Explore The World Map of The Ominous Eye !

A flabbergastifying adventure under the stars!

Meet the Nocturnals

“We can be bold in adventure.
We can be brave in challenge.
We can be friends.”

The Nocturnals features three unlikely friends: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint sized sugar glider. The stories all play out in their nighttime world with teamwork, friendship and humor in every adventure.

Bismark

Bismark is a self-centered romantic with an unrequited love for Dawn. As a sugar glider he is capable of using his arm flaps to glide through the forests, though not of true flight. He takes great pride in his many talents, including his fondness for inserting foreign phrases into conversations, and maintains that sugar gliders are a superior species. His grandiose opinion of himself is in no way compensation for his, eh-hem, rather diminutive size.

Dawn

Dawn is the fearless leader of the Nocturnal Brigade. With her wits, strength, and poise, she serves as the anchor to her more excitable companions. Her past is a painful subject, and she keeps her emotions under a lid—though this does not keep her from enjoying herself from time to time. Dawn will usually try and resolve conflicts with a stern look or common sense, but when push comes to shove, she will lead the attack.

Tobin

Tobin is a sweet, bumbling pangolin with a big appetite and a bigger heart. His short-legged, anteater-like body is covered in a tough layer of scales that fit together like the petals of an artichoke. When scared, which happens rather often, he releases a defensive odor from the scent glands on his rear end. His unconditional love for Bismark and Dawn is always enough to override his fear of the unknown, and he is fiercely loyal to his friends and the mission of helping others.

Join the Nocturnal Brigade

Join the Nocturnal Brigade and receive a Free Cape for your Stuffie.

The Mysterious Abductions

The characters are delightful and the nighttime landscape is captivating. It was just as I expected—because the best stories always take place in the dark!
R.L. Stine

In The Mysterious Abductions, the animals form a brigade of the night after a random encounter with a blood-thirsty snake, and just in time because something is threatening their night realm. Animals are disappearing without a trace. Together with the help of a wombat, a band of coyotes and many others, Dawn, Tobin and Bismark journey to the depths of the earth in a wacky, high stakes game that will determine all of their survival.

Meet the Creative Team

Tracey Hecht - The Author

Tracey is a writer and entrepreneur who has written, directed and produced for film. Tracey currently splits her time between New York City and Oquossoc, Maine with her husband, four children and three pets—none of which are a sugar glider.

Kate Liebman - The Artist

Kate is an artist who lives and works in New York City. She graduated from Yale University, contributes to the Brooklyn Rail, and has shown her work at multiple galleries. She grew up in Santa Monica, California.

Praise for The Mysterious Abductions

A delightful adventure about the power of uncommon traits and the joys of newfound friendship.
Kirkus Reviews
The characters are humorous and well developed, and the fast-moving plot features intrigue, unexpected twists, and the innovative hybrid hockey game. Accessible to upper elementary while sufficiently sophisticated for middle school, this new animal fantasy series should prove popular.
Booklist
Fabled Films Press Partners with NYPL on Read-Aloud Initiative: The novel, which introduces three unlikely animal friends who team up to combat forces threatening their nighttime world, is the cornerstone of the publisher’s middle-grade read-aloud and writing program with the New York Public Library.
Publishers Weekly
Tracey Hecht’s first novel is an appealing page-turner for middle-school readers, combining a likable cadre of unusual animal characters with fast-paced, clever dialogue and, of course, plenty of suspense.
BookPage
This is an adventure worth reading, filled with excitement, danger, suspense and surprise. Each chapter begins with a small illustration and the language is clear and easy to understand.
School Library Connection
Funny, smart, and clever, The Nocturnals is the ideal series for any animal-loving adventurer. The fast-paced mystery will pull readers in and the fun animal facts will teach them something new. Nocturnals fills an all too-important niche of enjoyable stories with an educational twist.
Amy Brabenec, Brookline Booksmith, Boston, MA
The characters are charming and the story is well-crafted… The Nocturnals will be enjoyed by kids who like intrigue, environmental issues and animals.
Kris Vreeland, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA
The Nocturnals has a great core group of characters with a funny back and forth that is very appealing. I love the fast pace with lots of action, as well as the facts about the animals sprinkled throughout (I learned a lot about creatures I had never even heard of!)
Karen Rosenthal, Children and Young Adult Events Coordinator, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT
A thoughtful pangolin, a chatty sugar glider, and a wise fox band together to form a Nocturnal Brigade. Their first mission is to find out what is happening to the animals that have been disappearing. They will search high and low, encounter questionable companions and engage in a game of nocs versus crocs until the mystery is solved. A charming story that will have readers anxious to revisit these characters on their next adventure.
Lisa Fabiano, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA
The Nocturnals is so sweet! What a great cast of characters! I found myself reading some parts aloud.
Whitney Berger, The King’s English, Salt Lake City, UT
A charming, funny, and intriguing title for middle grade readers, produced with wonderfully quirky color art throughout, The Nocturnals tells the story of night-active animals who discover that their kind are suddenly going missing. The characters -- including a Pepe Le Pew-like sugar glider, a sweetly self-effacing pangolin, and a beautiful and wise soft-spoken fox -- work together to solve the mysterious disappearances. Readers are left wanting more stories about these unique characters and luckily there are more in the works!
Francine Lucidon, The Voracious Reader, Larchmont, NY
Kids will love the adventures of Dawn the fox, Tobin the pangolin, and Bismark the sugar glider. Their wacky friendship (and snarky competitiveness) serve them well in their adventures and struggles against the dangers of the night. Sophisticated vocabulary (“Botanical beasts! Plants of pestilence!”) and multilingual phrases pepper the critters’ dialogue, and it’s great to anticipate that several subsequent volumes will continue the Nocturnals’ adventures.
Cheryl McKeon, Book Passage, San Francisco, CA
Tracey Hecht’s middle-grade story features an appealing animal escapade, delightful dialogue, and humorous hijinks—making it a perfect choice for reading aloud, small group discussions, or independent reading. The engaging plot will reel in both reluctant and proficient readers as they root for the underdog in a winner-take-all sports competition.
Cyndi Giorgis, Professor of Children’s Literature, College of Education, The University of Texas at El Paso
The Nocturnals will appeal to readers of The Magic Tree House series. Teachers and less experienced readers will love the short chapters and the easily followed plot structure. This book could also be used in the classroom for reader’s theater as it is very dialogue heavy and there are so many characters with such varied personalities. I look forward to meeting other varieties of nocturnal animals.
Mary Brown, Books Bytes & Beyond, NJ
The Nocturnals invite us into a world a little dark, a lot funny, and enormously heartfelt. These friends are brave and affectionate and I rooted for them as I bit my nails. The fact that they are a fox, a pangolin and a sugar glider makes it all the more delightful.
Beth Albrecht, Magic Tree Books, Oak Park, IL
What do you get when you combine a gassy pangolin, a loud-mouth sugar-glider, a wise fox, a fearful wombat, 4 chattering bats, and 3 fearsome wolves? The Nocturnals! Avengers of the night! My goodness! Mon dieu! This hilarious, informative, and heartwarming story of friendship and honor will intrigue any young reader interested in animals or who just wants a great read
Chelsa Lauderdale, Mrs. Dalloway’s, Berkeley, CA
What a fun read-aloud! My two kids were excited to climb into bed each night and continue the adventure with the Nocturnal Brigade. High praise, indeed, we all know what bedtime is like without a great book.
Deirdre Birmingham, Watchung Booksellers, NJ
If you've got a kid who loves animal stories (especially starring animals other than the "usual suspects"), or mysteries, or funny books, or books about hockey (yes, hockey!), this is the novel for him or her.”
Debbie McLeod, Children's Literature Professor, Johnson County Community College, Kansas
Bringing together a crew of nocturnal creatures -- many of the animals unfamiliar to me, but that was part of the fun -- Tracey Hecht succeeds in drawing in the reader in as they battle for freedom from a team of menacing crocs and their leader, Boris.
Karen Kessel, Librarian at Colleyville Elementary School, Colleyville, TX
An enjoyable romp with cinematic flair and bold, eccentric characters joining together for a perilous journey.
Allison Gray, Santa Barbara, California Library System
Middle grade readers will devour this animal fantasy/melodrama filled with action aplenty, punctilious puns, and charming characters— a mix of brains, heart, and bravado.
Stephanie Bange, Educational Resource Center Director, Wright State University
This adorable animal adventure will have readers laughing over Bismark's enthusiastic confidence, quickly befriending sweet Tobin, and admiring fierce Dawn. Each character is one you won't soon forget!
Samantha Randolph, Staff Reviewer at YABC
An unforgettable nighttime adventure about friendship and teamwork. The Nocturnals is a tale of how a brave group of unlikely woodland friends come together to solve the mysterious abductions of their fellow animal friends.
Katie Bartow, founder of Mundie Moms and Mundie Kids
Animal lovers will adore this quirky, adventuresome menagerie. With distinct voices and heavy doses of humor, this is one book that begs to be read aloud.
Shara Zaval, Editorial Manager, Kidsreads.com

The Ominous Eye

The characters are delightful and the nighttime landscape is captivating. It was just as I expected—because the best stories always take place in the dark!
R.L. Stine

When a violent jolt fractures the earth, the Nocturnal Brigade sets out to investigate its source. Along their journey, Dawn, Bismark, and Tobin meet an unfamiliar reptile—a tuatara named Polyphema—who reveals that a giant beast caused the destruction and will soon strike again. Polyphema with her special insights, is the only one who can help them stop this fearsome predator… but can she be trusted? With help from an owl, the jerboas, and some kiwis, the animals set a trap since surrender is not an option against this relentless beast.

Meet the Creative Team

Tracey Hecht - The Author

Tracey is a writer and entrepreneur who has written, directed and produced for film. Tracey currently splits her time between New York City and Oquossoc, Maine with her husband, four children and three pets—none of which are a sugar glider.

Kate Liebman - The Artist

Kate is an artist who lives and works in New York City. She graduated from Yale University, contributes to the Brooklyn Rail, and has shown her work at multiple galleries. She grew up in Santa Monica, California.

Praise for The Ominous Eye

Hecht continues to charm readers with delightfully drawn characters and consistent suspense. Bismark's trademark, multilingual adulations fuel both Dawn's eye-rolls and readers' chuckles. Tobin remains cautiously adventurous. His quiet remarks and social perceptiveness ground Bismark's slapstick and elicit warmth from Dawn's cool leadership. Each animal, from the common to the exotic, shines with quirky personalities and endearing traits. A welcome return of the colorful and curious trio—their next can't arrive soon enough. (Fantasy. 9-12)
Kirkus Reviews
“In this satisfying second installment...our heroes are there to save the day, and, as in the first volume, when they uncover Polyphema’s underlying motives, learn about an important issue—this time, protecting endangered species. Returning fans will be rewarded with the expected engaging plot twists, plenty of humor, Bismarck’s unrequited mooning over Dawn, and reaffirmation of the trio’s mutual loyalty and friendship.“
Booklist
The Ominous Eye explores how friendships can change, first (and second) impressions aren't always correct, and fear shouldn't stop you from doing what's right. Fans of The Nocturnals will devour this latest adventure with new characters and a thrilling mystery.
Samantha Randolph, Staff Reviewer at YA and Kids Book Central (YABC)
“All the A's a reader could ask for! Animals, adventure, adversity, action... all the elements of a good book, no matter who the audience is. Recommending this book to readers of all ages to share.”
Magi Henderson, Glen Carbon Centennial Library, IL
Nocturnals is a fun animal series. This second book introduces some conflict into the small group of friends, illustrating that teamwork doesn’t always come easy, and that trust must be earned. Animal fiction fans will enjoy meeting more exotic animals in this book… This is a good follow-up to the first book, and yet newcomers to the series can jump right in without having read the first book (but read it – it’s good!). Kate Liebman’s color illustrations add to the text, giving the reader a nice frame of reference for some of these new animals he or she will meet during the course of the book.
Rosemary Kiladitis, Mom Read It
What a wonderfully unique book! The Nocturnals is the perfect blend of animal adventure and crafty mystery. Ms. Hecht gives us an opportunity to learn about Australia and nocturnal creatures while adding elements of friendship, teamwork, and playful humor. This book is a perfect read-aloud for parents and teachers with many opportunities to start engaging conversation. Heartwarming, clever and funny, The Nocturnals series is perfect to curl up with before bed. I can't wait for more in the series!
Katerina Argyros, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA
It's the return of the Nocturnal Brigade! Join the dynamic trio, Dawn, Tobin and, my personal favorite, Bismark as they search for a mysterious giant beast who is threatening to destroy all the animals in the valley! Every aspect of Tracey Hecht's writing is delightful, from her rich characters to the surprising plot twists she weaves throughout her story. She's once again given us a page turning adventure we won't soon forget.
Brandi Stewart, Changing Hands Bookstore AZ
This is a great little adventure mystery story starring our beloved nocturnal animals. I absolutely love the animal characters in this book along with their capes. I can’t wait for their next adventure. Highly Recommending.
Holly Alexander, Barbara’s Bookstores, IL
Love this whimsical story of friendship, loyalty and conquering fear. Hilarious dialogue!
Susan Recker, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA
Friendly, fun, enthusiastic. A truly great experience for me to meet the Nocturnal Brigade. Totally enjoyable! Thank you!
Laura Burgess, Countryside Library, Clearwater, FL
“ It is fun to see the relationships between the friends continue to develop. Bismark teases Tobin about releasing his defensive scent every time he is scared, Dawn continues to roll her eyes at Bismarck's outrageous flirting, and Tobin wants everyone to get along. Highly Recommending.”
Suzanne Costner, Fairview Elementary School Library, Maryville, TN
"Hecht writes a novel that can stand on its own and allows readers to jump right into the series and backtrack later. The characters are each unique… the reader can’t help but be invested in them. Even the so called “bad guys” have an element of sympathy and understanding about them that teaches young readers to think critically about how they treat the people around them and what might be going on in those “bad guys” lives... Hecht does a great job of tying together themes and morals centering around acceptance, understanding, and friendship."
Jaclyn Bauer, Teacher and Blogger at Centered on Books, Englewood, CO

The Fallen Star

In The Fallen Star, Dawn, Tobin and Bismark awaken one evening to a disaster: all of the forest's pomelos have been mysteriously poisoned! As the Nocturnal Brigade sets out to investigate, they encounter a mysterious aye-aye who claims monsters from the moon are to blame. While the three heroes suspect a more earthly explanation, the animals of the valley are all falling ill. And then Tobin gets sick, too! The Nocturnal Brigade must race to find answers, and the cure, before the pomelo blight threatens to harm them all.

Meet the Creative Team

Tracey Hecht - The Author

Tracey is a writer and entrepreneur who has written, directed and produced for film. Tracey currently splits her time between New York City and Oquossoc, Maine with her husband, four children and three pets—none of which are a sugar glider.

Kate Liebman - The Artist

Kate is an artist who lives and works in New York City. She graduated from Yale University, contributes to the Brooklyn Rail, and has shown her work at multiple galleries. She grew up in Santa Monica, California.

Fabled Films - New York City

Fabled Films is a publishing and entertainment company creating original content for middle grade and Y/A audiences. Fabled Films Press combines strong literary properties with high quality production values to connect books with generations of parents and their children.


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