Welcome to My Shelves Are Full and to the last day of the wonderful blog tour celebrating the wonder that is The Creature Keeper and author extraordinaire, Damaris Young.

I have a special offer for you on today’s stop….part review, part quotes from questions I posed to Damaris earlier this month. The full Q and A will be posted at a later date.

Damaris has this incredible talent for writing spooky stories where a fantastic female takes the lead in an epic adventure. In The Switching Hour, Amaya must face her deepest fears in order to save her brother Kaleb and in The Creature Keeper, we meet Cora who leaves home to work and live amongst the strange creatures at Direspire Hall. Both girls are brilliant role models for young readers as they feel fear but their greater goal is more important.

Damaris writes, “There is a thrill in writing a story where everything could change from one page to the next.” I think as readers we certainly turn the page cautiously at times worried about what the next page holds especially towards the end!!

The creatures Cora hears from outside the walls of Direspire Hall flood her imagination with animals she has only dreamed about. Unsure of who she will meet, she watches in fascination as she is introduced on her first day to the incredible creatures surviving in the hall. Knowing she will become their keeper excites her to learn and study to ensure they are well cared for.

Perhaps Damaris and character Cora are not so different, “Dreaming up extraordinary creatures is my favourite thing to do! I let my imagination run wild with The Creature Keeper as I considered what strange creatures might live in different parts of my imaginary world; the sea, the sky, the land and the deep earth. I wondered what impact the different environments would have on the creatures, just like in our wonderful world, and this helped create a picture of what the animals would look like. It was so much fun!”

There is one important creature in this tale who becomes an important message for readers and the impact some creatures have on our world. I wondered where the idea had come from for such an amazing creature and Damaris responded, “I researched keystone species that exist in our world and who have a huge impact on the plants and animals around them, like elephants”.

I love the environmental message encompassed within this superb book and when asked what she wanted readers to take from this story, Damaris said the following; “I hope The Creature Keeper will inspire a love of the natural world and all the wonderful creatures that live alongside us. There are so many endangered animals on our planet that need our help if they are going to survive, and they are more magical as anything we could ever dream up. We are the keepers of these extraordinary creatures, and it is up to us to protect them.”

Enchanting cover courtesy of Flavia Sorrentino

So let’s all be a bit more like Cora, unleash our inner creature keepers and take care of the animals in our world!

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