New Release – The Great Bobbert


I’m excited to present the first of new series of Stories from P.A.W.S. for little ones. Each one will feature some of the more colorful side characters from the P.A.W.S. And here’s number one.

The Great Bobbert is a rather silly clown that can often be seen strolling through Forest Park in St. Louis with his pet weasel, Popgoes, perched upon his hat. In this short tale suitable for Kindergarten and up, Popgoes has gone missing and may just have made a new friend.

Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.


J is for Joey Marks


“G’day everyone! I’m so happy to be here today! I’m Joey Marks and when I’m not a kid, I’m a kangaroo! Isn’t that cool? I come from Australia and attended the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Outback. It’s there that I perfected my animagus form.

Then one day my teacher Wemberly (he’s a wombat) suggested I try this contest and guess what, I won. The prize was a scholarship to the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Midwest in St. Louis, MO in the USA. I was so excited to come here and have loads of friends – there’s Sean, (he’s a shapeshifter horse) and Theo (he’s an animagus squirrel).

When I’m not in my classes I like playing board games, making puzzles, and learning magic tricks. There’s this clown that hangs out in Forest Park sometimes, the Great Bobbert and he’s been teaching me.

Please come visit me at the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Midwest and check out my interview from the Umbrae blog tour.


Other P.A.W.S. characters beginning with I and J:

Ian – A chimp animagus who lives in St. Louis Zoo in a luxury enclosure in the old monkey house. He acts as a liaison between P.A.W.S. and the zoo residents and is very fond of bananas and monkey jokes.

Jacob – Werecat who was trapped in Umbrae and then returned to the upside world by Griddlebone to be a friend for Finny. Mottled grey. Grandson of Esther.

Jamie Barnes – A young werewolf, originally from Alistair’s pack. Fled after his death to Indianapolis where he lived on the streets until he decided to move on eastwards. He ended up at New York P.A.W.S. after he was friended by Chester.

Jenna Wynn – One of the few female members of Alistair’s pack. Small and shy. Was brought originally to the packhouse by her brother, Ryan. 

Jenetta Bones – Andrew’s mother, who had a dalliance with Alistair.

Jenny Daniels – Miri’s childhood friend in the Lower East Side who lived in the apartment below hers.

Jeremiah Bumsqueak – Beatrice Bumsqueak’s brother. Healer at NY P.A.W.S.

Jessamyn – Head of the Midwest Institute of P.A.W.S. A powerful magician of Illusion. She has bright red hair and emerald eyes and takes on the forms of various birds, though her favorite is the eagle. She originally flew from Ireland with Quentin when she was just thirteen years old.

Jillian Daniels – Jenny’s mother.

Jonathan Daniels – Jenny’s father. Has a fondness for old horror movies.

Jorge Delgado – Alpha of the Central Park Zoo pack. Scraggy tan wolf.

Jonas – Large black wolf (not a werewolf) that lives with the St. Louis Zoo wolf pack.

Josh Sinclair – Werewolf, mentor and friend to Miri. Josh was first turned by Alistair at the age of nine. He was rescued by Gerard Schwarz who became his mentor at P.A.W.S. A solid reliable force at P.A.W.S. Josh divides his time between the Institute and the zoo pack.

Josie – Animagus bird student at St. Louis P.A.W.S. that came from the P.A.W.S. Institute of California.

To Joey – Stay Curious!


Last Saturday my son Joey had his Bar Mitzvah – a culmination of years of preparation. He did amazingly and I’m so proud of him.

As some of you may know Joey is the inspiration behind the animagus kangaroo character in P.A.W.S., so I thought it might be fun to share with you the speech I made at the ceremony.

Speech – Debbie Manber Kupfer – Joey’s Bar Mitzvah, May 14. 2016

Nearly 14 years ago I said hello to you for the first time, Joey. You spent the first months of your life sitting in my pouch watching the world go by, much like a baby kangaroo.

Ever curious, ever bouncy, you grew into the young man you are today, towering over me (though inside, of course you’re still my baby).

I’m so proud of you, Joey. You work so hard, you care so much. You never take on anything without putting your whole soul into it. Whether it’s working on a new creation in Minecraft, writing a story, creating a new puzzle, rehearsing for show choir, and of course the months of work you’ve put into preparing for this Bar Mitzvah.

Four years ago when I was writing P.A.W.S. we spent a day together in the St. Louis Zoo. I told you the whole story and you listened, absorbing all the details while together we created your character in the book. Joey Marks, the Australian animagus exchange student can change into a kangaroo (which I don’t think you can do yet, though you do like to bounce around!) But apart from that little detail he shares so many of your characteristics. He’s smart, curious, bouncy, enthusiastic. He loves board games, magic tricks, and puzzles. And he’s always ready for the next adventure. Just like you!

So, as you get ready for the next adventure Joey, remember to slow down a little, occasionally. Stop, look around you. Observe and above all stay curious and watch for the magic; it’s out there!


Joey is the co-author of Paws 4 Logic – a collection of puzzles suitable for all of ages.


Meet Joey Marks!

I was tagged in the Character Blog Hop by Margo Dill

So without further ado here is everyone’s favorite animagus kangaroo – Joey Marks.


Welcome Joey and thank you for taking time out to talk to us.

G’day mates. I’m really happy to be here today *jumping up and down*.

We can see that Joey. Please take a seat? So tell us, how do you like St. Louis P.A.W.S.?

It’s great! Everyone’s really welcoming and the classes are super cool. And I love the dining room and all the scrumptious foods Hugo makes (even if he does eat half of it himself). I’ve made some new mates too – there’s Josh and Miri of course, but my best mate’s Sean. He can change into a horse, you know, and he’s been giving me riding lessons. I’m not very good yet, but I’m getting better – I only fell off 4 times last week.

So tell us about your home in Australia.

I’d been attending classes at the P.A.W.S. Institute of Australia in Alice Springs ever since I was 5 years old. My sister Millie also goes there, but she’s not the best of students as she has a tendency to fall asleep in classes – I think that’s why she chose a koala as an animagus. They get to sleep a lot!

Why did you choose to become a kangaroo?

Well, kangaroo’s have a lot of energy and are always on the go. In Oz it’s a good disguise. In St. Louis, not so much, but I’m fast and normal (non-magical) folk, tend to ignore stuff that doesn’t make sense, so I can pretty much hop around Forest Park and no one much cares.

I hear you like to do magic tricks?

Oh yes, I’ve learned a lot from watching the Great Bobbert – and also learned some real magic from his weasel, Popgoes. Bobbert doesn’t know that he’s weasel’s magic of course, just thinks he’s a pesky pet that keeps running away, but he’s got a thing going with an otter in the zoo. He goes and visits her when the children’s zoo is closed.  I like the zoo too, my mate Ian, the chimp animagus, lives there. He’s been teaching me monkey jokes – you should go interview him some time.

Maybe we will. But back to you. Tell us a little bit about how you ended up in St. Louis P.A.W.S.?

Well, it was two years back, my teacher, Wemberly the wombat, at Alice Springs recommended that I enter this contest – I had to do all different kinds of magic both in my human form and my roo form – it was tough. A lot of magicians older than me entered, but somehow I got through all the rounds and ended up winning and the prize was a scholarship to the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Midwest. So here I am.

And we’re very happy to have you! So what’s next, do you know what you want to do when you graduate from P.A.W.S.

Oh, I have so many ideas *jumping up and down* – first I want to travel – all over the states, and then to Europe, and then to Africa. I want to visit every single P.A.W.S. institute. I’ve heard that the head of the African Institute outside Nairobi can change himself into an elephant. That would be amazing to watch.

That certainly does seem amazing. Thank you for talking to us today, Joey!

No worries mate, any time.

Up next – author of Excelsior and From Parts Unknown, George Sirois.

And author of the Book of Doors series, Misha Burnett.