Willow of the Woods: Litter to Glitter by Helen Bailey and Kirsten Richards

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Willow of the Woods: Litter to Gliter by Helen Bailey and Kirsten Richards

Buy Willow of the Woods: Litter to Glitter by Helen Bailey and Kirsten Richards at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Any book that gets small children thinking about how they can look after their environment has to be worth taking a look at. If, as well, it has a cute characters, fun illustration and lots of pop ups and flaps to lift, then it is sure to be a hit. Willow of the Woods: Litter to Glitter has it all, as one little wood sprite attempts to save her beloved Windybottom from being submerged under mountains of rubbish. It's a race against time but one that she needs to win.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: November 2010
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0340989951

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Willow is a wood sprite who lives with her friends in Windybottom. Unfortunately one day, they notice a really terrible smell that is so bad that no one can concentrate in their lessons and the school concert has to be cancelled. The rank smells of rotten eggs, smelly cabbage and pongy feet have turned the usually idyllic Windybottom into 'Stinkybottom'. My daughter found this description very funny!

Willow decides to investigate and soon discovers that the terrible smells are coming from Prickleberry Hall where the Prickle sisters seem to be stockpiling all their rubbish. Although the sisters refuse to help, Willow does manage to persuade all her woodland friends to help out and before long, and after a daring rescue, things are much improved – so much so that it looks like the concert can go ahead after all.

This is a charming story that is beautifully told through both the words and the pictures. Willow is a determined and plucky heroine who I am sure young girls will love. My daughter thinks that she is brilliant. The story, which is very funny in places, has typically good and bad characters and, as in all the best stories, the nasty characters get their comeuppance. In this case it is the Prickle sisters who end up knee deep in rubbish but fortunately learn their lesson at the same time. It is also a story that will provide a good starting point for discussing litter problems with children. My daughter was quite incensed by the amount of rubbish that the Prickle sisters had created and I'm sure she would have given them a good telling off if she could. I have no doubt that, having read this book, she will be more aware of litter and much more careful about how she disposes her own rubbish.

Alongside this lovely story are some charming and exciting illustrations. Every page is bright and busy but, best of all as far as my daughter is concerned, are all the pop ups and flaps. Most of the pages have something extra that really adds to the excitement of the story. Seeing a half eaten sandwich fly past Willow's head or watching the Prickle sisters tumble into the deep piles of rubbish has really thrilled my daughter. She loves lifting the flaps or pulling on the arrows to make everything move. Also, at five years old, she knows to do these things carefully so hopefully it will all last a long time so she can continue to enjoy the book.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

This wonderful book is likely to appeal to many small girls who might also like to take a look at The Trouble with Dragons by Debi Gliori, another fun book with a serious message about looking after the environment.

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