Children’s Book Review: Damien’s Quest by Jake Evanoff
Damien has lived with the triceratops for as long as he can remember! He loves helping out around the swamp and going on adventures with his best pal. Trey. As happy as he is, Damien has always wondered where he really came from; that is until one night when he and Trey set out on a quest to find out once and for all! Will the brave explorers discover the truth on their journey… or perhaps something even greater?
A children’s book filled with suspense, adventure, mystery, and a great message for kids gets two thumbs up in my house and Damien’s Quest by children’s book author, Jake Evanoff definitely gets two thumbs from us.
This book is about a young boy named Damien, who has lived with his triceratops family in a foresty swamp for as long as he can remember. He and his best friend Trey love going on adventures, and one day Trey and Damien set out to find out where Damien actually came from. Readers go on an exciting adventure with Damien and Trey as they set out to find the truth.
This children’s book is one of those books that makes your kids sit up straighter, makes their ears perk up, makes their heart beat faster, and makes them wonder.
I also love the family and friendship theme of this book. This book shows kids that the common element in families is love, and it doesn’t matter where you come from our how you became family. All that matters is that you are family and that you are there for one another unconditionally.
Damien’s Quest is filled with an epic adventure, and you and your family will immediately fall in love with this book. The text, coupled with the excellent, attention-grabbing illustrations by Niño Balita, makes this book an absolute must-have on your kid’s bookshelf.
Where Can I Find Children's Book "Damien's Quest"?
Other Children's Books by Jake Evanoff
About Children's Author, Jake Evanoff
“My name is Jake Evanoff and I was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1993. I recorded my first film featuring all of my pets when I was 7 years old and I was making stop motion videos with LEGO studios just a few years later. I went to Humber College to study television writing and producing and that was where I was inspired to start creating content for children. In 2020 I launched Star Ship Press; A Hamilton based publishing company bringing you stories that are out of this world!”
Rapid Fire with Jake Evanoff
Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Jake: I’ve always had a passion for storytelling. From a young age, I was creating stop motion movies with Lego Studios, and that led to me creating all kinds of short videos for YouTube with my friends. By the end of high school, I had finally realized that becoming a writer was what I truly wanted to pursue.
Q. Describe what your ideal writing space looks like?
Jake: I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to a writing space, as long as it’s not cluttered. You could throw me into a hammock on the beach or a small cabin up north. As long as I have my iPad, some headphones and a cup of coffee, I’m good to go!
Q. What do you think makes a good story?
Jake: I always hear the argument that a good story absolutely has to end with a clear message or moral, and while I personally do like to include some kind of message in the stories I write, I wouldn’t say it’s necessary.
I can think of a handful of books I enjoy that don’t actually teach you anything or really make you think too hard; they’re just plain fun. I think that ultimately, I consider a story to be good if it can keep me engaged and wondering what’s going to happen next.
Q. Can you tell us about one of the most rewarding moments you have had as an author?
Jake: I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about my books from both children and parents, but I think one of the most rewarding moments I’ve had was when I was working a booth at a festival, and I was approached by a mother and her child. They had picked up one of my books at the last festival I was at, and they came up to tell me that they had since been reading the book every night before bed.
Q. What do you love most about the writing process?
Jake: It’s hard to pinpoint what I love the most, but one of the aspects that always excites me is coming up with all of these little tidbits… From a line or two of dialogue to a silly character description and then figuring out how all of the pieces fit together to eventually create a narrative. I love the fact that you can come up with a story in any order that you want because sometimes I’ll actually come up with an ending first and work backwards from there to see how the characters ended up where they did.
Q. What was the most surprising thing you learned about creating books?
Jake: I really underestimated how tricky marketing can actually be when you’re first starting out because presumably, you don’t have much of a following or established brand yet. When I self-published my first book, I felt overwhelmed with all of the different marketing strategies available, but after a lot of experimenting, I began to discover what worked for my brand and me.
Q. Tell us about your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Jake: In the next 5 years, I really hope to work on expanding the Star Ship Press roster in both authors and illustrators because there are so many great people out there that have wonderful stories that they’re eager to share with the world. I would personally like to write a series of children’s books because all of my releases so far have been stand-alone stories, and I just think that a series could be a lot of fun.
Q. What advice do you have for writers?
Jake: Always keep writing. I was once told that “writing is re-writing” and keeping that in mind can really help you get over that hurdle of struggling to get those first words down onto the page. It doesn’t matter if you end up hating your first draft or even your second because you can always go back and rework things until you’re happy with them! Just remember that Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected by 27 different publishers before it was actually picked up.
Q. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Jake: When I’m not writing, I like to spend as much time outdoors as I can. Whether it’s going for a hike on a local trail or just sitting around a campfire with some close friends, I really enjoy the tranquil sounds of nature.
Q. What do you love most about being an Author?
Jake: I love a lot of things about being an author, from having the opportunity to challenge myself creatively to being able to participate in all kinds of fairs and festivals. Though the thing I love most of all is that I get to do what I truly love.
Rapid Fire with Illustrator, Niño Balita
Q. Did you draw as a child?
Niño: I started drawing at a very young age, and I just never stopped. It was the only thing that I was good at, although I am not the best cat it. I just love doing it.
Q. What were your favorite books growing up?
Niño: I was into comics growing up, mostly local comics from the Philippines. However, I started to fall in love with children’s books when I got to read Maurice Sendak’s “Where The Wild Things Are” from our school library. Since then, I got fascinated with children’s books.
Q. How did you start your career as an illustrator?
Niño: I started as a comic strip artist for a national newspaper. Then I began to get clients here and there mostly from the internet. I was consistently posting artworks online, which helped me find potential projects.
Q. Can you describe the artistic process behind your illustration creations?
Niño: I usually do my illustrations with a dip pen and paper, and then I do the colors digitally. However, now since the deadline has always been tight, I mostly do all my projects digitally, using procreate app on iPad.
Q. Where can we find you online?
Niño: My website is ninobalitaillustration.com, and you can find my usual daily postings on my social media pages. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram @ninobalitaillustration. Thank you!
Don't Forget To Join Jake on Social Media!
All in all, my family and I have really enjoyed this book and we know you will too! Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions about this review. I look forward to hearing from you!
* This book was kindly sent to me by Children’s Author, Jake Evanoff, in exchange for an honest review.