“Jackie the Penguin Goes to Madagascar” is released

Alex Shaland hold his book Jackie the Penguin Goes to Madagascar

I am happy to share the good news: Alex Shaland’s new children’s book “Jackie the Penguin Goes to Madagascar” is now released.

In this book, Jackie meets adorable lemurs, colorful chameleons, tiny frogs, strange insects, beautiful birds, and other fascinating wildlife. No matter whether large or small, these creatures are very special because most of them do not exist anywhere else on Earth.

It comes as no surprise that Jackie falls in love with these animals, especially after learning many interesting facts about them. But at the same time, he observes scorched and bare land, where not so long ago there stood a forest full of life. Eventually, Jackie begins to understand the importance of protecting the environment.

Here is a link to Alex’s book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3NQ2RLm

Alex Shaland and lemur

Learn more about the author Alex Shaland.

Book Review of Jackie the Penguin Goes on Safari

Review of “Jackie the Penguin Goes on Safari” by a  5th Grade Student
Link to book: https://amzn.to/3FjmS6Q

“(CHAPTERS 1 AND 2)  In the first chapter when the penguin says their name it seems funny that they talk. But also the pictures are really detailed and realistic! Not just that but the detail and writing sounds like we are actually in the story, not just in it reading. Some books I just look at but here is one I can actually enjoy and picture myself in!

It is funny to see Jackie is in Africa where not most penguins live here in real life. I think most Land animals live there in Africa, penguins are sort of a mixture of land and water animals. I like how they mentioned that they are a bird but one that can’t fly. Real facts are always good for people just so they don’t get confused on what is real and what isn’t.

New friends are very rare to see in person so it makes it more fun to read when there are true facts like I said and not just facts are good but the illustrations seem better than I can draw!! 

( CHAPTER 2 THROUGH 10) It is nice that you mentioned the United States in the book. Usually all books I read don’t include that in there so it’s amazing that they included our hometown. Not to mention the writing and detail they put in the words, JUST AMAZING!

Once again in chapter 3 there are great facts! Along the way I saw how Alex and Irene are humans and Jackie is a penguin. How do they communicate really well? I actually think that the storytelling is really nice, But there was one part where I could  think you guys needed to describe more about because I saw that in some parts there are definitions on the side so maybe do that? About their communication, no harm or bad stuff I’ve thought about yet!

(CHAPTERS 3 THROUGH 10) In these chapters it seems like Irene, Alex and Jackie are getting along to the point where they can travel together WHICH IS WHAT THEY DID! And, how does Jackie survive in Africa with not a lot of water? Maybe you guys could include penguin friends that Jackie meets? Other than Alex and Irene maybe?

(CHAPTERS 11 THROUGH 13) These chapters were Awesome, I really think Jackie might need another book!

(CHAPTERS 14 THROUGH THE END) I absolutely love the “who is little tommy” chapter, it is so cute and nice learning about tommy and the wild safari animals.

It was funny at the end when Jackie asked if they were going to see “THE FASTEST ANIMAL ALIVE” which is true because cheetahs are very fast, faster than a normal cat! Impressive!

I enjoy the waterbuck because I learned that they live in swampy and grassy areas like I don’t think they would survive in a desert cause there’s no swampy areas.

For kudu the great I think those facts were amazing! They helped me to learn a lot more about Kudu! The Antelope with blue legs chapter was funny and also makes me want to learn a lot more about antelopes!

I went to see actual safari animals yesterday and I saw a ZEBRA!! I can’t think of anything about the zebra page because I was focused on how good it was. I can’t think about anything else that has problems or something we should change, the book was amazing!

Link to book: https://amzn.to/3FjmS6Q

Learn more about the Author Alex Shaland

Author Alex Shaland Talks with Children About Writing and His Book

Alex Shaland

Join Cleveland author Alex Shaland, for a presentation about what it is like being a writer and about his book “Jackie the Penguin Goes on Safari.”

Event Date: Thursday, March 23

Event Time: 4:00 PM -4:45 PM.

An in-person event at the Beachwood Branch Library

25501 Shaker Boulevard / Beachwood, OH 44122-2306. p 216.831.6868

This presentation is for 2-5 grade students and their parents. Younger children are welcome as part of the attending family.

Please register for this free event on the Beachwood Library website:


If your child would like to read Alex’s book “Jackie the Penguin Goes on Safari” before or after the event, copies of his book can be purchased at Amazon https://amzn.to/3FjmS6Q

  or put on hold through the library catalog: CCPL’s catalog.

Alex Shaland and his children's book
Alex Shaland and his children’s book “Jackie the Penguin Goes on Safari.”

Where to Find Irene Shaland’s Malta and Corsica Book

Book with reviews
Lead image courtesy of Abraham Presentations.

Dear friends, readers, followers,

After Irene’s January 13th virtual lecture “Revealing the Secrets of Jewish History in Malta” hosted by a British educational organization Abraham Presentations, we received several emails asking where Irene’s book “Shaland’s Jewish Travel Guide to Malta and Corsica” could be purchased. 

Some of us prefer reading only physical books, paperback edition in this case. Others are thinking about downsizing and would only acquire eBooks and read them on their tablets, phones, or computers. We are happy to report that Irene Shaland’s two most recent books are available in both formats. Below please find directions on how to find the Malta – Corsica book:

 Paperback edition on Amazon: follow the link  https://amzn.to/3nfjH9s

eBook on Amazon: follow the link  https://amzn.to/3uJRTeQ

Note: Some readers mistakenly think that they need a Kindle Reader device to read Kindle eBooks downloaded from Amazon. Kindle eBooks can be read on ANY Tablet, smart phone, and computer. All you need is to download and install a free Kindle App that looks like this and use it to read eBooks from Amazon.

eBook in Google Play Store:  On your Android phone, tablet or computer open the Google Play store. From Games / Apps / Books, choose Books. Type author’s name “Irene Shaland” (without quotation marks) in the Search Books box. Choose eBooks. View Irene’s books.

eBook on Apple Books:  On your iPhone, iPad, or Mac device open the Books app. Touch or click the Book Store button.  Touch or click the Search button (looks like a magnifying glass). Type author’s name “Irene Shaland” (without quotation marks). Touch or click search and view Irene’s books in the Store Results.

eBook on Kobo: follow the link  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/shaland-s-jewish-travel-guide-to-malta-and-corsica

Here is what readers say about “Shaland’s Jewish Travel Guide to Malta and Corsica”

Book cover of Shaland's Jewish Travel Guide to Malta and Corsica

“Irene Shaland takes you through the island treasures of the Mediterranean, a part of the ancient and modern Jewish world few of us know. This informative and scholarly book will make you want to start packing!” –Corinne Joy Brown, multi-award winning author and Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies editor HaLapid.

“It’s well structured, well written and smart. It is also very deep in history comparing to regular travel books. We traveled to Malta this year and definitely inspired by author to visit Corsica in the future!” -Amazon reader.

“Shaland’s Jewish Travel Guide to Malta and Corsica” is a masterpiece in bringing to light the unknown history and rich cultural treasures of Malta and Corsica which are situated in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea but off the beaten track for most tourists. Author Irene Shaland’s experience as an art and travel writer, educator and theatre reviewer brings a richness and depth not normally found in travel guides. Her husband, Alex, an internationally-acclaimed photographer has contributed a huge number of amazing photos that bring the story to life.” – Amazon reader.

“I was delighted to stumble upon this book! It gives a great overview of the historical features and present day community in the Maltese Islands. A handy book for those interested in Jewish History and the Maltese Islands in general.” – Amazon reader.

“This work of Irene Shaland opened my eyes to unknown parts of history and captured my attention from the start. This work is a result of profound and thorough research. It is a study and exploration into history on a deep level. Great for history lovers and travelers who like to breathe in the essence of unfading Jewish spirit.” Amazon reader.

Find out more about Irene Shaland.

Look at other books by Irene Shaland.

Review of Jewish Guide to Malta and Corsica

Book cover of Shaland's Jewish Travel Guide to Malta and Corsica

By Barbara Miller, the author of “If I Survive: Nazi Germany and the Jews.”

This book is a masterpiece in bringing to light the unknown history and rich cultural treasures of Malta and Corsica which are situated in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea but off the beaten track for most tourists. Author Irene Shaland’s experience as an art and travel writer, educator, and theatre reviewer brings a richness and depth not normally found in travel guides. Her husband, Alex, an internationally-acclaimed photographer has contributed a huge number of amazing photos that bring the story to life.

And this is much more than a travel guide. It also opens the door on the Jewish story of Malta and Corsica. As Jewish migrants from Russia to the USA, they bring unique insights to this travel guide. 

Many gems of information for the curious are revealed like the first alphabet, the temples built well before the pyramids of Egypt, and much more but you need to read it to find out. You will be surprised at how pivotal these two small islands were in the history of Europe and the Middle East. When you pick this book up, you’ll not be able to put it down. Even if you don’t plan to travel there, you’ll be carried along as Irene’s skills as a detective and researcher draw you into this amazing story. 

If your Amazon account is in the US (www.amazon.com), please follow one of the links below to take a look at the paperback or eBook edition of Irene’s book:

Paperback edition: https://amzn.to/3nfjH9s

eBook (Kindle) edition:  https://amzn.to/3uJRTeQ

If you live outside of the US and your Amazon account is based in your country, please go to your Amazon account and type “Shaland’s Jewish Travel Guide to Malta and Corsica” in the search box.

Learn more about Irene Shaland.

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Secrets and Lies: The Shocking Truth of Recent Australian Aboriginal History

Book Cover

Introducing a new book by our friend Barbara Miller. Barbara is a famous Australian author, human rights activist, historian, and pastor.

Barbara Russell, a young woman from a white working-class family. A ruthless Premier Bjelke-Petersen enforcing legal discrimination. What secrets lie hidden? What lies are being told?

Barbara couldn’t stand by and watch the feud of the people with governments and miners strip Australian Aboriginal communities of all they held dear. Not if she could help.

Would her passion make a way for her? Was she strong enough to make a difference for the people, resist the temptation of love, and stand up to her family too?

In this story of secrets, lies, ideological conflict and racial discrimination laws, Barbara teams up with Mick, an Aboriginal schoolteacher. They organise remote Australian Aboriginal people to fight Bjelke and the mining companies that encroach on their land. But Bjelke has a few tricks up his sleeve and will use all in his powers in this police state to stop them. If the Aboriginal people fail, more of them will die in poverty and desperation.

Can the church take on the state and win in this epic battle as the church stands with the Aboriginals to challenge racism? This historical memoir is another sizzling story in the First Nations True Stories series.

With the current debate in Australia of Voice Treaty Truth and the worldwide issue of Black Lives Matter, this book gives many key Aboriginal people a voice and reveals the shocking truth of the hidden history of 1975 to 2021 in a near-novel like manner. Every important historical event is covered. This is one of the social justice books that you will want on your shelf. The political activism examples are not those of keyboard warriors but those of a people who took to the trenches.

If you like fast-paced action, real-life heroes, and the window opened on another culture, this book is for you. If you like books with political intrigue that bring to life an interesting historical period, you’ll love Secrets and Lies.

The eBook will be 99c till 6 July 2021, and then go up to $3.99.


Introducing Rabbi Barbara and Her Book: The Cat That Ate the Cannoli

Book cover of Rabbi Barbara's book The Cat That Ate the Cannoli

All quoted text and Images used with permission from the author, Rabbi Barbara Aiello.

“Discovering Rabbi Barbara and her book … turned a light on so many parts of my own family’s traditions, and opened my eyes to the anusim stories in my own grandparents from Calabria. I read it with tears the first time, and reread it with more tears, finding more details that I missed the first time. Thank you Rabbi Barbara! – Corbin”

Continue reading “Introducing Rabbi Barbara and Her Book: The Cat That Ate the Cannoli”

About the Author of Suburbanites on Safari

Alex Shaland at the desk with a computer and books in the background

Many of our readers who follow my wife Irene Shaland’s books, magazine articles, and lectures know me as a photographer who’s photos appeared in Irene’s publications and slide presentations. But only few know that I am also a writer myself. Now, that my first book Suburbanites on Safari is in print and sold in several countries, I felt it appropriate to say a few words about my writing career.

Continue reading “About the Author of Suburbanites on Safari”