“Closing down her iPad and falling back against the softness of her pillow, Emily felt an overwhelming sense of sadness.”
Genre: Children’s Fiction – Fantasy & Magic – Age 5 – 9 years
Number of Pages: 84 pages
Date of Publication:13 December 2021
Publisher: Silverwood Books
My Review Summary: A lovely story without a dull moment.
Meet Emily, who finds life hard when school suddenly closes and her family and friends can no longer visit.
Suddenly, Emily finds herself whisked into a magical world where she meets Lucy who is on a quest to find her missing cousin. On their quest the pair meet the crafty yet comical grubblers. How helpful will they be?
What is the strange connection between these new-found friends? Join Emily and Lucy for a time-travelling feast with lots of delicious fruit cake!
I have wanted to try and read more Children’s books so that I can provide a range of book reviews, so when this one came up I jumped at the chance. The main character had the same name as me and it was a magical/fantasy book – what more could I ask for?!
The writing was detailed and comprised of long sentences, but short chapters. I loved the descriptions of the characters and the settings. The smells, textures and temperature were all excellently described and immersed you in the story. There was a good mix of simple and complex words in the sentences to cater for the advised age group. Some of the words were quite advanced, but together with the surrounding words they wouldn’t be difficult to work out or even just to look up.
The chapters were all fairly short, as mentioned above, but gradually brought the different characters in allowing for a seamless storyline. Some of the longer chapters were split allowing for parallel storylines. The split wasn’t highlighted by any sort of illustration, but instead by the way that it was written from another character’s point of view.
There was a good pace to the story despite the long and detailed sentences. It was cleverly done in such a way that I didn’t feel bombarded with the description. It added to the story rather than distracted from it.
I did enjoy the few illustrations that were dotted around the book, they were a nice touch for the younger readers.
The characters were interesting. The main character was very much in the supporting role and was a follower rather than a leader. I thought it was an interesting technique to make the lead character not have a leading personality. It did allow for the other characters to show off their more forceful personalities and it made for an interesting story. What I also liked was the way that the Grubblers speech was written. It helped me give them a different voice and to separate them from the other characters.
Lastly the settings. I enjoyed the fact that the story had the pandemic in the background. The children reading this book will have their own experiences of the pandemic and it was nice to see it woven in to a magical story. There were hints of how the pandemic had affected the main character throughout the book so you were always grounded in that time period, plus it added an extra emotional layer to the story.
I wasn’t too sure about the time travel aspect. I didn’t really see that it added anything to the story. The only point that I could see was that it allowed for a kitchen maid to be involved in the escape of a child. For me it therefore wasn’t necessary. If the book was longer then it could have been further explored, but given the age group and the length of the story already there wasn’t really the capacity for it.
Overall I enjoyed reading this book, it was full of action and intrigue from beginning to end and would make a great addition to any child’s bookshelf.
Sarah Louise has always had a talent for connecting with and inspiring children of all ages. Having worked in schools for twenty-five years, Sarah has now expanded her educational expertise into being an author. She hopes to provide exciting and page-turning stories that capture the minds of the younger generation of today.
Sarah has three adult children of her own, a beautiful granddaughter and much-loved cockapoo. She resides in the county of Wiltshire.
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