Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and Scooby-Doo are just a few of many iconic characters that have taught generations of kids the importance of being curious.
Leonardo Deangelo introduces the next generation of kid sleuth in Sam, a young boy with a wild imagination but a less-than-exciting life, and his faithful canine, Spot. Sam's own curiosity and tendency to get into trouble lead him on exciting adventures in magical worlds.
Even while battling evil wizards to evading prehistoric beasts, Sam and Spot's adventures are full of important lessons about friendship, life and perseverance.
The duo's first adventure is chronicled in The Crystal Cave, the first book in the children's series. The story continues in the second book, The Lost Valley, when Sam and Spot find themselves racing against the clock in a land that time has forgotten. The series continues with other titles, all of which feature a different, exhilarating adventure for the two.
Deangelo wrote the series to help showcase the love between a young child and his pet. The goal, he says, is to help children realise that the power of friendship and loyalty is its own kind of magic.
'Children should grow with stories like this to help their minds and imagination to grow," Deangelo says. 'Magic lives first in the mind and then it manifests around us."
The Crystal Cave
Book 1 of the Sam and Spot series
By Leonardo Deangelo
The Lost Valley
Book 2 of the Sam and Spot series
By Leonardo Deangelo
Leonardo Deangelo was born in Italy and went to Australia when he was six years old. He was a soldier, artist, sculptor, designer, shop owner, movie director, art tutor, and writer. He wrote and published his first children's book in Great Britain in 1984. He has been writing ever since and enjoys sharing his creative mind with all who are interested.
The Crystal Cave and The Lost Valley
Author: Leonardo Deangelo
Question: What inspired the Sam and Spot series?
Leonardo Deangelo: Children should grow up with stories that allow their minds and imaginations to grow. One story is never enough for a child. My stories incorporate memories of my adventures with my pets like Spot with a little added imagination. I want to show and share the bond that forms between a child and a pet. I also want to express the fun and adventure that a child and a pet can have together. Whether they are together at the beach, park, back yard, on a picnic or just in their imagination, this childhood bond is a true adventure of the mind. Magic is created in the mind and the it becomes real.
Question: Why is it important the Sam and Spot series contained curious characters?
Leonardo Deangelo: In order for the imagination to start, one must place the seeds for growth. The mind waters the seeds and a new magic is created. Curiosity encourages the mind to go on a real adventure.
Question: How do you go about creating interesting stories that teach children lessons?
Leonardo Deangelo: In my writing, I want to highlight the things that matter in life: love, friendship, choosing right from wrong and being the best you can be even in the worst situations.
When I write, I imagine the adventure first. This lets me create the magic of the adventure in my mind and then I focus on telling it with feeling.
Question: What is the best thing about creating the character of Sam?
Leonardo Deangelo: The best parts were opening my mind to my childhood memories and watching Sam grow and be the best he could be in situations that test him. Sam and Spot's adventures test the mind, will and courage of the inner being. It is also rewarding to give readers the opportunity to understand what children feel, see and experience in their minds.
Question: What's next for the Sam and Spot series?
Leonardo Deangelo: I have 12 books planned for the two adventurous friends. I plan to add new characters, Lizzy and Hooter, to the series later on down the line. The next book is titled Fangs and it is by far the scariest of the series.
Question: Who is the Sam and Spot series perfect for?
Leonardo Deangelo: Sam and Spot are perfect for children and teenagers but also for the young at heart of all ages. Anyone who has experienced the love of a pet will instantly understand the bond that these two have, one that they will never forget. So, my stories can touch many minds and hearts and allow them to remember their great childhood adventures.