A teddy bear must travel into the land of monsters to rescue his boy who was taken in the night. In the process, he discovers a much larger plot that threatens all children everywhere.
Welcome to a world where teddy bears come to life at night to protect the children, and shadow monsters are controlled by goblins and orcs.
The first book in the Teddy Defender series will entice young readers that enjoy fantasy and adventure in the style of Pixar or Disney, as well as older readers who enjoy parallels to the tales of Orpheus or Dante's Inferno.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
©2014 Justin Sloan (P)2015 Justin Sloan
It’s the day before Thanksgiving. Rick and his sister go to bed dreaming of tomorrow’s meal – turkey legs and all. However, both are taken by monsters to Monsterland! Rick’s teddy bear, Ari, who comes alive at night, but pull together his courage and brave the dangers to save his boy and sister.
In this secondary world urban fantasy, Justin Sloan brings us a feel good tale of courage, bravery, facing down evil bullies, and true friendship (no matter what form it comes in). This tale had me laughing out loud on occasion as I pictured the determined or even angry faces on teddy bears as they went to arms. I loved the juxtaposition of ‘ferociously fighting’ and ‘teddy bears’. There’s plenty of other magical creatures in this story such as goblins. Ari starts off his adventure believing that any other teddy bear he comes across will give him a hand. He only had to worry about the monsters. Alas, things are not that simple. Quickly he learns that not all monsters look like monsters.
Meanwhile, Rick and his sister awake in cages. There are other kids, some who want to escape and some who have become a little comfortable bullying the newbies around. The monsters want to play with the kids, but this play is often too rough (think of a see-saw being used a catapult to launch kids into the air).
Most of the adventure is through Ari as he travels around Monsterland and deals with teddy bear factions and politicians, goblins, and other monster beasties. He has his first sip of honey and survives a bit of a sea voyage on a small raft. There’s plenty more, but I leave it for you to explore.
My one little criticism is that the ladies have pretty minor roles. There’s Rick’s mom, who has like 3 lines. His sister has perhaps 6 lines. There are perhaps 2 female bears, one of which gets to help out quite a bit near the end. As usual, I would have enjoyed having the genders a bit more balanced.
All together, this was a fun, and often surprising, adventure story. Ari’s powers are untapped at the beginning of the story. But as he gains confidence and determination, his powers grow. Also, he shows kindness when he can and this is probably his greatest power, gaining him assistance and even friends. If you’re looking for a fun and heartwarming story, then look no further!
I received this audiobook from the author (via the GoodReads Audiobooks Group) at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Michael Gilliland was a good choice for this book. He had a nice light tenor voice for Ari. He imbued his voices with plenty of emotion as the scenes called for it. His range of emotions for Ari was great as Ari goes through quite a few emotions on his quest. Gilliland also had believable little kid voices and female voices.
I love to read and working on my first book. Maybe it will be on Audible someday.
This was an enchanting story about a teddy bear whose boy and his little sister are kidnapped by monsters from the Shadowlands because they want someone to play with. Unfortunately for the children the monsters kidnap the monsters don't really know how to play with them. They do things like placing children on one end of a seesaw then jumping onto the other end thus launching the children into the air.
Ari is Rick's teddy bear. One night while on watch Ari ends up fighting off some monsters who have invaded our world while other monsters are engaged in kidnapping Rick and his sister. Ari must go to the elders to ask for their advice and for help in bringing the children back to their own world. Problem is, there are only two teddy bears on the council and one of them, the head teddy bear, is not to be disturbed for any reason and the other, Aldus refuses to listen to Ari and instead banishes him to the desert with the other misfit bears.
What is a teddy to do. Thus begins the adventure of Teddy Bears in Monsterland. I enjoyed this short book so much that I hardly realized that three house had passed since I started listening to it. The book is well written and the narrator reminds of the librarians who used to read to the children every Saturday morning when my daughter was a little girl.
If you have children you should really buy this audio book and listen to it with them. It is a wonderful story for the young and the young at heart.]
I received this audio book from the author in the Goodreads Audiobooks Group in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed this teddy-bears-protect-kids-and-are -from-another-dimension book. I've run across similar stories in the past, but this one was easy to stick with by not being too long. Give it a try!
This was my first time listening to an audible.
I can't pick one thing I loved the best. I loved the whole adventure.
Learning how misconceptions can lead to bad things happening. I loved how close to the end everyone worked together. I just thought this was a wonderful exciting fantasy adventure that kept you on the edge of your seat wondering what would happen next. the outcome was heart warming. I loved it.
I felt as though I was there while everything happened.
It made me smile alot, though there were moments of dread hoping for the best.
This is a fantastic fantasy adventure that the whole family would enjoy. This would also make a wonderful gift.
I can imagine this on the big screen, someone should really think about doing that. I absolutely loved this.
Dancin' S'marti Pants
Teddy Bears in Monsterland is the first book in the Teddy Defenders series by Justin Sloan. The title coupled with the surprisingly hardcore looking teddy bear on the cover were enough to have the 9 year old, the 6 year old, and I giggling and interested to give the audiobook version narrated by Michael Gilliland a listen.
In a world where teddy bears once had to protect their humans from shadows and monsters, years of peace lulls Ari the teddy bear into a false sense of security. But the monsters have once again begun to hide under children’s beds, and one night Rick, Ari’s human boy, and Rick’s little sister are kidnapped right from under Ari’s nose. As Rick’s sworn protector, Ari is duty-bound to venture after him. Along the way he meets a movie-ready cast of characters including Mia, a bagpipe dancing teddy bear who know the ins and outs of the world through the attic, and Klide, a teddy bear living in exile and searching for redemption.
Sloan builds a colorful world filled with action and lots of entertaining touches like a ghoul named Mr. Henderson and what children of the 80’s will surely recognize as a nod to the Care Bear Stare.
Pros: The story is very fast paced and humorously gritty, given that it’s about teddy bears. In many ways it was very reminiscent of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. But with teddy bears. And the funniest part is that it kind of worked.
Cons: Some of the scenes were a bit too intense for the 6 year old and, while I appreciate the story’s pace, I think the screen adaptation could do with a Pixar-esque montage at the beginning that gives us a clearer picture of the depth of the connection between teddy bears and their humans.
The 9 year old and the 6 year old both give Teddy Bears in Monsterland a solid thumbs up.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
Teddy Bears in Monsterland: An Urban Fantasy Novel: Teddy Defenders, Book 1. Series: Teddy Defenders. Written by: Justin Sloan. Narrated by: Michael Gilliland. Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins. Kids 8 to 10. Any age would enjoy this book from Parents listening with kids to Grandparents with the grandkids. As a reviewer and listener this was a cute and different take on a hero that you will not expect. A great short trip listen to keep the kids from wriggling in their seats!
Justin Sloan has written this cute story about a young boy Rick and his teddy bear Ari. Rick and Ari enjoy each other’s company. Rick loves watching monster shows with his bear Ari at bedtime. Rick pretending that he is fighting monsters using that “Hi Ya” saying as he karate kicks at the pretend monsters. Or are they imaginary? One night Ari hears something and wakes up and sees these glowing eyes. Before he could help Rick a monster starts pulling his boy Rick under the bed and they disappear. What can he do? Since his boy’s mom did not know that teddy bears come to life at night. Thought she will now, he had to save Rick. So as fast as he could make his little legs run to her bedroom door. Knocking as hard as his little paws could. Then all of the sudden he hears Rick’s sister calling out and as Ari enters her room and sees her being dragged under her bed and unable to save her as well.
What is Ari going to do? The mom could not hear him knocking on her door. He needed Rusty the old bear in the living room to help him. After begging for his help, Rusty pulls off his one loose eye and hands it to Ari and tells him that he will give this to a bear that will help him. He will know when he gets to the other side. That he needs to go through the attic to get to Monsterland. Pretty intense huh! It can be a bit scary so I would recommend that young children really should listen this with an older sibling or adult.
They will love to follow Ari and his rescue mission into Monsterland to save his boy Rick and his sister. Ari meets many characters throughout from the bears that just seem to care to others that do not care for humans. To the monsters that have not only Rick and his sister but, many other children. What are they doing with these kids? Can he and with the help of other bears save the humans? What does that button that Rusty gave him mean to the bear that it belong to? Will Rick and his sister make it back in time for Thanksgiving?
Michael Gilliland did an amazing job with his performance of storytelling and character voices. He made each scene come alive with the way he presented his voice. The concern, the silliness, the growling voices of the monsters to the fun voices of the bears. I hope to see that he will be the continuing narrator for this series. Just like adults, children bond with the voices that they listen to and want to hear them in the future of this series.
The cover of the book is really cute. Fits the story on how some of the bears have the blue glow coming from their paws.
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Audiobook provided for for review by the author.
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This was a pretty entertaining book, and I think my kids will appreciate it even more. It was funny, silly, and even a bit dark. The pacing was good and kept me engaged. I liked the theme of facing fears, as I know my kids need to learn that. I listened to the Audible Audiobook and enjoyed the narration. I can picture us listening to this on a car trip this summer. I will definitely check out the other books in this series.
Teddy Bears in Monsterland is a story about a Teddy bear that goes to Monsterland to save his boy, who has been captured by evil shadow monsters.
It had some great discriptive writing, and a lot of imagination. The main plot is about the teddy bear saving the boy, but there are many adventures to be had a long the way as well.
I wasn't drawn in as much as I might have liked to be, but then it is after all a childrens story, and a very cute one.
Brian's Book Blog
A teddy bear must do anything he can to protect and save his boy from monsters. Monsters who were said to have gone away. He will stop at nothing and nowhere to protect his child.
Michael Gilliland had a great voice for this, light and playful, but "manly" enough to portray a caring but karate-loving teddy bear. The narration for this was really good. Gilliland was a great choice by Sloan for Teddy Bears in Monsterland.
This book was obviously written for children, but it can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. If you had a teddy bear growing up, this story is for you. I know for a fact that I believed that my stuffed animals would protect me in the middle of the night, and that's what this story is about.
But, if you have kids, know that this would be a light PG novel for them. There is some violence, but really only on the side of the bear versus the monsters. A heartwarming tale that is sure to have the whole family enjoying it.
Teddy Bears in Monsterland was a surprise like for me this year, it was a nice light read after some of the heavier books I've read lately.
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Teddy Bears in Monsterland by Justin Sloan is an exciting and entertaining first book in the Teddy Defenders series. The story centers on a teddy bear named Ari who must travel into the land of monsters to rescue his boy Rick and his sister, who were kidnapped in the night by shadow monsters who live under the bed. Of course, Ari saves the day!
The story reminds me of a cross between Toy Story (teddy bears come to life at night to protect children) and Monsters, Inc. The side characters are particularly wonderful, from a bagpipe dancing bear to a wizened old ghoul who protects the gates, to a bear seeking redemption.
I listened to the audiobook version of this book narrated by Michael Gilliland who did a great job. He had differing voices for all the characters and had great pace. His kid's voices are particularly believable without being too high pitched.
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