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Review – Once Upon A Now by Emma Calin



Welcome to the Once Upon A Now! tour . . .

Award-winning bestseller Emma Calin has released a brand new series of modern day fairy stories for younger readers and is introducing them to the blogging world over the next few weeks. A host of talented reviewers will be giving their thoughts on the illustrated, interactive, magical bedtime story chapter books so look out for the special guests, posts and giveaway.

 I am very excited to have been sent a copy of books one to three that I have enjoyed reading with my son, Corey and we have thoroughly enjoyed.  All the books have interactive features that make the books more enjoyable and good for children who love reading and technology.  For me I loved how they all started Once Upon A Time and ended They Lived Happily Ever After…..Ahhhhh 🙂

I am over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for these books and for my stop on the tour I am going to share a bit about the books with you all including a short review of each book.

Thank you to both CandleLit Tours and Emma Calin for having me on this wonderful tour.

Also, keep your eyes peeled as the books will all available for FREE at different points during the tour!

 Alf final 1st Oct Amazon Kindle small

 Alf The Workshop Dog (Once upon a NOW 1)

How could a scruffy dog in a bus depot and the call of crows, link back to another world of power and love?

The ancient Kingdom of Zanubia and a stray dog looking for scraps in an inner-city repair garage, hold the secret. A wicked king, a beautiful girl, a young prince and the struggle between right and wrong maintain the fable tradition.

Me and my son loved this tale of good vs evil where a good Prince in the Kingdom of Zanubia rebels against his  brutal Father, the King.  When the girl the prince loves is in danger the Prince finds a magic crow who turns him into a Dog called Alf and goes on a journey of discovery, bravery and courage.

What we liked about this book was that Alf is based on a real life dog and as the book has unique QR codes and you tube links on each chapter we could access extra content, pictures and discover the story behind the real Alf the workshop dog and also a very catchy Zanubia theme tune!

We award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday books


Click Here To Buy This Book

Isabellas Pink Bike Kindle small

 Isabella’s Pink Bicycle (Once upon a NOW 2)

There’s something strange in the woodshed…

A poor little girl in a faraway land dreams of riding a pink bicycle. When she meets a strange animal, her dreams come true. Her happiness turns to sadness when a tragedy occurs in the town and her father doesn’t come home.

Maybe her new magic friend can find him?

This was my favourite out of the 3 books.  A lovely story about friendship and helping others.  Isabella has always wanted a pink bicycle, but her family could not afford it.  One day Isabella meets a ferret called Frankie who, in exchange for friendship, grants Issabella’s wish of a new bicycle.  But when an accident occurs Isabella asks for Frankie’s help even when nobody believes her story about a talking Ferret!

Other than making my son want a ferret even more than he already does (! – yes this is true – why oh why?!) I again loved the interactive QR codes and you tube links on each chapter we could access extra content and pictures.  It made this book perfect for a bedtime read and for sharing and discussing with my son.

We award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday books!


Click Here To Buy This Book

Kool Kid Kindle small

 Kool Kid Kruncha and The High Trapeze (Once upon a NOW 3)

Charlie finds it tough when his parents divorce – but Auntie Kate helps him overcome his greatest fear.

When Charlie has to move from the country into the city, he leaves behind his home, his mates and his beloved football team. He will need to make new friends. With his small size and red hair, some people aren’t kind to him. He wonders if he can face another day at school.

A trip to the circus gives him the strength to see himself and others in a new way.

Now this was my sons favourite as I think it was more appealing to him.  This story explores change, being different and feeling out of place.  It was a touching story about a boy who moves to a new school, but struggles to make friends and has little confidence.  A visit to the circus and meeting a scary clown and a trapeze give him the confidence he needs.

Again I love how the book had interactive QR codes and you tube links on each chapter so we could access extra content and pictures.  All in all a great bedtime read.

We award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday books!


Click Here To Buy This Book

emma calinAbout The Author

Emma Calin was born in London in 1962. She currently lives part of the year in the UK and spends the rest in France. She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national, and international prizes for poetry and short stories.

Emma enjoys writing stories firmly rooted in social realism. She blogs about the contrasts in life on both sides of the English Channel, which she likes to explore on her tandem whenever weather and fitness coincide. She is a Lifestyle Contributor on Loveahappyending Lifestyle.

She defines herself as woman eternally pedalling between Peckham and Pigalle, in search of passion and enduring romance.

Author Links:

Amazon USA | Amazon UK | Blog |Website | Facebook | @Emma Calin | Pinterest | Goodreads

Listen to Audio Excerpts:

OUAN 3 audiobooks small

Alf The Workshop Dog

Isabella’s Pink Bicycle

Kool Kid Kruncha and The High Trapeze


Enter to win one of the following:

1 set of 3 audio books Once Upon a NOW Series
1 set of 3 paperbacks Once Upon a NOW Series
1 set of 3 Kindle books Once Upon a NOW Series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read any of Emma Calin’s books?  Do you like fairy tales?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy.

Happy Reading



Written by

I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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2 Responses

  1. Emma Calin says:

    Michelle Hello!

    Wow – what a great surprise to come and find your blog all decked out in my ‘Once Upon a NOW!’ colours!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read all three books in the series and for sharing them with your son Corey – it is so valuable to get feedback from children and parents alike. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the stories and the bonus materials via the links. The QR codes were a bit of an experiment if I’m honest – but my own kids assured me that even youngest readers today are familiar with links and scanning Apps – even if they are alien to the parents!

    The good news is today and tomorrow (27/28 Jan) are FREE days for one of the books – Kool Kid Kruncha and the High Trapeze on Amazon worldwide – so your readers can get a free Kindle digital download too on this link:

    Very many thanks for your kind reviews and for featuring the Once Upon a NOW! Series.
    Emma x