Book Review, Chapter Book (7-9)

Willow Wildthing and the Magic Spell by Gill Lewis & Rebecca Bagley

The Willow Wildthing series celebrates the value of the forest and nature. Children are at the heart of these stories as they fight to preserve all that is wild.

Willow Wildthing and the Magic Spell is the fourth book in this brilliant series.

4. Willow Wildthing and the Magic Spell

The forest has always been a special place but now that it’s at risk, Willow and her friends realise just how much it means to them. The nasty Lord Smog, property developer and all-round unpleasant man, wants to cut down a whole lot of trees so he can build new houses. Willow and the other Wildthings won’t stand for it. They have to do something to stop him! She’s always promised that she’d show her little brother, Freddie, the forest. Maybe they can find a way to save it together.

The children work together to write a spell to make the adults realise exactly what they’re losing. They result is a beautiful and powerful message that stops everyone in their tracks.

3. Willow Wildthing and the Shooting Star

Willow’s little brother, Freddie, is ill and needs to go to the hospital. Full of guilt that she might have made him poorly, Willow is desperate to make him feel better. She promises that, while he’s gone, she will find a story she can tell him when he returns. Three shooting stars give her more than she could ever wish for.

Willow doesn’t have to wait very long for an adventure to appear. The rain is flooding the forest and the Wildthings’ River Camp is going under water. They must try to save it before they lose everything. In the forest, they meet a witch who writes wonderful stories, learn about the moon and constellations, and find out how plastic is dangerous for wildlife.

2. Willow Wildthing and the Dragon’s Egg

While playing with her little brother and the amazing newt they’ve discovered in their garden, Willow Wildthing receives an important message from her friends in the Wilderness. They’re in trouble and they need her help. Venturing into a world that is tangled, untamed and full of extraordinary surprises, Willow goes on an adventure to save their camp, steal a dragon’s egg and take advice from a witch. With a definite “Swallows and Amazons” feel, rival groups of children must either outwit each other or work together to protect the Wilderness they all love so much.

The children are guardians of the forest and do what they can to look after the animals around them. Willow returns home to encourage her family to think about animal habitats and how they decide to landscape their garden. What if there was no room for wildlife? What if everyone destroyed animal homes? Together, they make sure that their garden is safe for their new friend, the newt, and any other animals who might want to call it home.

This is a fantastic book for encouraging children to be a little bit wild and look after the natural environment around them. The line that there are “little pockets of wilderness everywhere if you just look for them” is powerful and encourages all children to take responsibility for our world.

1. Willow Wildthing and the Swamp Monster

Blurb: When Willow crosses the boundary to the patch of woodland behind her house, something amazing happens: she enters The Wilderness, where magic and nature collide. It holds more than you could possibly imagine: secrets, shadows, a witch. Even a monster. Here she meets the Wild Things, a group of children who have taken on the characteristics of the wild creatures they are named after. For when you are in The Wilderness, the only limit to the world is your imagination.
To her family she is simply Willow. To her new friends and in her new world, she is Willow Wildthing.
With beautiful, lyrical storytelling from Gill Lewis, and stunning two-colour illustrations throughout from Rebecca Bagley, this is a joyful celebration of the power of nature and the imagination, encouraging children to explore, be curious, resilient, and adventurous.

Thank you to Oxford Children’s for these gorgeous books!

Click on the covers below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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