A #KidsLit Book Spotlight with Notes | featuring “Hector: At Ground Level” by Gary Finnan

Posted Friday, 24 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Over the past few years I’ve been subscribing to Scribd off/on as a more affordable way to listen to audiobooks outside of the ones I am borrowing via my local libraries (of whom have OverDrive). Thereby, as I currently have my subscription to Scribd renewed this Summer, the copy of “Hector: At Ground Level” is self-provided through my subscription to Scribd rather than being provided with a complimentary copy of the story. Therefore, I am choosing to participate on the book blitz, sharing my ruminations with my readers for my own edification but also, as a continuation of a reader’s love for illustrated stories and picture books. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I’ve been a bit consumed with health afflictions, stormy weather patterns, connectivity issues and a bit of personal chaos – much the same as I believe most of us who are muddling through different obstacles this year. When I saw the announcement for this lovely little book with the cute little hedgie on the cover, I knew I wanted to participate on the blitz to help ‘announce’ it to my readers who might feel drawn to the premise as I had myself. As it is a keen story to find these days – as it speaks to how despite the circumstances of our lives as we live them, it is a mark of a person’s character how they set their attitude to ride through the harder times than anything else.

We can never know what is coming round the next corner or which emergency might derail our plans in the spontaneity of a life effecting moment arriving out of the blue – but we can *choose!* how we react and how we act after the crisis is over. Those are the defining moments where we learn the most about ourselves and we seek to find a bit of peace out of the storms which affect us at different seasons of our lives.

One of the things which has kept me firmly grounded through my own share of adversities (outside of my faith) is recognising the smaller moments in life – the lightness of a butterfly fluttering past me, the joy of a flower seeking the sun, the rays of light peeking through the clouds whilst noting all the different animals and birds who carve out their own habitat next to ours – in our cities, neighbourhoods and natural forests. There is a bit of joy everyday waiting for us to find it and it is quite true – sometimes, if you’re always looking skyward, you miss a heap on the surface – because sometimes, you have to take a more simpler route to finding what needs to be seen.

I was quite curious about this title and felt others might be as well – I was further overjoyed when I realised Scribd has the original edition which was released in May, 2013. I happily took advantage of my subscription to read a chapter sampler’s worth of the story in order to tuck in my personal thoughts about how this story starts to unfold whilst happily highlighting it for those who might not have heard of its release!

I generally only use Scribd for audiobooks, however, every blue moon – they have a digital copy of a book I’d love to read in print – which allows me to read a short sampler of the stories before I seek them in an edition I can read and enjoy myself. As due to chronic migraines I can only read stories in print or seek them in audiobook.

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A #KidsLit Book Spotlight with Notes | featuring “Hector: At Ground Level” by Gary FinnanHector
Subtitle: At Ground Level and Beyond: A Very Simple Love Story
by Gary Finnan
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Camryn Finnan, Elina Cherianidou
Source: Scribd | Subscription

This Little Book is about being present to the wonders that exist around us At Ground Level, discovering all that we fail to see when we spend so much of our lives chasing bigger, better, faster, more, endeavouring to fly higher.

Everything else seems much more desirable around us than ourselves, or our lives and loves, after a long day at the slug farm.

When do we decide how to proceed with the life we have built thus far: Joy, Passion,

Marriage, Divorce, Suicide, Enlightenment? Choices we have made. What if you built from a place of strength rather than always feeling diminished and unfulfilled? A life built upon the life you have, rather than the elusive life you imagine, yet fear. Build a great life in balance with your best self and your nurtured relationships. Transformation is seeing the hidden gems that truly exist in plain sight.

We have all heard someone say, The grass is greener on the other side. Is it?

Most of us were 4 or 5 years old when the belief structure we made with life set in: I am stupid, I am weak, I don’t deserve, etc. We engaged believing that we should spend our lives proving that we are who we believe everyone else thinks we are. Breaking the cycle of doubt is essential. Loving self is the first love.

The grass is greenest where you are!

Genres: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books, Children's Literature, Illustrated Stories, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1935254447

Published by Balboa Press

on 17th December, 2019

Format: Scribd | Chapter Sampler

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Published by: Balboa Press (@BalboaPress)

(*) Note: the edition I am referencing on my post is for the paperback version (in regards to the ISBN, pub date) which has a different publisher listed – however, this spotlight tour is highlighting the ebook edition by Balboa Press – which is why I am showcasing the cover art and other materials reflecting Balboa Press. Whereas the edition I was reading a sampler from on Scribd was the original edition of this story and completely separate from the current paperback & ebook editions.

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #KidsLit, #Illustration, #SelfHelp
as well as #LoveBooksTours & #Hedgehogs

About Gary Finnan

Born in Scotland and raised in Zimbabwe and South Africa, Gary Finnan splits his time between Sonoma Wine country in California and his farm in Aiken South Carolina, along with his wife Eva and two daughters. Gary is an award-winning inspirational author.

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What is most fitting about spotlighting Hector: At Ground Level this week is because I recently watched a YouTube video featuring a young kitten self-recognising itself in the mirror; to which the soon-to-be cat realised for the first time it had ‘ears’. There are many instances in nature, the natural world and in the interpersonal goings on of wildlife wherein you can notice certain attributes of humanity in the wild. For instance, most of the animals who live in our co-habitat environment share many of the same reactions as humans do – such as care for their young, the ability to recognise danger and alert others in their families; the stress of loss and the trauma of losing their home(s) and/or living environs; as well as the purity of grief of a lake bird who lost her children to a surfacing alligator (*self observed).

To put those thoughts, feelings and the concept of self-actualisation and self-realisation with full-on  introspection on behalf of a hedgehog does make sense because we have grown up with such lovelies as Peter Rabbit and other creatures from the imagination of Beatrix Potter of whom were fully realised and their own persons. I am also quite found of a family of beavers? from Narnia – though for the life of me, I am forgetful of their species – but they were one of the first to help the kids in the first film? Either way – there are numerous instances in story, film and the artfulness of television where through illustrations and animations – we can see to see what any individual species in the wild might react to different circumstances which are cross-relatable to our own lives – which is what I felt made this story such a compelling one to add to my #mustread list!

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This story begins with a thesis and theory about what can cause a blockage of mental health in regards to how to deal with self-derived fears and self-affecting thoughts which seek to destroy the interior balance of a person (or in this case a hedgehog). Being that I’ve heard the adage about how ‘thoughts are things’ and how what we internalise and how we internalise what we understand in our living reality is partially a cause and an effect on our mental health – it is a plausible place to start.

As you enter into Hector’s life – he’s a sour spirit – seeing darkness everywhere round him, including in the billowing smoke from his pipe as it wafts towards the sky above his burrow. The way in which he is portrayed you can feel his emotional state as soon as you visualise where he is and what he is doing – the clarity makes this story feel larger than it is and I love how the characterisations were used to show us his age, his ailments in health and his current state of mind. It speaks volumes about Hector and where we have arrived in his life.

I presume we’re encountering Hector at a moment of self-reckoning where he realises this malaise which has shifted over him and his heart is not one that can easily be shook but takes quite a deal of self-study and self-truthfulness about his perspectives and his perceptions about his life to find the peace and serenity to move ‘forward’ from a place he feels stagnated and still. It is not easy to feel like the progress of your life has stalled and that if your thoughts are darkly lit, it would impeded your ability to see the small joys which combine to bring the happiness of your days.

I would love to continue from here – these few opening pages to see how this story unfolds in the print copy. I’ll have to see if I can inter-library loan a copy as I know it will take awhile before I can purchase one for myself to read at my leisure. So far, I am a big champion of Hector’s – as he is at the crossroads of staying just as he is and continuing to ‘exist’ in the ruts of where he finds himself or to take a different path, forged through a new self-examination of the life he can choose to live instead of repeating the same patterns which put him in this current state of mind.

This is definitely a title for thinkers and self-discoverers who like to take hard looks at themselves and track their own personal growth throughout their lives. To take stock of where they’ve been, where they want to go next and what might lie ahead which is outside of their peripheral view.

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This book blitz is courtesy of:

Hector: At Ground Level by

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 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Be sure to leave notes, takeaways and commentary to let me know if this has been a story on your bookish radar and/or if it is one you’re going to be adding to your own TBR! I’d love to hear your thoughts about this kind of story and others you might have already read on similar themes.

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NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Hector: At Ground Level”, book synopsis, author biography and the tour badge were all provided by Love Books Tours and are used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 24 July, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Love Books Tours

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