The Adventures of Deborah and Kite at the Big River

This is a story of adventure, friendship, and surprising discovery written by English author, Gillian Blackah-Kingsley, and beautifully illustrated by gifted artist, Nicola Hill.



Available to order at any good bookstore, online bookstore, or library around the world!

Click the link to read what the Tehachapi Loop newspaper had to say about The Adventures of Deborah and Kite at the Big River in their glowing review!

Reader Reviews

The book was exciting and adventurous. 

I liked how Deborah, a bee, and Kite, a young fledgling eagle, had a strong friendship. It was exciting for me because of the tight bond of friendship between animals that would naturally be enemies. For example the friendship between the dragonflies and Uncle Albert, Deborah’s Uncle, where they were acting like a real friend to Deborah.

I also liked how Deborah was so adventurous and also so careful at the same time. Kite had a big part in the story too and was very brave and courageous when Deborah was in danger.

Emeth, the butterfly, has a sweet forgiving heart that always understands. She is also very smart. Deborah has a little brother named Tadpole. He is always very excited and always has a good mood, which is forever cheering Deborah up. This book is very breath-taking and it feels like YOU CANNOT STOP READING IT!

—Khara, age 9 years old

The Adventures of Deborah and Kite at the Big River is a charming and engaging story that both children and adults will enjoy. It is full of valuable messages about being true to one’s heart and dreams, even while being loyal to family and friends and loving them well.

The lessons from nature, undergirded by exquisite descriptions of beauty, provide important learning opportunities about the need to make friends and how vital it is to support one another in pursuing dreams. The value of each person’s unique voice is highlighted. I recommend this enjoyable story as a creative way to impart and reinforce these important life lessons and principles.

—Jennifer B.

“The story of Deborah is written for children of all ages. So it shares characteristics of both Peter Rabbit and Narnia and, like those models, is convincing and complete in itself. That is, it retains interest from chapter to chapter and comes to a satisfying conclusion at the end. Furthermore, a sharp eye detects possibilities for further exploration in stories yet to be written. We eagerly await them!

We are introduced to a full cast of interesting characters who, we suspect, will appear again in future titles. Some are kind, truthful, and considerate, some mischievous, while a few are wicked, cruel, thoughtless. Two of the characters are reigning monarchs and exemplify strong, gracious, innovative leadership – models for real life. All readers will welcome the final triumph of good over evil.

The printed hardback book with its sturdy perfect binding should withstand much re-reading to little ones and frequent poring over from those now able to read for themselves.”


“Gillian Blackah-Kingsley’s book keeps the reader interested from the first page through the last. I found myself rooting for Deborah and her friends as she pursued her adventures beyond the safety of her community. The plot is captivating, the characters are relatable and the message is gentle but clear. This delightful book will uplift children of all ages and encourage them to be who they are created to be. The subtle symbolism is beautifully crafted. My grandchildren will enjoy this wonderful book. We will all look forward to Deborah’s next adventure!”


“Book for ages 3 – 93! It’s like a Charlotte’s Web. This book is well written and filled with adventure for the young mind. The illustrations are vivid and beautifully done. This book would work well in many settings. It would even make a good chapter book for nighttime reading to children. Follow the adventures of Deborah and Kite with surprising twists and turns. You’ll love it. I did and I’m in my sixties!”

—Robbin B.

About the author

Gillian Blackah-Kingsley

Gillian was born in the north of England, the daughter of journalist and newspaper editor, Michael Blackah. Her great-great-grandfather was a published poet from the Yorkshire mining community of the late 1800s. Gillian recently discovered a gift for writing books and poetry and is finding joy in continuing the legacy of writing in her family line. This engaging novel is the first in a series of books she is writing about Deborah and her friends who live along the Big River.

Like Deborah, Gillian has always loved having adventures and discovering new places to visit. She and her lovely husband, Steve, enjoy traveling together and meeting new people. They live in a mountain community in southern California, close to the Kingsley kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren.


Nicola E. Hill

Nicola delights in curating experiences that open doors for people to escape into moments of delight. Whether through color, texture, flavor, or design, in the kitchen, on a canvas, on the page, or in a garden, she desires to create feelings of joy and pleasure through everything her hands touch.

Digital art and illustration are a new adventure for her. Nicola grew up painting, drawing, and sculpting. She is an artist, chef, gardener, animal lover, mother, and wife, as well as a dreamer and visionary who lives to make the world a more beautiful place.