Awesome #review from #book queen Debra Gaynor
Charm is the story of a tiny black kitten that stole the heart of author, Leyla Atke. Leyla was in a hurry when she saw the tiny black kitten in a precarious situation, in the midst of heavy traffic. With a kind heart Leyla rescued the kitten with the intention of leaving him in the park but the kitten had another plan in mine and began to follow her. She gave the little guy a nice bath and underneath the grim she discovered the kitten was charming with his black fur and turquoise eyes. Charm was a very fitting name. He spent most of his time on her bed sleeping. Charm grew into a “handsome creature.” Unfortunately, Charm saw an open window and went exploring at an abandoned factory. Leyla searched high and low for Charm but he didn’t come home and she didn’t find him in time. But that wasn’t the end of Charm.
Charm by author, Leyla Atke is a charming tale filled with love for animals and a bit of what some may call mysticism. Having had a similar experience I call it a God thing. While the topic may sound sad there is a positive message in the book. Charm can be used to begin a discussion on death and life after death. Charm is beautifully illustrated. The colors are bright and the drawings are well done. This book was written for children but adults will enjoy the tale also. I highly recommend Charm!
Leyla Atke has written a beautiful, charming tribute to a tiny black cat that was miraculously introduced into the author’s life. Each providing love and warmth, a bond is formed between writer and a cat she names Charm, that is short lived and unfairly ended. Missing and mourning her beloved Charm, a tiny black miracle appears in a most familiar place. Coincidence? A blessed second chance to make things right? However the reader perceives the message, it’s a story that can be loved by all ages and one that animal lovers can identify with.
I was intrigued by the concept, and since I am a cat lover, I was extremely interested to read it.
What I found was a book of ultimate Charm…not because it was fairy tale like, but because it was raw and real, with an amazing twist that left me feeling at peace with the cycle of life.I would highly recommend Charm to anyone who wants to experience the unique magic of the story.
Reviewed by Nancy Lorraine for Midwest Book Review
Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat
Leyla Atke, author/illustrator
Strategic Book Group
P.O. Box 333, Durham, CT 06422
9781609764180 $14.95 http://www.leylaatke.com
“Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat” is a true story about a woman’s beloved pet cat that contains a miraculous element. Embellished with poignant crayon drawings and actual photos of the little black cat, “Charm” is a tender and gripping tale of a miraculous rescue of the lost or abandoned little black kitten whom the author found on a dangerous, busy intersection divider. Though their time together is not as long as the author wished, her love for Charm, her little black cat with six white belly hairs grows as the cat is encradled in her life and home. Due to a mysterious combination of unhappy circumstances, one day Charm disappears. In the most traumatic pages of the book the author describes finally finding her beloved pet’s remains in a deserted factory grounds nearby. She suspects some form of foul play in Charm’s death. Eventually she is able to ease her grief through a burial ritual for the remains of her beloved cat, Charm. The closing chapter contains the miraculous denouement. One morning in June, on the exact spot of the grave of Charm appears a tiny, month-old black kitten, identical in appearance to the lost Charm. The author begs her mother to go bring the kitten to her and he is restored to a healthy life with care, a bath, feeding and medical attention. Naturally, he is named Charm. Children and adults will laugh and cry through the experience of reading this brief, heartfelt book about the miracle of Charm.
Here is the link to the review on the Midwest Book Review web site: http://www.midwestbookreview.com/mbw/jun_12.htm#lorraine
It’s the sixth one down in Nancy’s review column. A copy of the review and a publisher notification letter had been sent to Strategic Book Group.
Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb
Who can resist a delightful story about cats? Charm (An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat) written and illustrated by the talented Leyla Atke has it all–it’s a tale about love, loss, and continuing on, despite the pain of the loss that exists when one’s beloved pet dies and leaves an empty, cat-shaped hole in one’s heart. How can such an abyss be filled? And, how did the feelings toward the handsome black cat, which the narrator calls Charm, develop in the first place?
In Charm, the author weaves a story that is, itself, charming. Atke introduces the short but sweet book by reminiscing, in the first chapter, about how Charm came into her life and changed it forever for the better. She has the first-person narrator tell of “a hot summer day in June of 2006″ when she “was leaving work for a break.” The reason she is leaving is “to get a new hairstyle” and she is in a hurry to fit in the hairstyle into her busy day. Such are the times when Fate, or God, enters into our plans and sometimes, if we’re lucky, changes them in ways that we’d never planned, but which bring a touch of happiness to our lives.
At a busy intersection, on the way to her hair appointment, the narrator notices “something small and black” in the middle of the road, among the rushing cars. She notices that it is moving, and she decides to see what it is, so she stops her car and gets out to get a closer look. As she approaches the object, she sees that it is “a small black kitten sitting in the middle of the road.” With the cars “waiting for a green light from both sides,” she realizes that she has the chance to rescue the kitten, and she takes it.
Even then after the narrator saves the kitten, she’s not sure what to do with it, and considers if she should just “leave it in the park” which is nearby. However, struck by how cute and gentle the kitten is, though it is dirty and its fur is “smelling like kerosene” she takes the animal to her aunt’s house. She, like the narrator, has her own cat, but she agrees “to shelter the kitten only until the evening.” That enables the narrator to return to work, think about what has transpired, and make her decision about keeping the kitten.
I don’t want to give anything else away, except to say that she does decide to keep the small black kitten, and to call it Charm. I throughly enjoyed reading Leyla Atke’s book, and her wonderful illustrations help give the reader a genuine feel for how Charm must have looked, and how the kitten managed to, well, charm his way into the narrator’s life.
There is something else I should mention, though, about the book. It is written primarily for young teens on up. What ultimately happens to Charm is sad, and the description of the cat’s body after his demise might be too much for younger readers to handle, though the author is being honest about relating the details. Also, the author writes that “Vaccination and castration” will be musts for a new kitten that enters into her life, who she first sees just “a couple of steps away from Charm’s grave,” and who she also decides to call Charm. These elements don’t at all detract (at least not in my humble opinion) from the appeal of the book; but, I thought I should mention these things, so that if someone decides to buy it for younger kids, they will know that the kids might come to them with some very interesting questions about death and the definition of “castration.”
Charm (An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat) is a truly charming story about how much a kitten can effect a person’s life and bring joy to it. If you are an animal lover, and perhaps own a cat or have owned them in the past, you’ll definitely want to add this delightful short book to your reading lists. It would also make a great gift for a cat lover in your life. I highly recommend Charm to anyone who has ever owned, or who currently owns, a kitten or a cat.
Reviewed by Marta Moran-Bishop
September 5, 2013
I have just got my book reviewed by Marta Moran-Bishop. Marta is a talented writer, my friend and just a nice person!
A LITTLE BOOK WITH HEART, August 10, 2013
By M. Moran-BishopAmazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat (Paperback)
Leyla Atke’s book Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat is a little book with great magic and heart. It is a book that I don’t believe you have to be a cat lover for it to touch your heart, instead if you are a lover of life you will find this book worth the time to read.
It drew me in from page one and held my interest sometimes in sorrow, when tears sprang from my eyes unbidden, and sometimes in delight for the little black cat held enchantment in its soul.
Ms. Atke held me in the palm of her hand as she laid out her story. It left me believing in the value of hope and miracles and wishing it wouldn’t end. I believe Ms. Atke has a definite talent for story telling that can only continue to grow. She weaves her tale so naturally, she makes you believe it is all true and if it isn’t it should be.
The book contains charming illustrations done by the author and could be read by and to children as well as enjoyed by an adult.
Rating: 5.0 stars
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat is a memoir and tribute to a special cat written and illustrated by Leyla Atke. When she first saw Charm, he was huddled in the middle of heavy traffic. During a brief lull in the traffic, Atke rescued the dirty little kitten and carried him to a safe place. Then she realized he would probably wander off into traffic again and took him home. She bathed him and found, after all the dirt had washed away, that he was a lovely, blue-eyed kitten with sleek, black fur, who grew up into a magnificent black cat.
Leyla Atke’s Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat is a lovely and evocative tribute to a beloved pet. The story is beautifully told, and the illustrations are masterful; sometimes primitive, sometimes very reminiscent of folk art, but always very powerful. Memoirs of this type can be overblown and excessively sentimental; however, Atke’s narrative remains clear and calm, and engaged this reader from the first lines to the concluding words. Atke shows her gift of being first and foremost a storyteller. Her words and art are simple yet imbued with love and expression. This is a special book, and one I would not hesitate to recommend to those who are privileged to share their lives with animal companions as well as those who haven’t been…yet. It’s really quite a remarkable work and a story I won’t be forgetting any time soon.
Rating: 4.0 stars
Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers’ Favorite
There must be a purpose in all things, but especially in the case of the little black cat that found his way not only once, but twice into the life of Leyla Atke. Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat, by Leyla Atke, is a simple and tender, true story of a little black cat which she rescued from a busy round-about. Having bathed him and given him a home, Leyla looked into his turquoise eyes and immediately came up with the name Charm. Charm was something of a roamer, as most male cats are, and after having run off during a remodel of the windows in the house, he disappeared for nearly two weeks. When Leyla discovered the badly decomposed body of her Charm, she was crushed. She buried him beneath a tree in the front yard. She would dream about him and feel him near her at times, but did not fully realize what was happening until she discovered another tiny black kitten near Charm’s grave outside her house.
Whether one believes in a higher power, re-incarnation, or simply in the nine lives of cats, Leyla’s story is certain to stir up questions, with or without answers. The fact that she encountered this phenomenon twice only deepens the mystery. This is a tender story of a young girl’s love for a special creature which touched her life not only once, but twice. Tender, thought provoking, and inspiring; Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat will capture your attention and make you wonder what really goes on in the world beyond what we can see.
Rating: 5.0 stars
Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers’ Favorite
Perhaps miracles do happen. Leyla Atke describes her love for a rescued kitten in Charm: An Amazing Story Of a Little Black Cat. Leyla has a hair appointment when she is taking a break from her work in town. She spies a small, black spot in the middle of the street. For the moment, cars are not rushing by and she sees that the black spot is a helpless, black kitten. She takes the kitten out of harm’s way and she gently cares for it. Much of the grime is washed away with a careful bath. The tiny, fur-ball of a kitten grows into a confident, panther-like cat with green eyes. One fateful day, the window frames of the family home are being replaced, and the black cat called Charm runs away. Perhaps Charm will be found, one way or the other.
Leyla Atke writes and illustrates this heartfelt tale of the furry, black Charm. The childlike perspective of the young woman is both engaging and surprising. The illustrations are in crayon as a child would draw them. There is a diagram of the scene where the kitten is saved from oncoming cars. There are also photographs to tell her story. Charm is also the story of the young woman whose heart is completely given to this vulnerable creature. I felt a surge of sympathy for the woman and her cat. She has so much love to give and she feels so much. This is a story for kids and adults who want to feel the tug of both disappointment and joy.
Rating: 5.0 stars
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite
Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat by Leyla Atke is a true story of the author’s pet. She speaks about how she found her black cat abandoned on an intersection divider of a busy lane and brought it home. The book describes the trauma the author undergoes when Charm disappears and she finally finds its remains in a deserted factory playground. She comes to terms with her grief and buries her favorite pet. The twist is when a black kitten appears on the exact spot where Charm is buried. The author adopts that kitten and names it Charm.
The story is a heartwarming tale of the author’s moments with Charm. All pet lovers will be able to relate to the author’s emotions and love for the cat. The author takes you through a wide range of emotions: love, compassion, sorrow, empathy, grief, and distress. The book is an ideal story for children and the drawings and crayon colorings make it child-friendly. The aspect of death in the book might not be that ideal for small children but, to a certain extent, many parts of this book can be read out at bedtime for small children.
The ‘charm’ of Charm remains in the reader’s heart for a long time. The language and details are simple and easy for a child to read and understand. You need not be a cat lover to appreciate the story. It will appeal to any reader. It is a wonderful story.
Reviewed by Rita V for Readers Favorite
“Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat” is a children’s book written and illustrated by Leyla Atke. The story begins with a little black cat caught in the cross hairs of dangerous traffic, when the author swoops in and saves his life. The author brings him home, names him Charm and bathes him carefully. Charm is a noble beauty with his black silky coat and bright turquoise green eyes. After a year and a half, the family starts renovations in their home and Charm goes missing amongst the chaos. Charm is found dead in a nearby location, but what comes next is enlightening and miraculous. I absolutely loved the concept and the plot. The illustrations were done in crayon and it looks as if they were done by a child. I liked the concept of the illustrations, especially if they were done by a child. I liked the photos of the black kitten at the end of the story. I think this is a great children’s story. The plot is well-organized and well-thought out. I liked the full circle range of emotions in this story from empathy, compassion, happiness, love, distress, grief and then to happiness and love again. This is a delightful and inspiring children’s story.
By Sherrill S. Cannon on March 19, 2014
By T. L. Needham, Author on August 4, 2014
A cat moves silently, it sneaks around and jumps down from hights as if it can fly.In this story the situation is a little spooky. Leyla Atke has written a personal experienced story, where her charming black cat – Charm – in a mysterious way shows up again.
The mystical or lucky number 13 ( 13 days) may be a sign/ explanation for what happened.
Read the book and find out for yourself.Per Mathiesen