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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2011
A delightful collection of short stories recounted by a father chronicling the explorations of his daughter Nell. Nell is a very thoughtful, contemplative and questioning little girl who sees things thru the eyes of childhood innocence. These stories will charm and mesmerize as you are engaged in each story from the father's point of view as well as Nell's point of view.

The stories contained in this book are:
The Sun Zebra
Bob The Intrepid Insectnaut
Raven - Lenore
The Meaningless Christmas Tree
Birdman and The Fairy Tale

Each of these delightful tales manages to convey to a child the meaning of life, heartbreak, death, love and the true meaning of the things we create and hold dear. I found myself laughing and feeling the frustration and satisfaction of a parent trying to explain life in a way that a child can understand.

You will be gratified by the special connection this father has with his daughter and the love they share.
This is a book for adults and a book for parents to read with their children. This book is written with a tender humor and a genuine compassion for the importance of the feelings and emotions of a child.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from Phantomimic.

Marilou George ~ The Kindle Book Review
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2012
This is a very delightful book filled with charming stories that teach us to love life. I easily read this in one sitting. I laughed, I cried and was only disappointed when it ended. My first read by this author but definitely not my last.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2012
Initially, I was unsure whether this collection of short stories would be my type of book and started with the attitude of reading it as fast as possible. Well, I did read it quickly but only because I couldn't stop reading. It is a beautiful and inspirational book, exceptionally well-written. Rolando takes us by the hand and gently leads us into a magical world seen through the innocent eyes of his daughter, Nell. Unsullied by the cynical view of others with supposedly more experience and wisdom, Nell is not only a delight, but shows she has an innate knowledge and purity which allow magic to happen. This book is touchingly poignant. I could feel my heart opening as I read it. It reminded me of simple, yet powerful truths. Rolando skillfully describes the joy, innocence and simplicity of being a child, while charmingly showing us what a truly marvelous father and husband he is at the same time. I cannot wait to read this again and would highly recommend this to anyone, child and adult alike.
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on March 21, 2013
Nell, the little girl who is the star of these stories, is a delight. She thinks deeply about things and comes up with the kind of responses to situations that could only come from a young child. The stories take you back to a time when you, or perhaps your children, were very young. They embody the freshness of early childhood and show clearly the different perspective a child has on the world.

The author is an excellent writer. In these few short stories, he manages to draw Nell and her father clearly. Mr Smith, a war veteran, is another noteworthy character, and his story of a Christmas tree with meaning is perhaps my favourite of them all.

I enjoyed all the stories, due to their light touch, the gentle and caring adults, the sweet innocence of Nell and the inventive nature of the stories.

My second favourite is the Sun Zebra in which Nell sees a Zebra which she is very excited about, but when she takes her father to see it, there is nothing there but an old horse. They return several times, the adults sure that there is no Zebra, but Nell insists that there is. The author paints a beautiful picture of a young child wanting to be believed and the tale shows how literal and dull we adults can be on our interpretation of what we see.

The story of Bob the cicada also brought a smile to my face. The image of the poor insect stuck in a bit of paper attached to a balloon is certainly unusual, and the story woven around Nell's desire for Bob to fly is very sweet and has an unexpected outcome.

I recommend this book for any time you want something light and sweet. It's a short book, so good for reading between longer works.

4 stars
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2011
When I first heard about The Sun Zebra, I was intrigued. By any stretch of the imagination it's not the sort of book I would normally buy, but there was an endearing quality about the blurb that piqued my interest and I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

The Sun Zebra is a collection of five stories about Nell and events that have happened in her short life. It ably demonstrates the simplistic views that children have about life, how they can hold your hand and lead you into their magical world and how they have a knack of surprising adults.

I won't spoil your enjoyment by giving a synopsis of the stories, but they are absolutely enchanting! They are well-written with good use of description; you can easily picture the setting which adds to the enjoyment. The narrator, Nell's father, shows an honesty that is refreshing and a great deal of patience. He's also not afraid to let loose the child within to entertain and communicate with his daughter.

Reading this book has given me a fresh perspective on life. We all get so bogged down with the adult side of life that we often forget how to have fun, and I'm not referring to adult-type amusements. Being able to access our inner child, to remember the innocence and fun that got lost along the way is not that easy when we worry about paying bills and holding onto jobs etc.

That's what makes this book so special - it reminds us of the magic of childhood, the carefree existence, the innocence and the fun. Everyone needs to access their inner child and what better way to do it than with this book. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it!
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on February 24, 2014
The Sun Zebra is a collection of five short stories written by R. Garcia. They are wonderful stories about the adventures in the life of a little girl, Nell, and her parents, and are told by her father. Perhaps this does not sound very intriguing, but don’t be fooled. Mr. Garcia writes with heart and humour, drawing the reader in as he cleverly tells his tale in an entertaining way, giving the reader the feeling of being there.

Five stories. Five adventures:

The Sun Zebra – after which the book was named;
Bob the Intrepid Insectnaut!;
The Meaningless Christmas Tree;
Birdman and the Fairy Tale

The preface begins, “This book is best described as a children’s book for grownups.” – and that’s a great way to begin. Each story inspires the reader to look at the seemingly insignificant things in life a little differently, and challenges one to see through the innocent eyes and understanding of a curious and thoughtful young child. As a delightful and easy read The Sun Zebra is enjoyable, interesting, funny, thought-provoking.

R. Garcia also writes under the pen name of Phantomimic. He has a following on where he shares his work, and which encouraged him to write a book. The Sun Zebra is the result of that decision. It is well worth his effort and a pleasure to read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2011
The Sun Zebra is an utterly delightful set of "children's stories" that are really for adults. In this charming collection, the writer, known as Phantomimic to his many fans at the document sharing site, Scribd, tells a series of stories about encounters with his daughter when she was a little girl. Nell, as she is called in this volume, is precocious, serious, funny, and very sensitive to the world around her. She experiences death, witnesses unusual life (in the horse stall of the first story) and learns the true meaning of her Christmas tree. But the stories are not simple. Rather, they are well crafted and almost cunning in the way that Phantomimic slips in the moral behind each story. In "Raven-Lenore", perhaps my favorite, he draws on Poe's famous poem while narrating a story about life, death and the old oak tree out front. I read this volume out loud to my husband and he fell in love with the smooth writing, gentle good humor, and dexterous use of the English language. We should all be able to make writing appear so easy and fun. Phantomimic simply possesses a unique talent. And I look forward to more. Buy this book and you too will feel the sun shine on you in a new and different way. I promise.
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on June 21, 2013
In the title story of this small collection, we meet adults too concerned with their drinking and being lazy to pay attention to a child desperate for attention, desperate to have someone share her awe inspiring discovery. When the adult(s) finally get off their bums to go see what the fuss is about it is too late. At last the child is exonerated and found to have indeed discovered something special.

This first tale made me angry. I wanted to kick these lazy people in the shins to get their attention and tell them go tend to your child.

The other tales are slanted views of life, death and the world, with the protagonist child being shielded and sheltered from the unpleasantness of life with lies and made up bits of fabrication.

These tales are inappropriate for children or young readers, and the way the father (author) attempts to sell his daughter to the reading public as our cutesy heroine-protagonist seems much like he is using her to gain attention for himself vicariously through her cuteness.

Over all, this is a mediocre read that could use some polishing and a bit more flair.
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VINE VOICEon October 8, 2013
The Sun Zebra is a small book packed with a big message. Told in the viewpoint of the father through the eyes of his daughter, The Sun Zebra is a treat!

Through five different small stories, Nell will find a place in your heart. Only through the eyes of an innocent child can we see the magic. As we grow older, we become more jaded. But where we see horses, a child may see a zebra! Taking off the lenses, Garcia writes a delightful tale for all ages, that will inspire, charm, warm your heart and make you laugh.

Only sixty-six pages but definitely a keeper!
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on November 2, 2014
Having known Rolando Garcia for over six years and reading his works on SCRIBD; all I can say is "The Sun Zebra" is a wonderfully and lovingly written tales of a beautiful and innocent childhood.

Each story amazingly captures - fun, love, humor, emotions, imagination, and surprises. Rolando has realistically portrayed feelings of us adults, when we are among children.

I was emotionally sent back to my childhood days, while reading Rolando's book.

I highly recommend reading "The Sun Zebra" at least once and you'll love to read it again.
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