Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ever Dreamed of Flying? How About on the Back of a Bird? Check Out Gigi Sedlmeyer's Second in Talon Series!

The California Condor once numbered only 22 bi...
Oh, right.’ Turning back to Matica and seeing her stunned face after what he had said before, he said, ‘Talon’s so... well, massive now. I don’t know how to play with Talon anymore. It was so easy when he was small. I could teach him things then. But now?’ His tone became judgmental and negative. ‘Sometimes it seems to me as if he would love to teach me. Can you imagine that? A bird teaching me! Anyway,’ he grinned, ‘he’s getting ugly and like Dad said, his neck and head look half boiled now.’
‘Half boiled, hey?’ Emelio giggled into his hands, cheered up again.
‘Oh, come on. It’s bad enough when Dad says it.’ Matica extended her tongue and pulled a face. ‘Don’t say things like that in front of Emelio. It’s not nice.’
‘Okay,’ Aikon gave in then said to his friend, ‘Forget it, okay? I never said it.’
Emelio nodded. ‘I can do that. Yes, I will. It is not nice, as Matica said. I agree.’
Crayn interrupted her thinking with, ‘Why does he have to look half boiled? Ugly thing.’ He tapped his beak, but Talon hopped away so suddenly that Matica nearly fell off. Crayn put his hand into the pocket of his trousers, grinning.
Talon cocked his head and grinned back at him.
‘Dad,’ she answered quickly so as not to let the opportunity get away, ‘don’t look at his neck and head. Look at him as a bird that flies your daughter around.’ She stroked Talon’s neck. ‘Look at his character, at his heart, like God is looking at His people. God would never abandon an ugly-looking person, or even a murderer.’

Talon, On the Wing
By Gigi Sedlmayer 

I always enjoy when a writer works to grab the attention of readers immediately. Gigi Sedlmayer certainly accomplished that! Even though it was a dream. This series, which, in my opinion, would be great for children to adults is about a young girl, Matica, and her family, including her birds...  You don't know what I mean by her birds? Well, do a quick click back to read about the first novel in the series and then come back! I always recommend that you read from the first book in a series if possible, but at least my review will give you a start, because you don't want to miss this latest one! Matica is flying!

Well, yes, she is dreaming as the book opens, but that's only because she had already!

On the back of Talon, a Condor, and one of her birds...

I have dreamed of flying, have you? Here's what it is supposed to mean if you do!
"A lot depends on the nature of the dream and the relationship we have to flying," explains Sumber. Often times, though, flying represents a sense of freedom. Sumber explains that flying dreams serve as a sort of escape from the pressures of the real world (which is represented by the ground).

I don't mind admitting that I've enjoyed and remembered those dreams more than any others I have had. And the reason fits for me--as it did for Matica. She had never had many friends since they had moved to Peru, because she was different from the Indians and even her family...She had a growth problem and was much smaller than she should be!

It all started because of my growth problem. Was it good then? Yes, of course it was. Well, not then but definitely now. I was five years old and way, way, way too small for my age. Therefore the Indians rejected me from the time we arrived. Mum and Dad loved me, but it wasn’t really enough. Being lonely, I made friends with my condors, Tamo and Tima.
For the last five years I have lived with Mum and Dad here in the remote little village of Pucara in Peru. Aikon arrived over four years ago. More than eight months ago, Dad and I saved Tamo and Tima’s egg from poachers and I incubated it. At my tenth birthday, Talon hatched. Thank you, Lord. I raised him and he grew to be an impressive condor, even bigger and stronger than his father.
My life changed dramatically from that point on. And yesterday, even more.
I flew on Talon after a spark from the open fire-place had frightened him. Hence I found out that there is more to life...

Talon took off with Matica by accident...And once that had happened, both Matica and Talon realized that they loved to fly together and they wanted to continue!

Talon's parents were all for it! And they flew with them!

But Matica's mother was harder to convince, even though she would have loved to fly herself!

Finally, though, she agreed... In fact, the whole village was thrilled. They now knew that Matica was special and that the condors were really quite wonderful too! Soon, Matica was flying every day and then would tell everybody in the community--and even people from other places--about what she had seen. Of course, it was sometimes dangerous--for both Matica and Talon! Talon was still young and was still growing! And sometimes he over-estimated how long he could carry Matica! But neither of them were seriously hurt...

And what's great about it is that readers get to travel with them, reading along as they soar up into the sky, near dangerous mountains, and so much more! Why they even saw a lost city, a puma...and a Raven flew with them to watch! Matica felt that God had sent the raven to help whenever there was danger!

In the meantime, though only 10, Matica has fallen in love and her love is returned...
And she has new friends! She wonders if they love her only because of her birds...but she always decides that that doesn't really matter, does it?!

I personally enjoyed the little touches/references about God taking care of Matica - it certainly added to the book to have the young girl wrestling with feelings of despair when the Indians wouldn't accept her, as well as when she was truly in danger while flying. In addition to that, included was the story of a young boy named Alexander who had lost his brother, and now hated his parents who had caused his death. The story leads all of the Indians to understand that being different when born doesn't mean that these individuals won't have a happy life. Obviously, this important issue can be used to help teach children about those who, for whatever reason, are different from their own...

There is so much to learn from this book! And I haven't even told you about the giant spider or the armadillo!

If you read to your children, I think this would be a wonderful book to share as soon as they are old enough. Older children and adults will also find it a fun and entertaining story--wouldn't YOU love to fly?! Highly recommended!


‘He folded his wings to go through the door. Remember? But he probably wasn’t thinking about it. Neither did I. But since I was lying on him, his wings went over me, covering me. Not completely, because he stopped doing it when he felt me under them, I guess. So, I was, for a short time, buried under his wings. It felt so, so... it felt so warm, so secure, so safe and protected. Just lovely. Yes, it really was.’ A bright grin parted her face when she looked at her father.
‘Oh yeah, I can imagine it. When he folds his wings...yes, he does that.’ Crayn suddenly doubled up in laughter. ‘I actually saw it, but didn’t think about that.’

Ok, it's an eagle not a condor...but...still holds true! Wide Wings will hold us all!

About the Author

Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany.
Her family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. They moved around in Germany until finally settling in Munich where Gigi studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967. She worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.
Since her uncle was a writer, she tried to write short animal stories. She developed a love for the written word and started to consume books.
In May 1975, Gigi and her husband moved to New Zealand. Having language challenges, she started a handicraft business. Specialty, colourful parrots of which she sold thousands in a few years.

In 1988, they adopted and became adoptive parents of twin girls the year after. After living in New Zealand for eighteen years they moved to Australia in September 1992.
Two years later Gigi was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, she withdrew, thinking that she would be dead, like her friend who died of cancer, but her two little girls gave her the courage to keep going. After two years still among the living, her brain started to work again, so she thought, 'Get a grip on yourself and do something good with your life'.
She remembered the time writing stories and got inspired again, seeing her husband Albert writing the story of their adoption. Her English became increasingly better so she pressed on to develop her creative writing.
She entered them in competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave her confidence to go on writing. One day the idea for the TALON series came to her and she spent the next several years bringing the story and the characters to life. She pend most of her time at the computer, developing new story lines. She also loves travelling, 4x4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossilizing and enjoys good adventure DVD's or going to the movies.
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