Welcome to the world of unicorns.

Welcome to the world of unicorns.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Need a Boy Book? Here's a Really Good One

Today we have a treat. Young Andy from Animal Andy tells us all about Kathy Rygg's excellent adventure story that boys will love. Personally, I give this book a whopping 5 stars! Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Animal Andy.

About the book: Ten-year-old Andy Ohman is spending his summer working at the Aksarben City Zoo where his dad is curator. There are rumors the city might close the zoo due to budget cuts. An anonymous donor has given the zoo an antique animal carousel, and Andy’s dad is hopeful it will help boost attendance. Andy’s doubtful that an old kiddie ride will make a difference. He doesn’t see what’s so special about it. But when he takes it for a spin, he unlocks the magic that will help save the zoo.
Character Interview:
Would you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you?

Yeah, sure. My name’s Andy Ohman, and I’m the main character in Kathy Rygg’s middle grade novel, ANIMAL ANDY. I’m ten and a half—I’ll be in fifth grade this year!

How are you spending your summer?

Most kids my age don’t get to work at a zoo, but I do! My dad is the curator at our city’s zoo. That means he’s in charge of what animals the zoo brings in. He used to be a zookeeper, and last summer I got to ride around with him while he took care of the animals. He’s too busy going to meetings and stuff now, so this summer I’m just helping clean out the hoofstock barn and washing windows in the giraffe exhibit. It’s not as much fun as when I got to work with my dad, but it’s not bad.

What about the rumors the city might close down the zoo?

My dad’s really worried about that. The city needs to make budget cuts, so they might close the zoo. That’s why my dad’s excited someone donated an antique carousel. He thinks it’ll attract more visitors. I didn’t think a kiddie ride would do much for the zoo. Then I took it for a spin!
What happened when you rode the animal carousel?
I snuck on to it by myself, when nobody was watching, and the thing just started up on its own! I was so scared I was going to get caught. Then the craziest thing happened—when the ride stopped, it had somehow magically transformed me into an animal—a zebra!  I looked like a zebra, sounded like a zebra, and could even talk to the other zoo animals!

One of the zoo’s peacocks helped keep me out of sight. I almost got caught by the hoofstock supervisor, but the carousel changed me back just in time. I swore I was going to stay away from that thing, but then I found out the zoo was having problems with some of the animals. I figured I could use the carousel to help them. Nobody would ever know.

Then Raj, one of the zoo’s elephant’s, attacked its keeper. It was pretty bad—for the keeper, the elephant, and especially for the zoo. I wanted to use the carousel to figure out what happened, but it wouldn’t let me. If I don’t figure it out soon, the zoo will close down for sure. Most kids my age don’t have to save a zoo, but I do.

Who do you think will like ANIMAL ANDY?

Anyone who loves animals and who enjoys real-life stories with a bit of magic thrown in. Kathy came up with the idea for this story while watching her own kids ride on the menagerie carousel at their local zoo.

Where can readers buy your book and read your story?

About the Author:
Kathy Sattem Rygg is the editor-in-chief of the children’s online magazine Knowonder!, author of the children’s iPad app “Magic Story Factory,” which helps kids create their own interactive eBook, as well as an active member of SCBWI. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Iowa State University and has worked for the McGraw-Hill Companies’ business publications division in New York City. She was also the editor-in-chief of Women’s Edition magazine in Denver, CO. She currently lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

And there you have it, folks - a very fine and imaginative book boys and girls will love. If I had to put it in a category, I'd say Magic Tree House. My boys couldn't stop reading those and I'm sure yours won't be able to put this one down either. 


  1. Sounds like a magical book that kids will get hooked on.

  2. Thank you so much for hosting me, Suzanne!

  3. What an adorable story, and presented in such a nice way. I have two grandchildren that would love this book!

  4. I have this on my kindle and am excited to read it. Great post ladies!!!!

  5. When I was a kid, I used to hope that maybe someday something magical would happen to me. Andy is one lucky kid - he had that happen to him! Sounds like a great story, especially for animal lovers like me!

  6. Congratulations, Joy Smith on winning a copy of Animal Andy. Please send me your email address at sfierymountain@gmail.com so we can send it to you.

  7. I have grandsons in this age range. I bet they will love this story. Who can resist animal?. But, Andy, I'm curious. Washing windows in the giraffe house would be difficult if the windows are tall enough for the giraffes to look through! Good for you. Really enjoyed the interview and the trailer. Best wishes!