Category Archives: Children’s Books

Review – Dilly the Camper & The Magic Fairy Garden by Dolores Keaveney

The Blurb

When Grandad John gets a broken down camper from his friend Digger, he doesn’t realise the magic that lies within it. Only his grandchildren know.
An adventure to find the Eternal Eye quartz crystal which has been stolen by the fierce Nogard from the Magic Fairy Garden promises a meeting with magic fairies, amazing animals, and much more…
This book is written by Dolores Keaveney and her grandchildren who contributed with names and descriptions of all the animals and fairies, some of the happenings, and the song. It is fully illustrated throughout by her grandchildren.

My Thoughts

This lovely little book is the work of Dolores Keaveney and her grandchildren. While Keaveney outlined the plot, her grandchildren provided the magic by coming up with the magical creatures and by helping out to illustrate the book.

Dilly the Camper & The Magic Fairy Garden is the tale of a neglected campervan that is brought back to life by John. His grandchildren help in the vans restoration and soon discover that there is more to Dilly than meets the eye. They encounter a fairy who need their help to find the stolen Eternal Eye quartz from the Magic Fairy Garden.

Aimed at 4 to 9 year olds, it is a great book to read with a child and for the older child to learn to read from.

Full of the wonder of magic with fairies, magical creatures and wishes and wonderfully vibrant illustrations, Dilly the Camper is sure to delight most children, male or female. Like all good fairy stories, it has its share of scary moments which will give children a thrill while not being too frightening. The premise of good triumphing over bad, cooperation and friendship are timeless themes within the book that children always enjoy.

I adored the fact that this has been written in conjunction with the author’s own grandchildren and the pictures throughout the book were drawn by her grandchildren. This gives the book that ‘special’ feel and will, I think, make it even more relatable to children and fire off young imaginations.

A delightful, colourful read for children that provides thrills along the way.

Published on 9 July 2017 by DBee Press. You can grab a copy HERE.

A huge thank you to Dolores Keaveney for my copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Book Review – Fearne Fairy And The Landing Lesson by Sarah Hill

The Blurb

Will Fearne Fairy finally master the art of landing? Who will help her overcome her flying flaw? Find out in this 10th enchanting story from the award-winning Whimsy Wood Series.

My Thoughts

Fearne Fairy and the Landing Lesson is book 10 in The Whimsey Wood Series and sees the return of Fearne Fairy and Mustard the Magpie Moth Caterpillar. It is May in Whimsey Wood and Fearne finally takes the plunge and has some landing lessons. Fearne has not mastered the art of landing resulting in bumps, bruises and broken objects. While this is the 10th book, it works equally as well as a standalone.

Fearne is not the perfect fairy – her flying skills and singing voice leave a lot to be desired – and this makes her all the more likeable as, let’s face it, none of us are perfect.

There is so much attention to detail in this book, with Sarah Hill beautifully creating the world around Fearne and her woodland friends. I loved the descriptions of the furniture within Fearne’s house and her clothing. Young imaginations are sure to be fired by this gorgeous tale.

Hill’s use of alliteration adds humour and children will have great fun saying these phrases aloud and parents will enjoying reading them out loud. A great way for kids to learn and remember words, Fearne Fairy and the Landing Lesson is both educational and a lot of fun.

The illustrations are gorgeous and fit with the story perfectly while providing much to look at and discuss.

A great book that both children and adults will enjoy. It’s ‘Bzz-illiant’ as Bristle Bumblebee would say. Highly recommended.

A huge thank you to Sarah Hill for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

Published on 24 November 2016 by Abela Publishing.

Children’s Book Review – Fearne Fairy and the Chocolate Caterpillar by Sarah Hill

The Blurb

It’s April in Whimsy Wood and Fearne’s about to make a new friend! Find out how our new quirky character gets in a sticky situation and how Fearne rescues him, in this 9th chocolatey instalment from the award-winning Whimsy Wood series.

‘I loved it. It was a really charming book’ Bo Griffiths, 8 years.

‘I loved Mustard! His little legs kicking about covered in chocolate was very funny!’ Sadie Gregory, 6 years.

‘Sarah Hill brings Fearne Fairy and the Whimsy Wood folk to life, in a way that children will relate to. The alliteration and onomatopoeia combined with an uplifting and heart-warming story, make this a joy to read.’ Gemma Hodgson, English Coordinator at Wyberton Primary School, Wyberton, Lincolnshire.

‘I like the animals in this book as they make me laugh, especially when they say “C-c-crunching c-c-cucumbers!”‘ Annie Watts, 6 years.

‘I loved this book! It’s great that Fearne is different to other fairies and her awful singing made me laugh!’ Martha Barber, 7 years.

‘The Whimsy Wood folk are timeless characters in the fashion of Potter, Milne and White. In time, The Whimsy Wood series is likely to find it’s place in the lexicon of classic children’s literature.’ Reader’s Favourite, U.S.

My Thoughts

Fearne Fairy and the Chocolate Caterpillar is the 9th book in the Whimsy Wood series written by Sarah Hill and illustrated by Sarah Mauchline. The series is aimed at 5 to 8 year olds and each book is written for a specific month and the flora and fauna throughout reflect this. In this book it is April and this is highlighted with the use of hot cross buns and April showers. Although this is part of a series it works perfectly as a standalone.

For newcomers to Fearne Fairy there is a wonderful introduction to Fearne with a great description of her illustrating her bright and colourful clothing. In her rainbow raincoat and frog-patterned fairy wellies you warm to Fearne immediately. The characters are well thought out with each having their own unique personality and voice making them easily identifiable.

I loved the way this book is written. Hill’s use of alliteration gives the story a rhythm and makes it immediately engaging to the reader. The use of this technique within the character’s names makes them easy for children to remember. Brilliantly written for young readers, I can imagine that any child would be easily captivated by the story. It also has a conversational tone in plcaes making it an ideal book to read aloud to your child. The use of phrases such as ‘splish, splash, splosh’ encourage young, new readers to get involved in the story and I can imagine children saying these phrases loudly. Fearne Fairy and the Chocolate Caterpillar is the perfect length to keep young minds focused.

The humour throughout had me smiling to myself and as an adult I really enjoyed reading this book, so children will adore it and the fact that Fearne needs some practice in her fairy skills. As well as been fun to read, Hill has incorporated an educational element as Fearne learns that caterpillars do not stay caterpillars forever and go through their own magical transformation.

The illustrations throughout are beautiful and match the story and the characters perfectly. They really complement the prose and each has plenty to point out and talk about. The humour throughout the book shines through in the pictures. At the end of the book there is a map for the child to complete to engage them further and keep discussion and thoughts on the story going.

Fearne Fairy and the Chocolate Caterpillar is a real delight to read. It is charming, funny and enchanting and will really appeal to the age range it is aimed at and encourage them to develop their reading skills. Whimsically wonderful!

Published on 2 July 2016 by Abela publishing.

A huge thank you to Sarah Hill for the copy in exchange for my fair and honest review.