deserve to reach the editors. Happily backed.
Yvette H.

Geowonderland wrote 312 days ago

Brian,
What a delightful story. You really captured kids' imagination and set a good example of putting somebody first. I applaud you for turning a sad story (from your private life) into a positive experience. Keep on writing. Six stars from me.
Aneta
P.S. You're book will remain on my WL as I'd like to see the progress of your book. Keep us updated. I hope you will get published very soon.

Jumberly wrote 312 days ago

Hi Brian
Great read. As a Primary Headteacher I'd put this book in the school library and recommend it to parents.
Yes, it does need illustrations....but that is just a detail....the writings great. My daughter was reading it over my shoulder and she loved it too.
Backed, watchlist and bookshelf for this one!

Good work....don’t stop now...keep writing.

David

T.J. Evan wrote 312 days ago

Hey, I read Mary's Muffins!! I think the best part was the descriptions of her doing the entire process. I could literally picture my niece grabbing a stepping stool and trying to make some as I read. That said, I think you used some words/concepts that were a little advanced for a 7 year old, like diabetic/bliss. Besides that, it was a wonderful read and All the Best! T.J. Evan

SianJ17 wrote 313 days ago

I think children would love these storied. I have two daughters aged 6 and 4 and this is exactly the type of story they enjoy being told. I especially enjoyed the jumbled up nursery rhymes!! Your grandchildren love them too, i bet.

Sian
'Forbidden'

Tanya2 wrote 314 days ago

I'm a long way from my childhood (!) but I really enjoyed this charming story of Mary's Muffins and I can see how children would be captivated too. You have a great imagination and I expect you make a wonderful grandparent - Tilly was right if she persuaded you to share your stories. Thank you!

MadReader wrote 315 days ago

Well this is different. Lots of shoort stories and some with recurring characters as well. It is very much the childrens book that you describe and I can see why you are ranked number 2. As for the stories, I read 5. I liked the magical muffins, but Brian the brainy does have some skills even if they are about logic.

Good luck with the ED

MR
The Virgin Ghost

MadReader wrote 315 days ago

Well this is different. Lots of shoort stories and some with recurring characters as well. It is very much the childrens book that you describe and I can see why you are ranked number 2. As for the stories, I read 5. I liked the magical muffins, but Brian the brainy does have some skills even if they are about logic.

Good luck with the ED

MR
The Virgin Ghost

Tottie Limejuice wrote 315 days ago

This is great fun, and I love the idea of it being a fund-raiser too. I just read the first story for now but will pop back for more as time allows. I loved the jumbled up nursery rhymes, I'm forever muddling songs up myself. I'm sure these imaginative tales would really appeal to children, especially the contemporary touches like the talent show and Adele songs. Hope it does well.

Tottie Limejuice
Sell the Pig

Voice wrote 315 days ago

Kids love gross stuff and you have a great opportunity to add a humorous line or two about collecting that chewing gum! I love the grandparent/grandchild relationship - older/younger generation connection!

Also, on a personal note, it was grandma's birthday party yesterday so I didn't get to read any stories with my kids, but I think this is the one for tonight!

Voice wrote 315 days ago

Kids love gross stuff and you have a great opportunity to add a humorous line or two about collecting that chewing gum! I love the grandparent/grandchild relationship - older/younger generation connection!

Also, on a personal note, it was grandma's birthday party yesterday so I didn't get to read any stories with my kids, but I think this is the one for tonight!

Voice wrote 315 days ago

Kids love gross stuff and you have a great opportunity to add a humorous line or two about collecting that chewing gum! I love the grandparent/grandchild relationship - older/younger generation connection!

Also, on a personal note, it was grandma's birthday party yesterday so I didn't get to read any stories with my kids, but I think this is the one for tonight!

Sam Barclay wrote 316 days ago

It's not easy to mix up poetry and prose effectively but you have achieved this so well done! Like others have said, spelling and punctuation need to be tightened up and I'd like to know more about the witch. I did genuinely like the stories I've read so far and I think the title is very good also.

AlexandraMahanaim wrote 316 days ago

Brainy Brian Comes to the Rescue

Since I have read the first two stories, I am on Brainy Brian now.

Truly a cool story for the little children to read. I like the idea of the chewing gum on the wheels. I would never think of such a thing! I also like the interaction between old people and the ten-year old. I myself love to see Christmas lights and it was cool to see a story about it. Great job!

A few little things to fix:
In the paragraph starting with “Yes! I’d love that[,] grandma…” also fix ‘Science-for-ten-year-oldsmonthly’.
In the paragraph starting with “Brian thought to himself….” Fix ‘maga zine’
In the paragraph starting with “When they were headed home…” add comma after ‘up the road’.

Thank you for sharing your story,
Alexandra Mahanaim
Return to Eternity
Symbolic approach to creation and love

Peter Wrench wrote 316 days ago

Well done, Brian - this is good fun and nicely paced. I won't repeat comments others have made about some editing/spelling points. It might be worth thinking about a bit more overarching structure for the individual adventures with the muffins. Possibly including some more explanation about the witch?

Good luck with it

Voice wrote 316 days ago

Wow, those muffins are better than a York Peppermint Patty! Can I get a bite? Love the jumbled nursery rhymes. Mary is remarkably altruistic.

Voice wrote 316 days ago

Wow, those muffins are better than a York Peppermint Patty! Can I get a bite? Love the jumbled nursery rhymes. Mary is remarkably altruistic.

Garen Osiar wrote 316 days ago

Brian,

The stories were fun. I liked the British references and the poetry mixed with stories. It's nice to know Tilly's snowman was safe:). Though you could expand on some of the stories, I think it depends on the age level you are writing for. I know from experience that some kids have shorter attention spans than others. Illustrations would help, but I am aware you can only post text on authonomy.

Best of luck to you!

Garen

booklover1 wrote 317 days ago

I've read just a few pages. Awesome. Good work Brian. :-)

D R Knight wrote 317 days ago

Just read Mary's Magic Muffins and really enjoyed it. There are some things I'd suggest looking at which have all been covered in other comments, so I'll not repeat them. I personally liked its sense of Britishness and would like to feel more of that in the story. I also thought that the diabetic subplot had more in it and could be explored, Id would have lied that to be more central l to the story. Good stuff though, I can see children and parents enjoying this.
Dave K

Otter wrote 318 days ago

Wonderful , i have but read a number of pages and have immediately backed it, if when i read some more my opinion remains the same then it will remained backed - good work brian

Jane Law wrote 318 days ago

Hi Brian
I've skimmed through quickly - a lovely book - I like the way you intersperse poetry with prose. There are a few spelling errors which should get picked up by the editor, you said you wanted honest feedback, but I would highly recommend it as a read out loud book. The descriptions are lovely and conjure up the scene beautifully. Well done.
Jane Law

Betty Cromwell wrote 319 days ago

Hello Brian, I really enjoyed the stories I read. I'm surmising you may be near my age - late 60's early 70's now. Your delightful stories remind me of the ones I told to my children. I waxed lyrical and 'off-the-cuff' to responses of 'tell-me-another-mum'.

We can't do that now. The kids have access to online stuff we never dreamed of. We can't talk down to them anymore, weaving fabricated nonsense with warm cocoa/milo and biscuits and cuddles.

Me enjoying your stories isn't the point. Take your stories out to the age group you wish to reach. Read to that group, they are your best critics; not us here. Not your family.

Read them out loud in front of the mirror while you're shaving. Hard stuff to do.

Despite the slamming I've given you, remember this.

You have a Work of Art.

Betty.

Nameless Pasta wrote 319 days ago

Quirky, snappy, cool.

Jack Vantage wrote 319 days ago

Amazing, Funny, and aluring. Great kids stories. Muffin magic.