Category: Books

The Horse that Swam Away!

Here’s a local Venice story that came out today in the Gondalier.
Click on the book to see the newspaper story.
Those early days on the beach …. while I was trying to catch a manta ray’s tail!!

Dolphins, sharks, pirates, manta rays and those wild TURTLES!! Oh my!


Tim and Al Marah Athena (TENA) are the heros in this book of Dad’s set in Venice, Florida.


A couple pages from the book;

This one I think is very interesting as Ben Stahl was writing “BlackBeard’s Ghost” at the same time (1965) which became a Disney movie.  All the ‘kids’ went to school together at Out-of-Door on Siesta Key.
The Stahls lived just up the road on Casey Key.



Don’t forget to stop by the shop!!


A Hidden Pearl Harbor Pearl


To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor tragedy here is part of a seldom seen book Dad wrote back in 1942. “Larry and the Undersea Raider” was the next book after Random House published his very successful “The Black Stallion“.

Before Dad enlisted in the Army he went west to his dreamland, Hawaii! He had grown up in NY with the snow and cold but was a good athlete. As an accomplished track and tennis player he excelled at many sports besides horseback riding. He loved riding as much as any “boarder” but he couldn’t afford a horse, as much as he wished, and the closest he could get was working on his uncle Bill’s farm and going to the Belmont race track.

When he received his advance for “The Black Stallion” from the publisher he jumped at the chance and took a train out west, visited a few horse farms, then boarded a freighter on to Oahu. The visit obviously made quite an impression as “… Undersea Raider” and the Hawaiian islands are key elements of this book. The boy’s adventure story centers around life in the military and the Japanese threat to Pearl Harbor. The exciting ending has the heroes, an American boy and his Hawaiian best friend, foiling an attack on the harborl!!

Tragically shortly after the book was published the attack actually happened, not quite like in this book but so, so much worse. Undoubtedly a “Day to Remember”.

Far all my surfing friends you will enjoy these first few chapters. There is even a reference to surfing’s “godfather”, Duke Kahanamoku, who Dad surfed with at Waikiki Beach back in the day!

Enjoy the story and don’t forget to pick up a few things for Christmas … the shop will be closed from December 15 through New Years as we are going on our own adventure!

A huge Happy Birthday to our son Michael who is out at sea – somewhere near Central America – WE love you!!

LARRY AND THE UNDERSEA RAIDER (click below for pdf)



Searching for that special Christmas gift?


Here’s a wonderful book written by our good friend Jan Carr. Not exactly a mouse in the barn … but if you know any girls that love to dance it’s a winner!!
A great book to read out loud.
Buy it at your local bookshop or online here.

Keep on writing Jan and we’ll keep on reading!
Here’s a well deserved review and a bit of the story;

From Booklist
All the tension and beauty of the ballet are magnified in this melodramatic mouse tale. Little Tendu (that’s “Stretch” for us English speakers) scampers gracefully through all areas of a beautiful old-fashioned ballet theater as he flees a predatory cat, broom-wielding custodian, and gang of ruthless rats until he finds the perfect home: the lamb’s-wool-lined toe of a pink-satin pointe shoe. In this new picture book from Carr (Greedy Apostrophe, 2007), the reader gets a mouse’s-eye view of the theater’s murky back passages, costume workshop, and the chandelier-lit theater itself, with its velvet seats and ornate plasterwork. Like a character in a classic ballet, our adventurous rodent hero experiences rapture, terror, and longing before finding a safe haven—and a new friend—in a dancer’s quiet dressing room. Bell’s digitally colored pencil illustrations are full of soft hues, rounded sketchy lines, and lots of chintzy ribbons and roses, which give the story a classic, nostalgic look. Hand this to aspiring ballerinas who can’t get enough of the ballet world. Grades K-2. –Paula Willey

Of course, if there is a horse around the house come in and visit the Gift Shop!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and Enjoy the Ride!
Your pals in the saddle, Tim and Pam