The Adventures of Jack and Machu:

Jack the Kitten is Very Brave

By Tabitha Grace Smith

Illustrated by Mindy Lou Hagan

Jack the Kitten wants to be a pirate.

The one problem is that he is afraid of water.

This book deals with a common fear in children, the fear of water, in a gentle and reassuring way. The story is well-written and easy to follow, but not so simplistic as to be boring for children. As the mother of three children, ages 2 1/2 , 10 and 14, I know that when a book becomes a child’s favorite, parents are asked to read it again and again. I like that this book lacks the overly-sugary tone that so many books for small children use, and which tends to make them torturous for parents to have to read repeatedly. It is written in a simple, straightforward manner that makes it both easy to understand, and engaging.

The illustrations are wonderfully rendered. The colors are both eye-catching and welcoming. There is a distinction between the real life scenes and the scenes in Jack’s imaginations that is made even more profound by the use of color changes in the background.

As I’ve mentioned, I have a daughter in the right age range for this book, and she liked it when I first read it to her. She asked me to read it again a few hours later. When I was too slow to respond, she demanded, “Mama, I want Machu again!” I guess that tells you who her favorite character is. I’m always happy to find new books for her that we can both enjoy.

Tabitha Grace Smith is the founder and producer of Between the Lines Studios, which began with the Buffy Between the Lines podcast. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing, and with this book she’s off to a great start.

As a bonus for my readers, Ms. Smith has offered a 10% discount on the book if you order it through CreateSpace’s store. Just use code D9Z8XUZU at checkout. CreateSpace ships both in the US and Internationally. You can find the page for Jack the Kitten

The main site for Jack and Machu is and they can be found on Facebook at so be sure to check them out.