Review: Gnomes, Unicorns, and Fairytales (by Vincent Noot)

Vincent Noot here with a review of The Magic World of Bracken Lea by Esma Race.




A book of stories that takes you into the magical forest of fairies, living trees, animals, nature spirits, etc. In this “feel good” compilation of every imagination a child has, the main character, Glodwyn, finds himself rescuing animals and people that he unexpectedly bumps into.

This story is educational, looking at the vocabulary, and trust me, that’s a good thing. It’s a great book to have next to the bed of your child, so you can read a short story every night. That’s what I especially liked about the book, that it’s a collection of small fairy tales.

As someone who went to University and studied illustration, I wasn’t too impressed with the pictures in the book. If you’re going to draw black and white in pencils, you need to make sure there is lots of contrast and shadows, so that the more important elements of the drawing pop out. I found the drawings a little sloppy.

The book could have been better off with some more dialogue. If the characters would speak more to each other, it would bring them alive. The simple language, however, is perfect for kids to understand and doesn’t drag on by touching on boring descriptions. That was a big plus!

I would recommend this book as a good bed time story collection.

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.

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