Sheri-Lynn Kenny



Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite - 5/5 Star Rating

Battle at Bogs Hollow is a children’s educational book written by Sheri- Lynn Kenny and illustrated by Frances Espanol. Bogs Hollow was a peaceful and beautiful place until one morning when two large, yellow monsters came onto the scene. They made lots of noise and smoke that smelled terrible, and they were tearing down all the trees where the animals lived. The animals sadly left their homes behind and went off in search of a new hollow to call home. Three friends, however, decided that they would stand up to those big yellow monsters and defend their homes. They were Freddy, a frog, Tommy, a turtle, and Phinny, a fish. The three friends worked out a strategy that would keep the machine monsters from continuing to destroy Bogs Hollow. They would have to wait until dark when the humans and machines were all asleep, and then they would carry out their plan.

Sheri-Lynn Kenny’s educational picture book for children, Battle at Bogs Hollow, is a marvelous introduction to environmental issues for young readers. Frances Espanol’s bold and brightly colored illustrations are filled with details and make the story come alive. I found myself pausing to fully take in and appreciate each panel and loved how the story seemed so perfectly reflected and even enhanced by the artwork. Kenny’s tale is fun to read aloud as it has a rhyme scheme that helps the story along without being overpowering. Her characters Freddy, Tommy and Phinny are marvelous heroes, and their scheme for stopping the monsters in their tracks is both funny and inspiring. Battle at Bogs Hollow is perfect for 

storybook time with a child, but the writing and the very eloquent illustrations make it a perfect selection for a young reader as well. It’s most highly recommended.

Reviewed By Tina Gibbons for Readers’ Favorite - 4/5 Star Rating

Sheri-Lynn Kenny describes life in Bogs Hollow as quiet and peaceful before the monsters came. Battle at Bogs Hollow depicts machines coming into the forest and destroying the homes of many creatures. Best friends Freddy, Tommy, and Phinney stay behind to try to stop the monsters and make them go away. All the rest of the animals leave. The three friends devise a plan to borrow items from the human camp and fight the yellow monsters in the night. They stuff underwear up the beasts' noses. When the humans try to go to work again, the machines will not work. Another huge, noisy monster comes to take away the yellow machines. Freddy and his friends won, but will the other animals come back?

Battle at Bogs Hollow by Sheri-Lynn Kenny touches on an environmental issue for me as an adult. I read this book to my young nephews and I was able to relate concerns for the animals and earth and get their responses to these concepts. The younger boys liked that the tractors had “scary mouths” and were glad when the animals were safe. They found the idea of stuffing underwear up the monsters' noses comical, but also felt sympathy for the machines when they were taken away. The older boys questioned how the fish would be able to have a new home when he was stuck in the pond. The illustrations drew positive responses and discussion from all of them.

Official Review: Battle at Bogs Hollow by Sheri-Lynn Kenny

[Following is the official review of "Battle at Bogs Hollow" by Sheri-Lynn Kenny.]

Bogs Hollow is home to a diverse range of forest animals. One morning, there is a disturbance as heavy machinery makes it way through the forest. The terrified animals view the machinery as monsters that ruin their home, causing them to run away for good. However, three brave friends stay to put up a fight against these monsters, including Tommy the turtle, Phinny the fish, and Freddy the frog. Their goal is to make the monsters go away so that things can go back to the way they were before. But will things ever be the same again?

The illustrations are vividly colored and serve as the perfect companion to the words on the preceding page. Overall, the book is beautifully formatted. It’s just as much fun to look at as it is to read. The writing uses an innocent lens to explore important issues, with forest destruction at the forefront. Given this premise, the book is dark but in a kid-friendly way. It was an interesting choice to not outright portray humans as monsters but to instead deflect this notion onto the machinery, via the animals’ point of view. Humans are only referred to collectively. They are limited to having an underlying presence in the story. The book is more focused on big themes and delivering its overall message than individual characters.

What I liked most about this book is how much is packed into just a few pages. The story isn’t really about the environment or just about how animals are affected by humans’ destructiveness. It also teaches kids about standing up for what they believe in, what to do if things don’t go according to plan, and that change isn’t an all-around bad thing. Forest destruction isn’t presented in a black and white manner, which I appreciated. There are several mini lessons that I discovered while reading this book that can be applied to many realms of life. Parents and kids can discuss the themes together. An example would be: Is planning an attack on one’s perceived enemy (or a bully) the best way to handle the situation, like Tommy and his friends did? What would you have done in their shoes? 

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It takes a familiar concept and presents it in a thought-provoking manner. I’d recommend this book to parents who want to teach their children about adapting to change.

Reviewed By Jessyca Garcia for Readers’ Favorite - 4/5 Star Rating

Battle at Bogs Hollow by Sheri-Lynn Kenny is a children’s book about respecting nature. When monsters and humans threaten to ruin Bogs Hollow, three animal friends work together to save their homes. By working together they are able to get the monsters to leave Bogs Hollow.

I chose to read Battle at Bogs Hollow with my four-year-old daughter because she loves stories about animals. The main characters in this story are named Freddy, Tommy and Phinny - a frog, a turtle and a fish. Most of the story is written in simple rhyme form which helps the story flow nicely. I like that Sheri-Lynn Kenny wrote about such an important issue like saving natural habitats. Animals’ homes are important too.

I was surprised that the book did not end the way I thought it would. I really liked the ending a lot. The ending is more like what happens in real life which is also a good lesson for children. The colorful illustrations were cute and simple. My daughter thought the stealing of the underwear was hilarious. She could not stop laughing at the thought of underwear stuffed up a nose. 

Sheri-Lynn Kenny has written several other children’s book. This is the first one of her books I have read. Overall, I think this is a good book. Animals are often overlooked and their homes are important too. We cannot keep driving them out of their habitats. I think this would be a good book for kindergarten classrooms to have.

Reviewed By Rebecca McLafferty for Readers’ Favorite - 4/5 Star Rating

Battle at Bogs Hollow is an educational children’s story by Sheri-Lynn Kenny, illustrated by Frances Espanol. The story involves three animal friends that remain behind after the other animals flee. The friends are Tommy, the turtle; Freddy the frog; and Phinny, the fish. The threesome intend to defend their homes from the monster-machines that are excavating the area and destroying their environment. The three friends plot to take action once the monsters are asleep. They ‘borrow’ human underwear to stuff up the ‘noses’ of the monsters which results in the monster-machines no longer working. The animals feel they have won the battle when the disabled monsters are taken away, but have they truly won the battle?

This delightful story incorporates monster-trucks and animals into a tale of friendship and fighting-for-a-cause determination. The story is imaginative and illustrated with captivating pictures. Younger children will enjoy the colorful, animated pictures and the happy ending. Older children and adult readers will understand the environmental impact of this story which comes from the growing human population driving out and eliminating wildlife. The pattern of rhyming every other sentence and the length of the sentences does not appear overly rhythmic and allows the author freedom to tell her story. The illustrator, Frances Espanol, did a nice job of creating bright and colorful pages. The cover is particularly attractive.