Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tap into tales of magic and mystical delight

Quote of the day:

"A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us."
              - W.H. Auden


At Tales 4 All we are very proud of The Treebobs and we would like to tell you all a little more about them. As many of you know by now they are children’s stories written by our very own Declan Harney. Declan has been described by audio book store as an acclaimed author, a fact we are justly proud of.  But what is the story behind the Treebobs?
The first time we hear of them is in The Treebobs and the Dizzy Broomsticks which was first written by Declan in 2010. At that time it was just a paperback book, but better things were to come. The decision was made to put the first book into audio, which was a great success and the second book, The Treebobs and the Runaway Cauldron was soon to follow.  This proved to be Declan’s most creative rendition yet and tells the tale of the wackiest race you will ever hear about and how the wicked witch of the forest, Rotten Rena, just has to win, no matter what. With the reviews that followed The Runaway Cauldron the books finally went to in 2012. They were soon heard all over the world together with the new editions of The Treebobs and the Giant Mole and the very popular Christmas special, The Treebobs Save Christmas. The fifth story shortly followed, The Treebobs Rescue Rotten Rena, which left a tantalising cliff- hanger where Rotten Rena spoke of having her own airline service.
That cliff hanger is now solved with the release of The Treebobs and Air Rena with Rena’s notoriety quite literally rising high above the Enchanted Forest in her very own air ship “with her bootiful face on the side” The story tells yet again of a madcap Rotten Rena plot with her zooming all around the Enchanted Forest on her airship. This story introduces one of the most magical characters yet that of Mr McCloud the sky magician who lives in his very own cloud tower.

Title:  The Treebobs and Air Rena
Author: Declan Harney

This book is the sixth book in the Treebob series.  Rotten Rena, the wicked witch of the Enchanted Forest is back to cause mayhem and chaos as she flies her own airship filled with noisy, nasty witches around, bullying others as she does.   Things get progressively worse as she assigns her troll workers, the Neerdowells, to obliterate the trees in the forest which would enable her to have both a landing and storage facility.  Hope and despair set in as saving the forest seems almost impossible and the people acknowledge they will be unprotected from the unlimited noise pollution.  Enter in Bindweed Belle and the tree bobs along with Mr. McCloud and Her Majesty the Queen and her army of bees to save the day!  Together they spin a magical plan to take back what is rightfully theirs and defeat Rotten Rena.

This series is unique and also comes in audible audios for your children's enjoyment.  The stories are well-crafted and the adventures will have both young and old giggling as the stories unfold.   The tree bobs audible audios are available at and  For more info please visit:

Other books in the series are:  The Treebobs and the Dizzy Broomsticks, The Treebobs and the Giant Mole, The Treebobs Rescue Rotten Rena, and The Treebobs Save Christmas.  I highly recommend this series.

Interview with the author: (re-post from

Interviewing The Treebobs author, Declan Harney

I’ve known author Declan Harney for over a year now, since I was lucky enough to be the chosen voice to narrate the audio versions of the wonderful Treebobs series of children’s books. Declan’s passion for writing is infectious, and I thought it would be a great idea to share his story with you…
Hi Declan! What inspired you to begin writing children’s stories?
“I have always loved writing, probably due to the fact I love reading children’s stories particularly anything magical or fantasy so my love of writing stemmed from this. One night when I was working very late in the office I just put one pen down and picked a writers pen up and went on from there.”
Is this something that you’ve always wanted to do?
“Absolutely since about the age of 8.”
Where did the idea for the Treebobs series come about?
“It actually came to me in a car park. I was stuck in a miserable job at the time and was in the car on my lunch hour making what was a futile call to an employment agency. While I was there the wind blew hundreds of seeds from a sycamore tree and I remember watching as they all whirled through the air and then the idea of the Treebobs just popped into my head. I was writing some traditional fairy tales at the time which included the characters of The Treebobs in a story. The story was rejected but the agent said she loved the idea of The Treebobs and it went on from there. The first story being The Treebobs and the Dizzy Broomsticks with the creation of Rotten Rena and Badlot Barbara the two witches.”
Each story has a moral to it that children can relate to. Can you briefly give us the morality themes of each one?
“Well there are all sorts of what I hope are positive messages in the books. In The Treebobs and the Dizzy Broomsticks there is an environmental theme when the two witches start cutting down the trees. The Runaway Cauldron shows how a common threat can bring everyone together to combat that. In The Treebobs Rescue Rotten Rena the message is about body shape and the dangers of fad diets while the Christmas story is of course all about the magic of Christmas”.
You’ve been having considerable success with the stories, and some great reviews. Can you tell us a bit more about what’s been happening?
“Yes the stories have got some lovely reviews and have been very well received in America where most of the reviews have come from. Hopefully they are soon to be broadcast on US radio as well which would be just wonderful. There is also now requests for paper back copies so the illustrations of the existing books are currently being developed as well as the creation of new stories in the same series”.
Do you have any touching or funny anecdotes, or feedback from thechildren listeners themselves that you can share with us?
“It was fantastic receiving an invitation from a school where the Dizzy Broomsticks had been played to the children to arrive to hear children in the playground being Rotten Rena and the witches. Also on one of the reviews there is a picture of a little girl drawing pictures of the witches from what she had heard on the audio stories which is truly heartening.”
The Treebobs series is available in hard copy with beautiful illustrations, but also as a radio play style audio book, produced by Lee Pritchard, and narrated by yours truly! What prompted your decision to produce the book in audio format?
“I think the reviews say it all. A narrative breathes life into the story and giving it a sense of realism and literally opening up the imagination to the events that are happening. For me your ability to create the characterisations through the use of accent, tone and inflexion is part of that realism and with the sound effects makes an audio story so engaging for all listeners”
What kind of narrator were you looking for once you’d decided to produce the stories as audiobooks too?
“To be honest the production of an audio book was something I was curious about doing and it was hearing samples of voice overs that made my mind up. Once that was done I wanted a narrator that was clear with a good range and one who could do voices…and guess what I was lucky enough to find one!”
So, do you have any plans for any more children’s stories? If so, spill?!
“Yes indeed there are five more Treebob stories due for release this year the first two of these have just been completed. Also there is another series coming out for older children which are ghost stories as well as a spin off novelty book from The Treebobs.”
Thank you, Declan, I’ve had a ball narrating them! Currently there are 5 titles in the Treebobs series. The audio CD’s are yet to be pressed, but all of them are available to download now from Audible:

Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  Have an awesome day everyone!
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