The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo

Children - Educational
42 Pages
Reviewed on 06/29/2019
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Author Biography

Tanya’s life changed when her daughter, Mackenzie, was born blind. Inspired by Mackenzie to live a life full of light and joy, she left her career as an Occupational Therapist to pursue a more soul fulfilling life. In 2016 she took Mackenzie around Australia in a caravan and began her writing journey as a travel blogger. She wrote her first children's story, The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo during their travels.

Tanya is writing a memoir about raising her daughter with special needs as a single mother and the choices she’s made to live an abundant life despite the challenges she's faced. She is passionate about empowering women to do the same.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo is an educational adventure storybook for children written by Tanya Savva and illustrated by Emma Stuart. Kenzie-Moo doesn’t see with her eyes because she is blind, but her world is richly informed by each of her other senses; her ears, nose, tongue, and body all give vibrant impressions of her surroundings, and her imagination fills her world so beautifully. Kenzie uses her whole body to experience the world. When Kenzie and her mother took a trip along the Australian Coast, they shared a number of exhilarating adventures on their travels from Sydney up to the Daintree Rainforest. What did Kenzie-Moo actually see? Nothing, of course, but she did have a grand time indeed, and she shares every sense, sound, feeling and bit of excitement with her readers. Follow as she takes a ride on a helicopter, swims with a dolphin and visits the Carlo Sandblow where her voice travels for miles and miles.

The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo offers readers a new perspective on differently-abled kids. As they experience Kenzie and her mom’s Australian adventures through Kenzie-Moo’s sensory awareness, they learn to experience more of their own surroundings than what their eyes inform them. Each experience she shares is a learning experience for the reader. Emma Stuart’s illustrations are brilliant. I love her bold use of pastel colors which create magnificent frames for Kenzie-Moo and her mom’s adventures. The beach scenes make you wish you were there experiencing that icy water, and the rainforest scenes are suitable for framing for a child’s bedroom. The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo can be used interactively during story hour as the children relax with their eyes closed and share Kenzie-Moo’s experiences using her words and their own imaginations. The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo is a marvelous introduction to the differently abled, and it’s most highly recommended.

Sarah Stuart

The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo by Tanya Savva, beautifully illustrated by Emma Stuart, introduces young readers to the world of a blind girl. She and her mother take a caravan trip around Australia. Kenzie-Moo has so many adventures packed into this book, but each is planned on one page and the next shows what she sees – total blackness. The wonder of it is how upbeat Kenzie-Moo is. She uses all her other senses – hearing, touch, smell, feel, as in heat or cold or water on her skin, and she carries a cane to guide her when she isn’t holding her mother’s hand or allowing the sea to let her float. The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo is fun to read, and a marvelous way to show sighted children how much the blind can enjoy.

I have the greatest admiration for Tanya Savva; The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo is based on her own experience as a single mother of a blind daughter. Savva shows, through captivating stories, how rich life without sight can be if the child is encouraged to use his or her other senses to the full. Kenzie-Moo has a ride in a helicopter, visits Marine Magic where she swims with a dolphin called Bella who plays chase with her, goes to the beach and climbs sand dunes, and swims over the Great Barrier Reef. After every adventure, she asks a question: “Do you think if you closed your eyes you’d like that adventure too?” I believe every child’s answer would be yes. The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo is a book worthy of a place in every home and classroom.

K.C. Finn

The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo is an illustrated children’s book written by Tanya Savva and drawn by Emma Stuart. Focusing on the theme of difference and perspective, this educational work seeks to open young eyes, and other senses, to the world around them through a tour of Australia. Kenzie-Moo and her mother take a caravan tour of this immense country, seeing all sorts of exciting sights, with one important exception: Kenzie-Moo can’t ‘see’ anything at all. As a young blind girl, her sensations are all felt through other means, encouraging readers to close their eyes and feel along with her to experience what it’s like to have no vision.

Surprising and enchanting, this short story packs a huge punch for children of all ages and the adults reading along with them. The illustrations by Emma Stuart bring the bright experiences of Kenzie-Moo to life, exploring the different landscapes, people and places she finds herself in, but it is the prose by Tanya Savva which really enlightens readers on the experience of blindness. The description of how Kenzie-Moo feels things around her really hits home when she meets different animals and goes to amazing places, highlighting the small details that we who rely on our vision will often miss. The sounds of the forest and ocean were particularly strong, enveloping readers in the experience and connecting them closely with the central character. Overall, I think The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo deserves a place on every child’s bookshelf for its bravery, ingenuity and excellent descriptive powers.

Jane Finch

The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo, written by Tanya Savva and illustrated by Emma Stuart, tells the story of Kenzie-Moo as she travels with her mother along the east coast of Australia. Kenzie-Moo, however, cannot see because she is blind, so this book is written as Kenzie-Moo would describe it. They visit exciting places such as Hunter Valley where they take a helicopter ride. Kenzie-Moo describes all the sounds of the helicopter and although she cannot see the land below, she really enjoys the ride. Next, they visit Coffs Harbour where Kenzie-Moo was able to meet and swim with a dolphin, and again she describes what she hears and feels, conveying her excitement to the reader. Mother and daughter continue with their great adventure.

There are some clever aspects to this adventure. The author suggests that the young reader close their eyes and try to image what Kenzie-Moo is experiencing, rather than just look at the illustrations. This is a good exercise to understand describing words as well as a gentle introduction to a young reader that not everyone is the same and some children have special needs. Interestingly, at the beginning of each visit, there is a black page which explains that this is only what Kenzie-Moo can see, but as she begins to describe the experience, using her other senses, she is still able to convey the excitement and wonder that she feels. The illustrations are lovely and colorful, and the simple story, told in rhyme, is charming. This book provides a wonderful opportunity not only for a parent to discuss special needs with a child, but also to be discussed in a classroom setting. A lovely, compassionate, empathic and engaging read.

Samantha Gregory

The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo by Tanya Savva is the story of a young blind girl who is taken on a trip around Australia by her mum. She describes her journey using all her other senses and shows that we can experience more with senses other than our eyes. I thought that this was a charming book with lovely illustrations. It is a great book for children who are blind and even those who are not. It encourages those who are not to try to experience the world around them with more than just their eyes. We have five senses and they aren't used enough.

Tanya Savva has created a lovely book in The Adventures of Kenzie-Moo. The story was easy to follow and the pictures really complemented it. The fact that is based on a true story and the experiences of the author and her daughter Mackenzie makes it extra special. She is talking from first-hand experience. She understands what it is like for a child who is blind and how they 'see' the world around them. I feel that at a time when kids spend most of their time staring at screens, this book really offers an alternative way of having fun. Kids should be out exploring the world in new and different ways, instead of watching it on TV! I think it will do well on the market and it will encourage kids dealing with disabilities and what life is like for them. I would definitely recommend this book.