I had been patiently waiting for this book to be released for quite a while. I saw it once on the back cover of the Bookseller and I was in love. I knew I wanted the hardback and since Australia didn’t really do hardbacks I knew I had to wait even longer. Upon our return to the UK, I emailed Waterstones straight away to arrange a signed copy. It may have cost me a little extra to wait but I have zero regrets.
This is the prettiest, most magical book I’ve read in ages (since Wizards of Once in fact – more on that later).
This book has:
- Beautiful illustrations by the very talented Sarah Warburton – her website here!
- Sprayed blue edges
- Fun and inventive typesetting
- Amazing characters and a wonderful story.
This book has a whole gang of quirky, relatable and warm characters. I always say without the characters a book isn’t really worth much. I want characters that I can follow on their errands and I’m up for the ride of joining them. I certainly got this here. Willow is wonderfully relatable, even to a 25-year-old adult like myself. Something about her lack of belief in herself at the beginning, the comparisons she makes between herself and her siblings. As the youngest of three, I saw so much of myself in her. As I’m sure the majority of the children reading this will be able to. Her journey through the book really made it for me. And of course, I will always appreciate a dragon, especially a fluffy one.
The story is quite short, but well paced throughout. Each step and chapter along the journey has a purpose, a twist or a cup of tea. I really liked the magic set up and it’s history, even the slight mention of segregation. Reading as an adult I saw the reflection in real life history and thought it was a great way of introduction issues like that to children.
The style was much like Cressida Cowell, so much so that I almost heard David Tennant narrating it to me. It’s fun, quirky and has a true storytelling element. I could have easily read this to a group of children and they would be hooked. The typesetting also really brought it alive. Having a similar style to a much-loved author I think is a great thing. This can proudly stand next to these other books I love in this age range.