Readers Are Talking

In an unprecedented time of change in all areas of our lives, it's critical we take pause from our overactive schedules to effectively mentor younger generations so they grow into wise leaders. Young Clay Vilhauer is such a leader. In his book, The Long Forest Trail, Clay and his mom travel a delightful journey while sharing answers to some of life's toughest questions. Packed with deeper meanings, and great discussion points… this book is magical. Clay's dedication invites us all to "Be the light." We would do well to follow and share his wisdom.
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Chip Conley
Best Selling Author and Hospitality Entrepreneur

I am immediately taken by a 7 year-old’s willingness to take walks with his Mom throughout the year, spending time in nature and TALKING! With TV, video games, iPads, etc. it is often difficult to get children this young away from these devices but even at a young age Clay recognizes the importance of talking, listening and learning. There is inspiration in that both children and adults can look at the simple things in life, found in nature, and use them throughout the day. The fact that Clay can learn from, and share a life long lesson from a bug-bite should make anyone smile. Yes, this book made me smile and there is no better way to start the day.

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Jim Walter, PhD
Preventive Medicine Specialist
What an inspiring book for children and parents to read together. The illustrations, the story, and the lessons contained within The Long Forest Trail will inspire families to connect more deeply, value time in nature, to learn and grow together. Bravo Clay and Amber Vilhauer on co-creating something so special!
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Hal Elrod
#1 Best Selling Author of The Miracle Morning and 12 other books
In the upside-down, crazy world we live in today, this book is so timely. Its message of positivity and resiliency in the face of challenges or when things don't go your way is such an important message today. The world can use more love, acceptance, and understanding today. Amber and Clay's book reminds us of that.
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Christian DeGobbi
Chief Marketing Officer at Northeast Private Client Group
Clay and Amber Vilhauer’s creation, The Long Forest Trail, should have a spot in every family’s stash. It’s all about feeling grateful and staying tough. Life’s curveballs? This story’s got you covered. It’s about finding your balance in the great outdoors. And the mother and son in this tale? They’re tighter than a sneaker on a power line through all the seasons. Safety and stability – it’s all in here. But wait, there’s more – it’s a game-changer for kids dealing with anxiety. It’s like telling them, “Hey, you can be the sunshine in this world.” This book isn’t just for kids; it’s for everyone. It’s like a secret code of life, and we should shout it from the rooftops! #LifeLessonsForAllAges
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Marcus Rivera
Content Creator and Commercial Drone PiloT for Arevir Visual Media
Great job dear Clay writing a powerful book with the beautiful message - “Be the Light”. Choosing to focus on what you control - your thoughts and emotions, bouncing forward from hardships and tuning into the power of gratitude, connections and nature to spread healing, happiness and love in the world. In a time when darkness seems to be growing everyday, you and your book offer the torch of hope and will inspire so many others to open their heart and shine brightly.
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Ashish Kothari
Founder and CEO Happiness Squad
No one makes it through this life alive; but this book shows us that this isn't the purpose of life. Clay encourages and invites us to take life head-on, knowing that the 'Hakuna Matata' lifestyle is the last thing promised on the adventure. He shows us how noble and brave an act it is to persevere and draw close to others. This is truly how to have the adventure of a lifetime!
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Hayden Cox
Fellow Adventurer
The Long Forest Trail captures a heartfelt journey through nature where Clay and Amber touch on a variety of important life lessons for both children and adults alike. From determination and perseverance to gratitude and the ability to accept change, this is an excellent book for encouraging a positive mindset in young people and finding one's happy place. Sometimes we all need a reminder to slow down, connect with loved ones, and find joy in the little things—and this book does exactly that. Clay and Amber have generated some amazing ideas that are worth spreading, and put them into a fun bite-sized package for all to enjoy!
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Nick Sonnenberg
#1 Best Selling Author and Founder & CEO of Leverage

Clay’s book is a delightful read. The Long Forest Trail not only has meaningful content - it reminds us that we would be well serviced to think like children and embrace our inner child to become the best versions of ourselves, long after we’ve “grown up.” While this would make a thoughtful and insightful gift for the children in your life - I think we can all use a little more of this spirit right now, regardless of our age.

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Rodric Lenhart
#1 Best Selling Author and Brilliant Genius Type Person
What a beautiful book, from the captivating artwork to the deepest heartfelt messages delivered with simplicity and clarity. This book fosters connection and understanding for some of life’s harder lessons. Important for young minds to grasp early and an incredible reminder for all adults!
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Dr. Suzi Schulman
Chiropractor, Coach, Educator
This was a refreshing read that summoned up a great perspective. Being the light in the world that is dark at times is truly the way to live life. It brought me back to the scripture John 1:5,“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” The Long Forest Trail reminds us that the worries of life can be like mosquito bites, they may hurt and try to dim your light but they last only a moment and will subside with time and if you’re rooted in the right ways. By living out your life filled with gratitude and a commitment to showing love to those around you it allows you, like Matthew 5:14-16 reminds us, to keep your light shining and allows others to shine in turn.
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Stewart Hill
Co-founder of Bootstrap My Success LLC
In this delightful book, I found a much needed reminder of the profound significance of savoring life's simplest pleasures—our cherished connections with one another and the breathtaking world around us. As I immersed myself in its pages, I was not only rekindled with the joy of a leisurely walk through the woods, but also the realization that a positive mindset can change even the most ordinary moments to extraordinary wonder.
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Bruce Turner
The Passive Investor
After reading Clay's book, I can't help but feel deeply moved and inspired. The overarching theme of meaningful connections and the wonders of nature struck a chord with me. In a world often filled with distractions, this book's emphasis on spending quality time with loved ones and appreciating the beauty of our natural surroundings is incredibly relevant today.

In these times when our lives are increasingly fast-paced and technology-driven, it's vital to reconnect with the simple yet profound aspects of life, like the bond between a parent and child and the magic of the natural world. This book provides a much-needed reminder of the importance of nurturing these connections, for our own well-being and for the health of our planet.

I sincerely hope that people will not only read this book but also share it with their friends and family. It carries a message of love, togetherness, and the significance of cherishing our environment. In a world that sometimes feels divided, a story like this has the power to bring people closer and encourage them to protect and appreciate the world we share.

My wish is that this book touches the hearts of many and encourages a ripple effect of positivity and environmental stewardship, one family, one friend, and one reader at a time. Thank you and Best of luck to Clay.
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Sweta Shah
Chief Financial Officer at Northeast Private Client Group
The Long Forest Trail is more than just a children's book; it's a timeless and invaluable resource for parents and educators who seek to instill in children the qualities of resilience, adaptability, and an enduring love for the natural world. I have no doubt that this book will inspire and empower countless young minds, fostering a generation of thoughtful, resilient, and nature-loving individuals. As a parent, educator, and nature enthusiast, I wholeheartedly endorse this book for young readers.
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Justin Donald
#1 WSJ and USA Today Best-Selling Author, Founder of The Lifestyle Investor, Host of The Lifestyle Investor Podcast
I am thrilled to wholeheartedly endorse Clay’s book, The Long Forest Trail, an enchanting tale that takes readers on a captivating journey as Clay embarks on an adventure with his mother, discovering the profound beauty of nature and the values that will shape his character for a lifetime. As a parent, I deeply appreciate the importance of instilling an appreciation for the environment and our interconnectedness with it, and Clay's book does just that with elegance and sincerity.
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Marc Helm
Consultant, Author, Coach and a Believer in Psychological Health

What a beautiful tribute to the power of our mind and our connection to nature. As a health coach, I can attest to the deep connection that exists between our thoughts, our connection to nature, and our overall well being. Clay's book is a perfect guide for adults and children alike as it beautifully outlines the most powerful influences to our health and happiness. Thank you for this, Clay! You're awesome!!!

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Elaine Pauly
Certified Coach - Holistic Health, Functional Medicine, Gut Health

After reading The Long Forest Trail, I found myself overcome with a sense of nostalgia for a place I’ve never been physically. The illustrations are timeless and transport you to a magical childhood dream. Much like a Disney movie, every sentence has a dual meaning, appealing to both adults and children alike. This is a crucial message packaged in a beautifully illustrated book to take to heart today more than ever as we seek to connect with one another. I’ll also be buying this for my siblings to share with their kids, fostering a shared journey of adaptation to life’s ever-shifting currents.

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Ariana Klugiewicz
Co-Founder of Committed to the Pizza

All kids - and parents - should have this book!! Gorgeously illustrated, this will make for some ultra-cozy bedtime reading, but most importantly there are some essential life lessons woven into the story that we all need, particularly in these challenging times. Even as adults, we can use regular reminders of these, but they're especially valuable for kids, many of whom haven't yet had the chance to learn these things from life experience. I wish that when I was little, I would have had a book like this to beautifully illustrate a healthier way to deal with emotions like fear, sadness, and worry, and to show me that although difficult times and feelings may come, they won't last forever. Spring and happiness will come again.


What a beautiful way to spread more light in the world! This will make a fantastic Christmas gift, for anyone with kids.

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Sonya Moore
Yoga Teacher and Personal Trainer

It's awesome that Amber and Clay incorporated nature and life lessons around kindness, compassion, relationships and adversity into this beautiful book. The illustrations pair well with the message as well. Loved seeing the change of seasons as you two went on your adventure. Tell Clay he has some fans up here in Canada.

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Peter Li
Marketing Consultant Finding Profit Hiding in Plain Sight

This book left me in tears - happy tears of course! And for SO many reasons. The beautiful relationship depicted between the mother in son and the lessons they shared together on their walks was extremely heart-warming. Each lesson was such a beautiful reminder about the power that nature holds (that we sometimes forget or take for granted). I love a good rhyming book and the way the words flowed on the page from one sentence to the next drew me in and each lesson told in this beautiful way left an impression on me. One I would never forget. To top it off, the fact that it was written by Clay moved me! If more children valued nature and spent time exploring the natural world, just like Clay, the world would certainly be a better place.

As a former elementary educator myself, I love the magic found in a picture book. They hold such powerful messages - and this book is no different! Although it's written for children, it has lessons for children of ALL ages (Yes, even us "big kids" too). I'd love to see this book in the hands of ALL humans!

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Cassandra Troughton
Former Educator, Writer at

Gorgeously illustrated and simply stated, The Long Forest Trail reminds readers that each of us has the awesome power to decide how we think and feel through every situation. The story smartly utilizes Nature's character of perseverance through all seasons and always growing towards the light despite the elements giving readers an unmistakable example of the great that comes from the power of thinking on things that are good, pure, positive, and dealing swiftly with negative thoughts and feelings, or as this adorable pint-sized author writes, "to be the light. In a world that's always trending, this book is a great reminder that thinking for yourself can make the most beautiful impact for everyone.

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Laura Holman-Byrne
Publisher, Children's Book Author
Clay and Amber's book is a heartwarming journey that celebrates the power of meaningful connection, the joy of togetherness, and the beauty of nature. In a world in need of kindness, their book is a reminder to share wisdom with friends and family. It teaches us and our children that difficulties strengthen us and to celebrate the beauty of life.
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Brandon Priebe
Blubird Design
The Long Forest Trail , authored by Clay and his mom, Amber Vilhauer, is a heartwarming journey emphasizing the power of a positive mindset, kindness, and resilience. The changing seasons beautifully illustrates the importance of spreading love and maintaining a bright spirit, even when faced with challenges. In today's world, this book's message of gratitude, compassion, and unity is more meaningful than ever. It's a delightful read for both children and adults, and I hope it inspires many to share its uplifting message with loved ones.
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Clare Cerbricos
Account Coordinators
The Long Forest Trail, by Clay Vilhauer and his mom, Amber, takes us on a beautiful adventure back into nature's grounding peace and wonder while reminding us to slow down, honor our relationships, and have meaningful conversations. The simple wonder of nature, resilience, and reflection shines brightly from each page and capture feelings of hope that so many are searching for - peace in ourselves, strength to move forward, and the calmness that wild places bring us. This is a treasure for families to share and readers of all ages to enjoy.
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Lauren Meers
Executive Assistant

I was filled with immense joy and excitement when I witnessed Clay's extraordinary vision for The Long Forest Trail finally coming to life. This captivating and enchanting story takes us on an extraordinary journey through the different seasons, picturesque trails, and invaluable life lessons. I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to share this wonderful book with the children in my life, as it is a truly wonderful book. Heartfelt congratulations to you, Clay Vilhauer, on a job incredibly well done!

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Megan O’Malley
Senior Account Manager
Clay Vilhauer and Amber Vilhauer have written a must read for anyone looking to share with their family the importance of mindset and asking the right questions. The lessons and impact this book can have on kids and parents is what we need most in this world!
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Jeff Tucker
Tuck Media
The Long Forest Trail by Clay and Amber Vilhauer is a valuable addition to any family library. This story brings great feelings of both gratitude and perseverance. It shares valuable lessons in accepting life's challenges and looking to nature to find balance. I love that the mother and son characters find comfort in each other's presence through all the changing seasons, lending to a strong sense of safety and stability.
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Cierra Warner
The Long Forest Trail by Clay Vilhauer is so much more than just a children's book. This is a story of connection, kindness, adventure, change, acceptance, and love, and is one that all humans should read regardless of age. Between the stunning illustrations and poetic words, The Long Forest Trail is a journey toward some of life's most beautiful and powerful lessons. #bethelight
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Katrina Scarlett
Founder of Scarlett & Co. and CX Strategist
Clay Vilhauer's book is a beautiful journey into the heart of human connection and the healing power of nature. As I read, I was struck by the profound theme of meaningful connection and the importance of spending quality time with loved ones. In a world where we often feel disconnected, this book serves as a poignant reminder of the togetherness we crave. The way it explores determination, gratitude, and the ability to turn around negative thoughts is truly inspiring.

In these challenging times, Clay's message about mindset and collecting evidence of goodness is a ray of hope. This book reminds us that we are better together and encourages us to embrace love, kindness, and trust. I hope readers share this book with their friends and family, passing on its wisdom. It's a heartfelt journey through the forest of emotions, and it's a must-read for anyone looking to find their happy place amidst the chaos of life.
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Miguel Cordeiro
Full-Stack Designer

Simple words tied to deeper meanings that pack a punch every page. This book features lovely illustrations and shares important messages for families in today's uncertain world. The main themes are adventure, connection, gratitude and appreciation, and acceptance of change, which are part of life's journey. What's remarkable is that a six-year-old wrote it so well, making it a joy to read. I hope families can use this book to start important conversations with their loved ones.

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Jay Wong
CEO of Podcast Your Brand

The Long Forest Trail is a beautifully imagined journey through the seasons. It celebrates the vital role of relationships in an ever-changing world. The lovingly rendered illustrations capture the tranquil beauty to be found in the natural world. Its themes of resilience, love and mindfulness make this book a valuable resource for any classroom library.

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Shayne Robson
Primary Teacher

What I love about this book is that it goes a bit deeper than any other children's book I've seen. They have taken the time to show the reader (both parents and children) that kids do have the awareness and capacity to understand how to go within themselves to find the lessons and the joy in the world around them. We don't give kids enough credit, and The Long Forest Trail really does show what's possible when you do!

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Alexis Snell
Account Manager