Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly (picture book review)

Posted June 7, 2020 in Book Reviews, Book Tours & Promotions / 1 Comment

Meet Toad. He's got a big problem. Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly is a new book by Sav Sav.

Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly is the first of seven enchanting picture books in the Mo-ral-lee Island series, written by Sav Sav and illustrated by Warwick Eede. It was released on the 13th May and is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon. Read on to discover the synopsis, watch a teaser video, read my review and meet the author and artist.

About Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly

Tongue-Tied Toad & Fluent Fly book cover
Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly paperback book cover. 28 pages.
ISBN: 979-8645330705

Mo-ral-lee Island books are a series of children stories that, as the title hints at, have a moral or a lesson to consider. It helps the reader, young or not so young, to realise that we have choices. The stories are simple. The lessons are simple. Enjoy.

Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly is a story of Toad’s impediment being an obstacle to a happy life. It hinders him from having friends and achieving goals. He needs help. He needs inspiration. Where would that help come from? Who would be his helper? What lesson can we learn from Toad, his helper or from the actions he takes?


Buy it now!

Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly is available in paperback and eBook format available now at the links below. Hurry if you want to take advantage of the limited time introductory offer of £5.99 for the paperback!

Amazon Uk Amazon US

Learn More

Keep up to date about future Mo-ral-lee Island books from Sav Sav and Warwick Eede by following the social links below.

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Enjoy a Teaser!

Meet the Author

Sav Sav is a college security guard with many years experience but 23 years ago he wrote seven rhyming stories featuring animal characters who all inhabited a fictional place called Mo-ral-lee Island. He always intended to do something with them. He lives with his wife in Boston (UK).

A cartoon drawing of author Sav Sav

“Life’s a good teacher. There’s a lesson to be learnt in every situation. From young I noticed strengths and weaknesses in those around me. The lesson I also quickly learned was that actions have consequences. So the need to think before we act. Learn the lesson before we live the lesson.

These stories were completed in 1997. They were left on the shelf for 22 years until 2019 when I met Warwick, a fellow colleague, who showed an interest in the stories and offered to do a couple of sketches. Unbeknown to me, Warwick was a talented and experienced artist. When Warwick showed me the sketches I was thrilled that my stories would eventually be given the breath of life. Mo-ral-lee Island could now be a destination for readers, young and old.”

Author Sav Sav with the paperback of Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly
Author Sav Sav with the paperback of his new book, Tongue-tied Toad and Fluent Fly, May 2020.

Meet the Artist

Warwick Eede is a recently qualified part time secondary school Art teacher. He has been taking on various maverick art projects most of his adult life. He lives in Boston (UK) with his wife and two young kids.

A cartoon drawing of artist Warwick Eede

“I had been saying ‘good morning’ and ‘see ya later’ to this guy for about 3 years (we work in the same building doing different jobs), before we got chatting for some reason in the foyer and during the chat he got onto his collection of short stories he’d written in London and had kept on ice for over 20 years and had always wanted to do something with.

I knew this guy was a quality gent and I had been sitting on my brain for too long so this thing just sorta materialised from that conversation. The themes are classic. Truth is an amazingly simple concept. It has been my pleasure to work on this project with this guy I met, called ‘Sav Sav’, and hopefully many more!”

Artist Warwick Eede and author Sav Sav celebrating the release of Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly at a safe distance during the UK covid-19 lockdown
Artist Warwick Eede (left) and author Sav Sav (right) celebrating the release of Tongue-tied Toad and Fluent Fly from a safe distance during the UK covid-19 lockdown, May 2020.

My Review of Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly

Tongue-Tied Toad & Fluent Fly picture book with stickers, toad and fly toys.

Tongue-tied Toad and Fluent Fly is a charming children’s picture book set on the fictional Mo-ral-lee Island, home to a wide range of interesting creatures with stories to tell. A poem introduces the setting, alongside a colourful map of the island which is sure to capture young readers’ imaginations.

We then move to the Mo-ral-lee Swamp, where we meet Tongue-tied Toad, a young amphibian who finds himself “too frightened to speak” and feels lonely because the other animals tease him. Luckily, Toad meets the friendly Fluent Fly, who helps him overcome his shyness and speech difficulties.

I thought the story was original, entertaining and heart-warming. The fun rhymes would appeal to young children, but the text also introduces them to some more sophisticated vocabulary such as “converse”, “patience” and “fluent”. The illustrations are unique, bold and detailed, perfectly portraying the character’s emotions and enhancing the story.

The book would be an ideal gift for a child struggling with low confidence, shyness or a speech impediment. It suggests a few helpful techniques to become a more confident speaker. However, the story is something that any child or adult could relate to, and teaches a valuable lesson about persevering with patience through personal challenges. It could also be a useful tool for discussing with children how they can be inclusive and kind to their peers.

I think the book would particularly appeal to readers aged between 3 and 8 years old, but can be enjoyed at any age. My four-year-old daughter loved the story. She described the book as “fantastic” and said “I loved the fly because it helped the toad and he felt happy. Sometimes I feel a bit shy too.”

Reading (or being read to) is a great way for children to learn and I love that all the books in the Mo-ral-lee Island series have a helpful moral. This tale reminded me of fables I read as a child, such as Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories and Aesop’s Fables. I’m already excited for the next book in the series, Cheating Cheetah and Wise Weasel, coming August 2020.


Over to You

Does Tongue-tied Toad & Fluent Fly appeal to you? Do you enjoy fables? Let me know in the comments.

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