Brief Review – The Wizards of Once

The Wizards of Once (The Wizards of Once, 1): Cowell, Cressida:  9780316508339: Books

I’ve not read anything by Cressida Cowell before (I know, stupid, right?) but this will certainly not be the last book of hers I read. This was a delight from start to finish and I can see why she was chosen as the current Children’s Laureate.

The characters are fantastic and almost escape from the page they burst with so much life. The illustrations – by Cowell herself – perfectly match and enhance the feelings evoked by the story. Because of the way the story is written and illustrated, it’s almost impossible to imagine one without the other.

The story itself takes place over 24 hours yet so much is crammed into that time it almost makes the head spin and you can’t help but feel exhausted for the characters by the end. But in a wonderful, “I want to read more of this” way. Thankfully, there are more books in the series.

I know I’m not the target audience, but such a delightful book transcends the boundaries of age and other demographics and I wish this book had existed when I was a child.

The Girl of Ink & Stars – a brief review

After previously finishing a very disappointing children’s book, The Girl of Ink & Stars was a delight to read from the very first page. The author immediately established the richness and style that drew me in and carried me along, with my mind filled with curiosity and a longing to discover more.

Although covering a number of serious situations – tested friendships, loss, suffering and deadly danger – doing so from the viewpoint of the main character gives each a grounding that children will be able to connect to.

And the main character herself is both determined and doubtful, qualities that make her very human and give the reader all the more reason to keep with the story to the end.

Kiran Millwood Hargrave has written a wonderful book that will fire a child’s imagination.