Friday, November 21, 2014

Fun New Children's Book Available Now! - Gollywood Here I Come! by Terry John Barto (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Lights!  Camera!  Anamazie!

New Children’s Book Tells the Tale of a
Young Turkey’s Rise to Cinematic Stardom

"Who doesn’t fantasize about becoming a big movie star, living up all the glitz, glam and glory that comes with it?  A talented little turkey named Anamazie Marie LaBelle sure does, only her dream becomes reality in the delightful new children’s book Gollywood Here I Come!, written by director/choreographer-turned author Terry John Barto, which waddled its ways into stores and online on November 11, 2014, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Growing up in the small town of Gobbleville, Anamazie studied acting, singing and dancing while basking in the local spotlight as a star baton twirler.  Opportunity comes knocking when the competition Gobbleville’s Got Talent gives Anamazie her shot at being discovered.  With her mom Henrietta at her back, she makes it all the way to the finals, but falls short of the top prize. That is where her path to stardom truly begins as she is discovered by a talent scout, is cast in her first movie and declares “Gollywood, Here I Come!”

With colorful whimsical illustrations by Mattia Cerato, Gollywood Here I Come!  taps into current pop culture trends of TV shows like “America’s Got Talent” and “American Idol; and the public’s fascination with celebrities and movie stars.  At its heart, the story leaves young readers with the positive message “You can do anything if you work hard and never give up.”

Gollywood Here I Come is 32 pages and is available for a suggested retail price of $15.15.  To order please visit can also find this book through the following online retailers:


My Thoughts

When I first heard about this book, I thought it was going to have a Thanksgiving theme to it, seeing that its main character was turkey.  But, after reading the first I found that this is a book that can be enjoyed year round.  As you read above and saw in the short book promo clip, this cute children's book is about a turkey who has big dreams. She aspires to be a movie star and prove out of her small town of Gobbleville to the big city, where all the big movie stars live, Gollywood. 

Anamazie is quick to learn that in addition to dreaming big, that she also needs to work hard at achieving her goals and wishes -- they will not just happen.  So, she sets out to make her dream a reality.  Even though the pass she thought would take her to stardom doesn't pan out, she is quick to learn not to give up on your dreams, and when one door closes another one opens.  

With fun colorful illustrations which take up both pages of the storybook, kids and adults will find themselves getting lost not only in the inspirational story but all trying to take in all the detail of the illustrations that really bring this cute story about dreaming big to life.  Both of my girls cheered when Anamazie was found by a talent scout, which was the start of turning her dreams into a reality. And, as the story progresses, Anamazie does make it to Gollywood, which is everything she imagined -- the glitch and glam and so much more.

Overall, I have to say this unexpected book ended up being a pleasant surprise and has been making for a great bedtime read with the girls.  We make a point to talk about the themes presented in the book, including dreaming big, never giving up on your dream, and that in order to have you dreams and wishes come true, you have to work for them.  Once you read this book and see the cute lead character, Anamazie, you, too, will fall in love with this story.  And, who knows, many Anamazie will inspire you to dream big, too!

About the Author:
Terry John Barto has crafted dances and musical staging for more than 200 productions throughout the United States and abroad. His versatility ranges from Annie and Crazy For You to The Who's Tommy and West Side Story. Terry staged long-running shows for Princess Cruises and a variety of his choreography has been seen on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful. As the Creative Director for Wings of Dreams Productions, he turned diverse ideas into screenplays for animation and toys. He has also written another children’s book Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon to be released in 2015.  For more information about Terry John Barto, please visit

About the Illustrator:
Mattia Cerato was born in Cuneo, a small town surrounded by the beautiful Italian alps. At a young age his artist father encourage Mattia to draw and when he grew up he studied illustration at the European Institute of Design (IED).  After graduation, he landed his first illustration job, a book titled My First Picture Dictionary for Rass Language House.  He subsequently went on to illustrate many more children’s books. For more information about Mattia Cerato please visit

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :

  1. This looks so cute for the kids at Thanksgiving I like that it is also a year round book.