Comments on the (pre-publication) Manuscript
Firstly, thank you for entrusting me with your words, it was a great privilege to have read them Secondly, I can absolutely see this book on a grade 7+ reading list for schools…especially here in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada. Our city is famous for its culture and arts in all forms. As I read the first few pages I kept thinking to myself, that this book could really flourish in British Columbia and Quebec as well…not sure what plans your editor has for you but it couldn’t hurt to suggest those places and see what comes of it:)
A lot of Soul went into this body of work, hopefully your editor doesn’t make too many changes, the story flows very well as is…rich imagery, a lot of religious symbolism, nicely done:) your narrative hooks are solid, and the characters believable. I was able to climb right onto the path with Miago and become part of his journey.
You, Nicholas, definitely do have a unique voice. Your work doesn’t remind me of anything I have read. You should be proud of this creation, the concept is brilliant. You may just evoke that social change you spoke of in your previous emails:)
Thank you again for allowing me to read it, I look forward to seeing your name on future book lists!
KS Coles (Saskatchewan, Canada)
I have found the opportunity to read your book. It is as worthy as “The Alchemist” or any number of other works in this genre. It is very well executed. The dialogue is strong, retains interest- always. Landscapes are both “real” yet “mythic” – a great balance along that line. The mythic and quest themes / motifs are stimulating and quite motivating yet never ‘top heavy’ as can happen in huge opus works such as Tolkein. I find one of the most important things in the work the fact that it can indeed appeal to a 14 year old and yet appeal to the adult reader as well. This is so difficult to achieve: and you have done so wonderfully. I am the first to become bored with a work for younger readers, but your book works for me.
Of course the topper is the overarching meta-reality of your illustrations which, as other Facebook friends are noting to you, are utterly superior. I would rank them alongside Escher and the other truly great graphic illustrative artists of the past century. I could reopen the book every year for the rest of my life to gaze at this artwork.
Needless to say, I agree that this work certainly merits publication and distribution along the lines which you are hoping for. I am guessing all the promises that have been made to you by the major players are not coming to pass due to the dreadful economy- which has brought so much across the globe to a complete stall. Hang in there and don’t give up.
I have long held outlines in my mind for the type of novella you have just executed, though, and I know that hopes and dreams for a project of this magnitude must needs emerge to the author as high hopes indeed- both to see the outcome at a global level, and to perhaps be able to monetize the outcome to effect an economic lifestyle as a writer and traveler and reader.
Do let me know if I can assist you in any way, Nicholas. You have made something so worthy of a
global audience. And I will end by saying that your “symbol” is direct and powerful. I am fully confident its force could enact considerable sway in hearts and minds on a cross-cultural basis!
M Main (Oregon, USA)
Thank you for letting me read the m/s for The Toucan Feather. I found this to be very enjoyable and fascinating. I certainly think it is on a par with the likes of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and I believe your novel could have a major impact in attracting large numbers of people to the Tocamu organisation, both from the UK and abroad.
SaraJane West-Watson (London, England)
Read it and still feel strangely surrounded by all the characters and visions. It was amazing how with the simple colour palette you managed to describe our world to be if only…
Khalil Gibran would have read it and think that you may be the next prophet and Michael Ende’s Momo would probably ask you if she could be just one more character of tocamu. There are novels that mark someone’s life and others simply change them. Thanks.
Itziar Insausti (London, England)
On the matter of the book I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading it on all its different levels. I would certainly rank it 9/10 on a par with The Alchemist, which you asked me to compare it with. The book is exciting, meaningful and inspiring.
Morad Tavallali, MD, FACS (Washington DC, USA)
Got magical this weekend with the manuscript of The Toucan Feather which I thought was brilliant as an adventure story with a strong and relevant underlying message. I believe it feeds very well into your overall concept.
Katie Furness (London, England)
I am not sure if I told you, but I read your entire book and it is a masterpiece! I really love the story and the lessons and messages in it. The ending was beautiful. I was worried all along during the experience in the cave. I see now how your illustrations tie in with the story. Now I understand the whole experience. I would buy it for sure. In paperback, hardback it would be wonderful. Thank you for sharing.
David Baker (California, USA)
I was a little cautious about reading the manuscript for The Toucan Feather, as I can be a harsh critic. But I’ve just completed it and I wanted you to know that it’s absolutely brilliant! Seriously! It’s very well written, engaging, exciting and meaningful and your superb illustrations add another dimension. I love the symbol and the idea behind the whole project – it all hangs beautifully together. All in all it’s one of the very best books I’ve ever read. I preferred it to The da Vinci Code and several other “best sellers” that are usually at the top of people’s list of favourites. I pray it becomes the international best seller it deserves to be. Congratulations and thanks for the opportunity to read it.
Robert Emmet (Sussex, England)
Your first novel, The Toucan Feather, is a remarkable and delightful read! I feel honoured to write this letter to you as a testimonial to its beauty and sagacity.
From the very first paragraph the reader is transported to another world. We are instantly engaged in Miago’s world of dangerous and natural beauty. We are held spellbound as he follows his heart and moves through his rite of passage into a new life.
The Toucan Feather is as memorable as James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy and as meaningful as Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. 2012 may not mean the end of the world, but there are changes afoot and the message of Tocamu, celebrating the higher aspects of human nature, is a timeless theme that transcends culture and age. Very inspiring.
The gorgeous pictures that you yourself have drawn illustrate perfectly the sensual, magical world of Miago and T’lu-i. Their world comes alive through your vibrant imagery and intricate black and white drawings. You offer the reader a multi-faceted work of art in which to indulge our imaginations.
I wish you the best of luck and all of the success that you deserve.
Melisa Lepofsky (Ontario, Canada)
What makes your book truly uniquely extraordinary … is that you also have the first class talent to illustrate it. That truly is phenomenal. Nicholas, your work is of best seller quality I am sure.
Tricia Morningstar (Oklahoma, USA)
Reviews of the Published Book
Submitted on 14/09/10
I think the plot and characters are exceptionally developed and interesting. The idea of a world so unique and different yet fundamentally the same as ours is easy to get into and be inspired by. The parallels between the imaginary world you’ve created for your characters and our actual reality highlight potentially disturbing yet intrinsically vital issues facing all cultures worldwide and are good lessons for all people to learn from. I believe as an imaginary story with morals, your novel would do well amongst the likes of writers such as J.K.Rowling and Eoin Colfer, etc. Yet you have the added benefit of your own illustrations within the book which gives it another dimension for your audience to connect with and delve into. Continue to follow your dreams!
Leah (London, England)
Submitted on 05/10/10
MICHELLE RENEE DECHESNE-MONROE wrote:
I credit this book’s contents to be among some of the most soul-awakening ‘GIFTS’ occurring in my life at this moment!
Thank you, Nicholas, and THANK YOU, tocamu! ♥
Submitted on 14/10/10
LINDA SMITH wrote:
A book you can read over & over again and never get tired of!! Full of mystery and surprises!! Loved it!!
Submitted on 15/10/10
I saw some of the incredible illustrations and knew the story that accompanied them would have to be special. I certainly was NOT disappointed! A fantasy, a mystery, a lesson in life which can be applied here & now. Miago & T’lu-i discover what we should all know….follow your instincts, follow your heart and don’t be afraid to question the status quo.
“The Toucan Feather” is propelled by great characters and a truly wonderful story. After I finished reading it I found myself physically smiling! I think it appeals to all ages on a variety of levels. This was such a fun book to read!!!! I’m looking forward to more of your creativity Nicholas!
Submitted on 18/10/10
RICK CHONG wrote:
Hi Nicholas….read your book courtesy of Melisa Lepofsky and must add my congrats on a well done first novel. When I was a kid myself I used to dream of exactly that kind of tale … me .. Miago !! so I can truly empathize. I also spent some time in such a tropical setting where conch fishing was a great way to pass time and earn a few shillings. very realistic.
Your artistry, though in another setting, brings to mind Beatrice Potter … graphical portrayals to assist the story’s imagery … and such an abundance of them with superior detail. very creative. Wonderful. Here’s to looking forward to your future novels … perhaps a sequel?
Good luck …. Cheers
Rick Chong (Ontario, Canada)
Submitted on 20/10/10
JOHN BROWNHILL wrote:
Like a lot of great things, I can’t honestly remember how I bumped into Tocamu, it just found me and how lucky I was. The Toucan Feather is a fantastic book and can be read by anyone. I really liked the vivid and yet easy to grasp imagery as well as the actual artwork. The main enjoyment to me was the central message and how Miago learns to look within, discover his real self and have the courage to face the world. It should sow a lot of seeds in people’s minds if they are prepared to wake up. And of course, he gets the girl too, so it leaves you happy as well
All in all, a top read and I happily await the sequel. Keep following your dreams!
Submitted on 21/10/10
ANIA ZWOZDIAK wrote:
It was a great pleasure for me to read your book. I found it very captivating and difficult to put down. I wish you success in its publication as both a book and a film.
Submitted on 21/10/10
DEBORAH ATKINSON wrote:
Wanted to let you know how creative you are. I am at a time in my life where I am questioning a lot of things and reading your book couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for me. Your words have helped me stop and take the time to see the world through different eyes, and for that I thank you. I would love to see it as a school project to see what younger minds are thinking about the changing times too. I think you could answer a lot of questions that others are having or at the very least, give them some new ideas regarding life. Your illustrations are superb, showing what an all around talent you truly are!
Deb (California, USA)
Submitted on 23/10/10
RINSKE VAN VLIET wrote:
I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to read your novel.
From page one I was drawn into the wonderful world of Miago and his people. The way you describe this world and all the characters in it, is truly unique. The illustrations are beautiful. They add to the feel of the story and to the different emotions the reader experiences, but leave enough to the imagination.
Although imaginary, the world of Miago shows many parallels with our present day world and his journey to seek truth is much like the journey many of us undertake in these changing times. Therefore “The Toucan Feather” is very much a book of this era of awakening, forcing the reader to have a close look at himself and the world around him and make changes from within.
Thank you very much for the gift of your talents!
Rinske (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Submitted on 25/10/10
ALAN GOLDBLUM wrote:
I have just finished my copy of The Toucan Feather. I absolutely loved it!
First of all, the prose reads like a movie, the illustrations are gorgeous; and the concept of TOCAMU is brilliant. A practical philosophy, easily applied. If only the government of my country would adopt TOCAMU! Can you imagine — we would experience peace on earth.
The idea, holistic as it is, if applied, would benefit our world today, in many ways.
This concept, so well thought out and explained in the novel and on the website, is remarkable and truly great.
I can see how the symbol and philosophy of TOCAMU could spread worldwide and heal so much craziness.
Congratulations, this just might be the most important book of the millenium. I hope millions of people get to read it!
Peace & TOCAMU,
(Miami, Fla, USA)
Submitted on 26/10/10
JONATHAN AZIS wrote:
Thank you, it is a wonderful book: enriching and ennobling, but leaving me humble. There are too few experiences that truly deepen one’s understanding of the world, but this book is one. The apparent simplicity, what might on first reading be almost naivety, masks a profound seriousness and insight.
Everyone with any interest in the world around them should read this book.
Jonathan Azis (Bath, England)
Submitted on 28/10/10
What attracted me to this book was the incredible pictures which I saw on facebook. So beautiful and so powerful – as for the story, from the first page I could climb in to Miago’s world and see the sights, feel the warmth, smell the smells and share his anxieties. And what a world! Full of menace and beauty and the way it all came together at the end puts it right up there on my best-ever list.A great and thought-provoking read and I agree with the other commentators who said this one would work for all ages cos I’d love to see what younger minds make of it. Well done mate and as the last guy writes, “Everyone with any interest in the world around them should read this book” – that I think is the point. Congratulations and PLEASE let me know when the sequels out !
Submitted on 16/11/10
MARK S wrote:
This was an incredible book which I loved reading. The illustrations are fantastic! The setting was magical and the plot was compelling, I also really liked your writing style. Definitely a book I will highly recommend to friends and family. The book contains an important message for all of us.
All the best
(Pretoria. South Africa)
Submitted on 17/11/10
STEFAN HATVANY wrote:
I read it voraciously and finished it in a few days. I loved the story and its backdrop. The illustrations were incredible and added more depth to the Tocamu world. A lot of the parables in it were familiar but being presented with them afresh in a new context made the book a powerful medium. I felt inspired on finishing and reaffirmed several personal goals I’d let slip over the years. The underlying messages I concurred with unequivocally and have never been more important. I honestly think that the future of our race and the solution of longstanding intractable problems such as the environment or the rich poor divide can’t rest in the hands of politicians or big business. Social movements arising from the evolution of man’s consciousness are our best hope. I think Tocamu could be the beginning of and a talisman for such a movement. Everyone should read it.
Submitted on 18/11/10
They say life’s a journey – we all go through hard times sooner or later, we look around and see a lot of injustice and suffering. If we’re lucky there are good times too but it’s during the hard times that we start asking important questions. “The Toucan Feather” is a masterful, important book because it wraps these questions around a great story and offers an answer. Whether it’s THE answer, or the only answer I’m not sure – but what I felt when I turned the final page was that it had got me thinking and maybe that’s what truly matters. I say big congrats to the author!!
The pictures shook me up – I thought they’d been commissioned by someone else at first. A couple of times I wondered if they were TOO good because I’d stare and stare until I forgot where I was in the story! Only kidding, they remind me of some of the very best work coming out of Europe in the eighteen and nineteen hundreds. They add plenty to the whole experience.
In my 20s I enjoyed time as an educator and I wish this book had been around then. I can imagine the classroom debate! In my day I’d say it was for the 9th grade but kids today get so much violence and fear in their lives that maybe a 6th or 7th grade mind would handle this one?
So thank you – a thinker’s page turner from first page to last.
“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” – Kahlil Gibran
Love & Light,
Submitted on 18/11/10
The Toucan Feather is a cleverly plotted, beautifully written homage to the classic fantasy novels of Lewis, Tolkien and Whyte… the author spins his tale with the skill of a born storyteller. Best book I have read in years!
Stacey (Michigan, USA)
Submitted on 19/11/10
TIMOTHY BOSWORTH wrote:
Reading The Toucan Feather you are transported to a world where questions are not asked and answers are not given. That is until you meet one of the central characters, Miago who begins to question why things are the way they are. The first half of the book is similar to Sophie’s World or The alchemist. As you read on, the author through the characters and his expertise with narrative, takes you on his own magical mystery tour of the unknown. Is it real? Is it fiction? The answers are given throughout the book. I look forward to the sequel.
Timothy Bosworth (London, UK)
Submitted on 23/11/10
JACK MELLON wrote:
A story of two halves that is well stitched together. Just when I thought i had guessed what would happen next, it fooled me again. Good tension, anxiety, love story. A clever book that got me thinking about things I stopped thinking aboutn a while back. I don’t think its much like the alchemist like someone wrote. I preferred toucan feather because its more complicated and I didn’t see any art, let alone art as good as this in that book! A very good job! Nice symbol (a tattoo?) Strong recommend.
Jack Mellon (Ohio, USA) – 5 stars!
Submitted on 05/12/10
KATHY THOMPSON wrote:
Just dropping by to tell you how brilliant I think your book is — I ordered it through my local bookstore after it was recommended by my friend Alan. With so many great pictures it feels like I’ve bought two books for the price of one. I’m giving my copy to my Dad, because I’m sure he’ll love the story & the pictures too! He loves the ocean.
Submitted on 07/12/10
CINDY STANLEY wrote:
Must tell you how wonderful your novel is — is it the first one you’ve published?
Reading The Toucan Feather has really been a joy.
All the best,
Submitted on 17/12/10
CAROLYN JONES wrote:
an epic journey + a real insight. a book of our times. i adore the way you write, such rich imagery and a really great ending too!! its one book i will reread and when i am not doing that, i will be studying your amazing, incredible, beautiful pictures!! thank you thank you nicolas for this. i cant wait for the film!! blessings to you and your loved ones this christmas.
carolyn jones (wales, uk)
Submitted on 23/12/10
MARTINE BRIÈRE wrote:
Your drawings are fantastic! Want to read your novel in French. Will wait for French translation!
Submitted on 28/12/10
MARCO TENNANT wrote:
This was a moving and very interesting read that I finally got to finish over Christmas, though it arrived in October. It’s not a long book but when did size matter? – think of Le Petit Prince or Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. Like them it prompted much soul searching – – – you Sir have made an important contribution and I congratulate you. 9 out of 10 (I never give 10s). Happy new year to you… and I hope The Toucan Feather achieves the success it deserves. I am telling my friends about it and I hope some of them will buy it. It could make a great film. Have you thought of that?
Submitted on 03/01/11
FIONA NASR wrote:
I have just finished The Toucan Feather and it took me on a wonderful journey…soo much so I did not want to put the book down until the end. This book suits a wide range of age groups and has a wonderful story line and message that shouts out how our own world is right now – and how it should be! I know you worked very hard on this story, its message and the illustrations Nicholas, and it shows!!! Congratulations and I wish you great success and looking forward to another book
Submitted on 25/01/11
JULIA GRIFFIN wrote:
Thank you for the inscription in your book that was my gift to Pitt – he loved it on all levels!
I want you know how thoroughly I enjoyed reading your book. It is a lovely, elegant book full of timely lessons. Your artwork is an unexpected and much appreciated addition.
I wish you well.
Julia Griffin (USA)
Submitted on 28/01/11
Usually I do not write on blogs, but I would like to say that this really convinced me to do so! Congratulations, pretty nice submit.
Submitted on 06/02/11
SIMON ACLAND wrote:
The Toucan Feather tells the story of Miago, a fifteen year old boy who lives in a primitive tropical world. As his `coming of age’ ceremony approaches, and he has to make his choice about which role to take in society – worker, thinker or believer -, he begins to question the rules set for his tribe by the Men of Knowledge.
Nicholas Stafford-Deitsch has written a captivating and original book. Like the best fables, it is both simple and complex. The world that Miago inhabits is both realistic and magical. Reading the author’s elegant prose, you can almost taste the saltwater, feel the sand between your toes, hear the birds in the jungle and smell the warm, damp earth. But there is also something strange, otherworldly, about it.
You warm quickly to Miago and want to hear his story. The rest of the characters are drawn with vivid economy – T’lu-i, the girl he might want to marry, her greedy money-making father Market Man, the mysterious stranger known as the Maker, the village’s non-conformist, Monkey Blood – a few pages into the book and you feel as if you know these characters and more.
Partly because it is clear that something strange is going on from the start, the book is gripping. The book addresses the big issues – organised religion, war, conformism, oppression, how to live in harmony with nature – but these seem a natural part of the exciting story. As with all great fables, the morality, and moral, is an integral part of the story.
To cap it all, the book is laced with Nicholas Stafford-Deitsch’s extraordinary and beautiful black and white illustrations, which catch the spirit of the words and underscore the strangeness of this very real land.
The only book that I have read which in places has a similar feel to The Toucan Feather is The Story Teller by the great Mario Vargas Llosa. I cannot think of any higher praise than that. I cannot recommend The Toucan Feather more highly.
Submitted on 11/02/11
SCOTT DRAPER wrote:
I think you have created something special with this book. The “journey of self-discovery” may be a common theme for writers but you have approached it in a powerful and original way. Miago may be a citizen of a distant land but he is also a child of our times – his anxieties and challenges are as much of this world as any other. I really liked how your “message” isn’t delivered in a patronizing or heavy handed way and how you left the reader to think a few things out. A job well done. Others have commented on your flowing prose, the richness of your descriptions, the plausibility of your characters, the beautiful and provocative art. I join them. Contratulations on this contribution and I wish you every success with it.
Submitted on 21/02/11
ANGIE HAYMAN wrote:
An unexpected joy. Nothing very new from the Mind Body Spirit book shelves for some time then this comes along. I think it rivals Celestine, Warrior series, and Alchemist too and it deserves to because its clever and moving. Loved every carefully chosen word and the incredible pictures too.
ps Have passed Toucan on to my 15 yr old niece who will also review it.
Submitted on 23/02/11
MASI KAMALAPOUR wrote:
I love this book, The Toucan Feather. I am Persian and even reading this book in a language that is not my first I can still understand. I find that this book is filled with loving & peaceful ideas. I am going to send a copy to my brother in Iran. It will make him happy.
Masi Kamalapour (Ontario, Canada)
Submitted on 23/02/11
BAYLA BAKER wrote:
My daughter bought me a copy of The Toucan Feather and I enjoyed reading it very much. The artwork is out-of-this-world and the story is beautiful.
Submitted on 09/03/11
i joined facebook and discovered the toucan feather there.
my decision to order it online came after having read the sample chapter.
needless to say, i was not disappointed. this is a beautifully written novel and i am happy to recommend it to my reading group and friends. all the best, tammy x
Submitted on 21/03/11
JEANNE MORRIS wrote:
What struck me was the way you brought in the different religions and because of that, I think your novel is timeless. There’s so much depth to it… a thoroughly enjoyable read and a book I’ll definitely read again and recommend to others!
Jeanne Morris (London, England)
Submitted on 21/03/11
KATHRYN K wrote:
I was given the novel as a gift, to read over Christmas.
Once I started to read it, I found that it captured my interest and my imagination and I just didn’t want to put it down. The story is really nice, Nicholas, and you write so well.
Good luck with it, I am sure it is selling well,
Submitted on 30/03/11
BILL BROUARD (Visual Alchemy) wrote:
Firstly I was delighted to win a copy of The Toucan Feather in a competition. Upon receiving my copy I was utterly gripped with the fantastic story telling. I am always delighted to come across an author who just compels one to keep turning the pages. As I suspected at the start, I finished reading this book in one sitting, gulping down the story, which is so relevant for where we are today in this rapidly changing world. Do not be fooled by the simplicity of the story telling which conveys complex issues effortlessly and elegantly in Miago’s magical yet strangely familiar land. I grew up in Mauritius and my parents lived in Madagascar in the early 70’s and a lot of the scenery in The Toucan Feather was for me so realistic having spent most of my teenage weekends snorkelling on the reefs and collecting shells.
Nicholas Stafford-Deitsch’s writing is easily as compelling as Paolo Coelho, Carlos Ruis Zafon or Khaled Hosseini all three of whom like Nicholas also gripped me from the start. As an artist myself I was doubly delighted with the exquisite illustrations throughout the book, they are so delicate, beautifully executed and add enormously to the overall enjoyment of the story. In fairness, I can not praise this book highly enough. It is a real gem.
Bill Brouard (Somerset, England)
Submitted on 18/04/11
SLOBODAN CRNJAKOVIC wrote:
A beautiful fantasy, thanks for sharing it with us Nicholas
Slobodan Crnjakovic (Serbia)
Submitted on 01/05/11
MARIA SANTIAGO wrote:
Nicholas: I ADORED every page of your beautiful book. You have an amazing talent to write and draw like this!! This story was complicated and clever but charming too. Your art is delicate but intense, your characters so real I almost know them (sad old Monkey Blood, horrid Market Man, beautiful T’lu-i, PERFECT Miago – a kid of our times). I kept telling myself I know this stuff but I’d forgotten it which is what happens as life slips by, when we stop listening to our inner voice. Thank you for reminding me my friend. Everything was stacked against Miago but he came thru in the end and as I’ve been thru a bad divorce, this came as a wonderful gift that has made me stronger wiser and braver. God bless you my talented friend, your book is a real jewel.
Maria Santiago (San Antonio, Tx) xx
Submitted on 08/05/11
ROGER SPRONG wrote:
“The Toucan Feather” is a wonderful story for all accompanied by magnificent artwork by the author. Follow Miago on his adventure to challenge what have long been believed to be ancient truths. During this journey the “TOCAMU” philosophy is explained. This is extremely entertaining while giving the reader a sense of self awareness. Exploration and learning in an extemely fun and addictive reading experience!!! I would give “The Toucan Feather” 10 stars if permitted!!!!!
Roger Sprong (CT, USA)
Submitted on 22/05/11
ELIZABETH CLARK wrote:
I enjoyed the book and my nearly 11 year old daughter read it 3 times – we both want more! x
Elizabeth Clark (Farnham, UK)
Submitted on 01/06/11
CATHERINE WANIA wrote:
What a wonderful tale…It would make a fabulous Disney-style animation….my kids would love it and I would love them to see it. Its a great message!
Love Catherine (Germany)
Submitted on 02/06/11
BEV GLASGOW wrote:
Nicholas, I read the book and loved it. It is in the possession of a good friend and another is waiting. I was very impressed with everything, the web site, the book, the philosophy, and especially the artwork, but then again, being artistic myself, I would be. I loved the idea of the symbol, and the mind, body, spirit combined in the stylized butterfly is absolutely beautiful. I have not been this involved in, or moved by a book since I read the Celestine Prophecy, and the Tenth Insight. That was many moons ago, but those two books had a huge impact on me at the time. This book has also moved me, and it has impacted me by opening my eyes to a problem I have been trying to work out for close to a year. Finding wholeness brings wellness. Thank you so much for offering this gift to me.
Bev Glasgow (Peterborough, Canada)
Submitted on 03/06/11
LINDA SMITH wrote:
As a P.S. to my previous comment, I am on my 4th reading of your book Nick! Each time is like reading it for the first time! It keeps me awake half the night as its hard to put down! I am eagerly awaiting the sequel as I can’t wait to see what new adventures lie in store for Miago and T’lu-i……Well Done!!….
Linda Smith (London, England)
Submitted on 04/06/11
WELL DONE YOU!
Submitted on 12/06/11
EMILY BUCHANAN wrote:
A brilliant book- captivating from beginning to end. As a classically trained artist myself, I was so surprised to learn that Nicholas is self taught. The illustrations are very sophisticated, and beautifully drawn. Congratulations, and I wish you great success!
Submitted on 12/06/11
SHARON DOWNEY wrote:
The Toucan Feather is a concept novel written about humanity using the character of Miago and his journey with education as well as adventure.
It is a Philosophy, but I also see it as a great book for all ages to read and enjoy, from age 10 onwards. Once you start reading, you simply cannot stop. It is a gripping book that gives you something to think about. I can visualise it one day as a Theatrical Show and even as a good family movie.
Sharon Downey (London, UK)
Submitted on 03/07/11
I just finished reading The Toucan Feather and I have to tell you how much I enjoyed it. All of it: the fantasy, the themes, the artwork… I hope you won’t take this the wrong way but I have to say that Nicholas’ writing-style reminds me slightly of James Joyce, especially Portrait of the Artist.
Btw, I would love to give my copy of the novel to my local high school, as I think this book belongs in schools.
Sammy (BC, Canada)
Submitted on 04/07/11
VIKKI BELL wrote:
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for sharing such a beautiful story with beautiful ideals. I think our children would all benefit from your book and I would be pleased to see it implemented in classrooms everywhere! The story itself is fantastic, I would also like to mention the terrific artwork throughout. My son was so intrigued by the story and found the illustrations to be so artistically enhancing. Not all books offer such visually correct aids to the story, this one does!
I am hopeful that you have others in the works, I would love to see this book be one of many…to a series.
Thank you Nicholas!
Vikki Bell (Peterborough, Canada)
Submitted on 31/08/11
Comments by Bryan Lee Whatley, the host of the Bradshaw Chronicles in an interview with Nicholas Stafford-Deitsch on 20th August 2011:
“The whole book is phenomenal… the illustrations, they’re amazing. The actual symbol is comprised of multiple images. To be honest with you that was brilliant. I had to applaud you on that one, it was pretty cool! Not only will this book entertain you with its characters and thought provoking concepts, but it will wow you with the illustrations… I could actually see this book in our educational systems.”
“This is one [book] where you will entertain yourself in discussion with others who have read this book.”
“I knew you were a perfectionist, from your work, from your illustrations… The fact that you’re getting people to open up their minds and THINK with this book is so important.”
“I do see this as becoming a very huge number one bestseller… I do encourage all my listeners to go out and buy this book… make this your book of the month club, give it as a gift, give it to people who really need to open up their minds… it’s a really good entertaining story as well. It’s like a two for one book in terms of mind opening and entertainment.”
“Once you get wrapped into it you might as well set some hours away – I really enjoyed it.”
“It’s been an honour reading the book. I appreciate it from the emotion I got reading it… and the joy I got out of your illustrations. It’s a very powerful, powerful book…”
Bryan Lee Whatley (Alabama, USA)
Submitted on 31/08/11
NANCY ALLEN wrote:
I finished reading The Toucan Feather last night and had the best night’s sleep in ages! The book is of real relevance in today’s society and although it talks of a different land, the comparisons to the world we know are evident. The drawings are truly beautiful and really bring the story alive. It is a real pleasure to have the chance to read a book with illustrations.
I really enjoyed the journey and feel that the messages in the story are worthy of an educational syllabus ‘essential’, to be discussed and digested by young minds as well as enjoyed by older generations.
I hope it has major success for you… which could, in turn create a better world for us all as people.
All the best,
Nancy Allen (London, England)
Submitted on 24/11/11
This is a fabulously well written book that uses principals in life that we seem to have forgotten. It is more appropriate for reading now than ever before in my life time and is suitable for people of all ages. It seems that you take from it what you recognise in yourself.
The word of The Toucan Feather should be spread widely – the beauty is that it could work in any culture or language. It has promise to make a difference in the world.
The illustrations are beautifully drawn and give a real sense of identity to the story – I shall remember this book.
Jasper (London, England)
Submitted on 27/11/11
ALEKSANDAR LONCAR wrote:
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, which has kept my mind engaged throughout. It has a message that is relevant to everyone in the world. I am waiting for the next journey.
What fantastic illustrations. Thank you.
Aleksandar Loncar (London, England)
Submitted on 10/01/12
KATIE M wrote:
Fantastic book. Lovely read. Again. You have a great mind coupled with the ability (and passion) to explain the big questions in life and turn them into delightful bite sized chunks for us all to then grasp and make our own. I love how you cleverly managed to get the message to fit and work out in a magical and compelling tale, one that is then accessible to any age, sex, origin etc. Wonderfully thought provoking for today’s generation and a good way to prompt question thinking. Not to mention the fact that you both wrote and illustrated the book. Man of many talents! I really hope this book does well for you.
For me, this book (amongst other objects and items in my long locked up storage stuff), is a bit like bookends to a transformation period God has been guiding me through. As I said, it’s landed in my lap twice, once just before I became a Christian and now. And the difference in reading and understanding is incredible – because somebody has been at work renewing my mind and lifting the scales off my eyes. This time around I identified with the message and questions straight away which made me realise just how many steps have been taken and how many corners turned. …. all this might not be the usual feedback on the philosophy of the book but hopefully by now you have collected enough of that to know it’s a gem. Rather, my feedback is how it’s touched me personally, so, thank you, it’s been special in that way. I know I was supposed to help you but it ended up helping me and has been a great little marker on my journey.
Katie M (London, England)
Submitted on 05/02/12
It’s still as good today as it was on its publication! I am on my 4th read and each time is like reading it for the first time! A very enjoyable book that you can get lost in! When is the sequel coming?……
Linda Smith (London)
Submitted on 16/08/12
I absolutely loved The Toucan Feather. From the moment I started reading, I was unable to put the book down and found myself not wanting the story to end. It is more than just a great story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, I also found myself dreaming the most amazing and surreal dreams during that time. It is magical and inspiring on so many different levels, and the illustrations are beautiful. I have recommended it to friends along the way and hope that this book connects with the likes of Oprah in order for the next book to follow! Congratulations and I wish you all the success.
Mandy M (London & South Africa)