Authors Showcase: A Children’s Book with Its Own Card Game

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The Book: The Case of the Stolen Stash

The Author: Marvin Mayer

The Story: In the finest tradition of fictional detectives, CASE OF THE STOLEN STASH combines the toughness of TV’s crime fighters with the patience and logic of the world’s best know sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. Something of value has been stolen. There were no witnesses. Clues are almost nonexistent, but justice must be served. Who better to find the thief than the avian counterpart of that great British detective, Sherlock HAWK!

As a favor to Judge Owl, Sherlock Hawk agrees to interview the alleged victim, Peggy Pine Warbler. When he discovers the victim not only had her cupboard robbed of all her stored food supply but that she also recently was widowed, the decision to track down the perpetrator was a “no brainer.”

Seeds were stolen, so it stood to reason the thief had an appetite for seeds. Logically, Sherlock began his search by calling on those in the community whose source of sustenance began or at least included seeds. The list of suspects is both long and colorful, and includes characters such as Carlo “Black Eyes” Cardinal, Benny Blue Jay, Val Crow to mention just a few. Realizing he can’t solve the crime on his own, he enlists the “eyes and ears” of his favorite snitch, Stu L. Pigeon and the knowledge of his expert on the behavior of various types of birds, Dr. Watzon Kestrel (of “elementary, my dear Watzon” fame.)

Although the case takes some strange and often frustrating twists and turns, the great avian detective eventually not only cracks the case but finds a way to replenish the widow’s stolen seeds just in the nick of time. How did he do that? Pick up a copy of the book and find out for yourself!

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The Card Game: The decks of cards are called “Case of the Stolen Stash Card Game,” and are unlike any other deck or “regular” playing cards. There are twenty-five bird-characters in the book.  Accordingly, there are two complete sets of bird-cards, plus two “wild” cards.  Each card has a point value, but one of the wild cards has a negative point value.

As Marvin says: “I created two different games, each game has a basic and a more challenging set of instructions, effectively making four games available.  Instructions for one basic game are included in the package of cards, and instructions for playing all of the other games/versions can be found on my website.

“Young readers can learn a few basics about the birds just by looking at the cards.  As with the instructions for playing card games, more detail about the different types of birds who play a role in the story can be found in the “appendix” on my website.

“The games, while not exactly the same as other card games, are similar to the popular Old Maid and Go Fish games.  What makes these cards and games unique are the photographs of familiar birds, and with the basic information contained on each card, the child can begin to recognize different species.”

Decks of cards can and will be sold as a stand-alone product at $10, but can also be purchased along with the book for a “package” price of $20. The cards will be available at Marvin’s Website, www.kidsbooksbymarvin.com/ and at his public book signings.

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