Children - Fable
24 Pages
Reviewed on 09/15/2012
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Author Biography

Henry Herz’s love of the fantasy genre began in elementary school with “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Lord of the Rings,” and continued by playing Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer. Struck by inspiration one day, Henry began a fun project with his two bright young sons, who share his joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy. Together, they wrote this tale. By day, Henry is a management consultant who also teaches after school enrichment for elementary school children.

Josh and Harrison Herz are elementary school students who enjoy fantasy stories. Josh’s hobbies include parkour, building with LEGOs, and painting Warhammer miniatures. Harrison plays basketball, and collects KidRobot vinyl figures. Both are big fans of The Lord of the Rings, the annual Comic-Con convention, and have an entrepreneurial bent. With design help from their dad, they started three web-based businesses selling LEGO party favors, custom cast bases for Warhammer, and painted concrete yard sculptures.

We are (distant) relatives of Madeleine L'Engle, whose book "A Wrinkle in Time" was just ranked #3 on the top 100 children's books of all time by Scholastic's Parent & Child Magazine. Writing must be in the DNA!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite

“Nimpentoad” is a cooperative effort by Henry, Joshua, and Harrison Herz. It is a somewhat interactive storybook for children, set in an alternate world. The main character is Nimpentoad, who happens to be a Nibling, but not just an ordinary Nibling. Nimpentoad is smarter than the average Nibling, and uses his greater intelligence to protect the entire Nibling population from a variety of dangers, leading them to an ultimate state of permanent safety. With Forest Goblins, Neebels, Forest Orcs, Giant Scorpions, Rhinotaurs, Giant Wolves, and Forest Trolls standing between them and safety, how did Nimpentoad manage to save his people? Nimpentoad thought Goofus the Giant would help protect them, but he was putting all his faith in an untested guess. What if he was wrong, and Goofus decided to eat the Niblings, instead of helping them? Even before they got to Goofus, how did Nimpentoad intend to get the Niblings safely past all the other creatures who would love nothing better than a good Nibling sandwich?

This is a cute story. It is interactive, insofar as there are a number of places where the adult reader can pause to involve the child in an “oh no, what will they do now?” manner. Nimpentoad comes up with some clever ways to trick each gang of creatures who present a challenge to their safety at the moment. At these times, the adult reader could ask the child, “how do you think they will get past the (xyz’s) without being eaten?”, thus stimulating the child to think about possible solutions. I recommend this book to anyone – parent, grand-parent, baby-sitter, or God-parent – who might be in a position to read a story to younger children. “Nimpentoad” is pretty ideal for that purpose, and helps the child learn to think about actions and consequences.