Pirate Lamby and his Woolly Crew - blog post image

Pirate Lamby and his Woolly Crew

Pirate lamby sails the seven seas 

Open The Suitcase - blog post image

Open The Suitcase

Horse, cat, piggy and other animals all have important jobs to do. They carry their belongings in suitcases. Which bag belongs to whom? Open the suitcases and take a look inside. 

A Jar Full of Angel Feathers - blog post image

A Jar Full of Angel Feathers

Alex is angry and miserable. He has lost his mum, his dad has packed him off to live in Cornwall for a year and his most treasured possession has vanished. He hates the countryside after the noise and bustle of London and there's the Gnarly Mana in Tapers Wood to worry about. Can the down to earth love of Aunt Mary, the friendship of a mysterious young girl and a little bit of magic help Alex turn his life around?

My Thoughts

My first thought about this book was what a wonderful title. Evocative, mysterious and magical. Just like the story turned out to be.

This is Susan’ Russell’s first novel and she is obviously a talented lady because she did the illustrations as well.

The story is set in the 50s and is about starting again. It is a classic plot line and in the spirit of the war time evacuation and boarding school novels the author gets the parents out of the way in order to allow the characters space for adventures.

Mallow Cottage is in the fictional village of Gunwithiel - I come from that part of the world and had to check if it existed it’s such a good name. If it did exist I would go there - it sounds beautiful.

A Jar Full of Angel Feathers is a novel with a great sense of place. There are wonderful descriptions of the area, particularly the woodland - and you are in there, among the squelchy leaves and the grasping branches with Alex

This would be a satisfying story to read out loud or together and the layout and font would make it easy for young readers to follow.

There is something of The Skull in the woods about A Jar Full of Angel Feathers. I thoroughly enjoyed this magical story in its own right but it could also be a valuable tool in helping children come to terms with the loss of a loved one.

Thank you Sue for sharing your wonderful story with me.



A Word With Author Helen Dennis - blog post image

A Word With Author Helen Dennis

I am thrilled to welcome the lovely Helen Dennis to the site today to talk about her books and answer some of the questions you have sent in. I met Helen at a library event in Windsor and liked her instantly. Before you read further you should know, even though she has written ten fantastic books Helen is very modest. When I congratulated her on her amazing work she said, “at least it means I don’t have to get up as early as I would if I did a milk round.” I wonder what time she got up to answer our questions? I started by asking her to tell us a little about herself ...

Our Castle By The Sea - blog post image

Our Castle By The Sea

Growing up in a lighthouse, 11-year-old Pet's world has been one of storms, secret tunnels, and stories about sea monsters.  


Teachers - have you discovered @BookPenPals? A new initiative pairing authors & illustrators with schools to make reading recommendations via postcards. They're pretty oversubscribed, but if you're interested it might be worth getting your name on the waiting list. They have some fabulous authors on board.