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Erik DeLeo was born in Rochester, NY. He grew up reading fantasy and science fiction and avoiding the sun. He now lives in Santa Monica, California with his three cats, Marco, Barnabas and Caia. He doesn't charge them rent even though they eat a lot. When he's not writing, Erik enjoys reading, traveling, and spending too much on car parts. He also allows the Buffalo Bills to break his heart way too often.
Puff is a “caring, noble” grey squirrel whose propensity for distraction is seemingly hampering his future potential to represent the Grey Clan in the Tournament of Oaks, a contest that determines which clan will rule the park for the coming seasons. Indeed, according to Puff’s mentor, Sir Pattercloud, Puff will never become a Knight Captain unless he learns “how to determine what is most important”. Puff gets his chance to prove his worth when Pattercloud vanishes right before he’s due to represent Clan Grey in the tournament and do battle with wily Scratchclaw of Clan Black. While the tale is tightly-told and crisply atmospheric, its messages are driven home a little too hard, too often. Having said that, it’s a good read for 8+ year-olds who like animal-centred fantastical adventures (think Brian Jacques for younger readers), but struggle to finish a whole novel. Perhaps also one to recommend for time-pressed, fantasy-fan adults to read with or to kids. Joanne Owen