Little Book,  Middle grade

The Princess and the Valley Man

Dorota Kluza and Evan Williams

The Princess and the Valley Man is an enthralling, educational tale of adventure, fantastic creatures, and dashing acts of bravery!
Join Solis and Princess Luna, on an amazing journey through the Earth’s most unusual place: Death Valley. Luna, a princess from a kingdom in a far-away star, is curious to see the sights in Death Valley. And Solis, smitten by Luna’s beauty, is only too happy to indulge her.
They travel through landscapes – from the exhilarating Sea of Sand to the majestic Canyon of Marble to the eerily frightening Mysterious Cave – forming new friendships and gaining a deep understanding of each other.
Meet fantastic creatures – from moving rock formations, to Kiko the talking bird, even mysterious inhabitants of a ghost town – and be with Solis and Princess Luna as they dodge challenges, solve puzzles, craft clever solutions and find a way out of hairy situations.
More important, discover how to love with all your heart, the most seemingly unlovable place on Earth.

Exclusive Extract

There was a place on Earth that was considered most unusual: Death Valley, which was in California in the United States. Now you might be asking yourself: what make’s Death Valley so unusual? Well, it was a land of extremes. While it had towering mountains, it also had below-sea-level salt flats and even sand dunes. All strewn across the landscape were rock formations of many colors, some of which held mystery. Sometimes, when the rain comes at the right time, the landscape would bloom with an explosion of flowers. These mostly grow from the many seeds that had been waiting in the dirt; sometimes they wait many years for the rain to come. Mostly, though, it is the heat that makes this place famous. You see, Death Valley is the hottest place on Earth!
One day, because of Death Valley’s unique terrain and features that focused the sun’s energy upon itself, it reached a temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56,6 Celsius degrees) – the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth. Something very special also happened on that day: a child was born in this place of extremes. This child, some say, got something even more special from the sun on that day, an inexplicable kind of energy that would be with him wherever he went which kept him safe and protected him from harm. His parents called him Solis. He was an extraordinary boy who grew up in this most interesting and unusual place. He was not afraid of anything and he made lots of friends, including local animals that he used to play with. A born explorer who never gets sick, decided one day to take it upon himself to protect and preserve Death Valley, which he loved with all his heart.
As a young man, Solis travelled to many places far and wide and has seen many kingdoms. In fact, as a former soldier in his kingdom’s army, he had fought in many battles. His exploits were famous throughout the lands, especially among schoolchildren who were studying history. Living in Death Valley, he worked by helping those who came to seek adventure and see the amazing sights.
One day, on his way back home after a deeply exhausting day at work, he came upon a group of travelers who had become trapped in their big coach within a massive sand cloud. He sped up his wagon to reach them quickly and to help them get out of it. He knew it was not a typical sand cloud caused by the wind, but a monstrous attack of a deadly sand creature living in this area that could not stand any noise. Luckily for the travellers, Solis was not afraid of it!
“Do not leave your coach!” Solis screamed. “Close the windows and your doors, and be as quiet as possible!”
But the travellers were overwhelmed with fear and panic. “Help us and get us out of here!” They screamed. “Get us out of here, please!”
Solis jumped off his wagon as quickly as he could. He looked like a cowboy wearing an old Western-looking bandana on his face and a special pair of shoes designed to not sink on any surface. He ran to them, then tied a big thick cotton rope from his wagon to their coach. But at this moment, the scary sand creature came out of the sand cloud and started to shake the noisy coach violently from one side to the other.
The travellers were screaming loudly from fear, but Solis was not afraid of the creature at all. He stayed calm, carefully connecting the rope. He made a few quick steps, like he was floating on the sand on his wide flat shoes, and was back in his wagon in a second, pulling the tourists and their coach away from this dangerous sand monster.
Once they all were on safe ground, Solis emerged from his wagon covered in sand. “Are you all okay? Is anyone hurt?” His voice was calm, reassuring. “This was the sand beast living in this area. I hope she did not scare you too much. Next time you must be more careful here and must follow some precautions. By the way, my name is Solis.”
Just as he introduced himself to the travellers, he saw among them the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He was entranced. But the travellers interrupted his reverie, crying with happiness and saying, “You saved us! You saved us! Thank you so much, Solis!”
“Oh my goodness, you are all covered in sand,” one of them said, helping Solis dust the dirt off his shirt. “We are very sorry for this trouble, but we got confused by the intense heat of this place. Luckily, we found the coach. But when we tried to drive out, the beast attacked us. You know the rest of the story, Solis. You are our hero!”
Solis’s face blushed from the attention. “Oh, I’m not a hero, guys. I am just glad I could help and to make sure you are all fine. Travellers often get confused from the heat here. Ordinary folks could rarely stand the kind of heat we have in Death Valley. Just be more careful next time, wear a hat and drink lots of water, and watch out and take precautions to avoid the sand beasts in this area.” Solis flashed them a smile that was pure charm.
“We would love to thank you, somehow, Solis,” said someone from the group. “Please allow us to invite you for dinner tonight?”
“It is really not necessary,” he replied, but then he could not take his eyes off the beautiful girl. “But of course, I would love to have dinner with you all.”
“Hoooraay!” they cheered in unison. “See you tonight at the Last Kind Words Saloon?”
“See you then,” replied Solis happily.
On the way to their accommodation, the travellers could not stop talking about how Solis fought off the deadly sand creature, and how brave he was for saving them. And among them, the beautiful girl that Solis liked merely smiled, quietly anticipating to meet him again.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: January 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 100
Genre: Adventure
Age: MG
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy

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