An Egg-cellent Month!

When I look back at the start of this marvellous month of March, I can barely believe how much my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series and I have achieved.

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We were invited to numerous primary schools and nurseries up and down the country, as part of book week. I was also asked to judge a children’s writing competition in the middle of the month, as shown in the top photo.

Book 8, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’, was launched on Saturday March the 19th.

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Front Cover Of ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’

http://abelapublishing.com/fearne-fairy-and-the-dandelion-clocks–sarah-hill–abela-publishing_p31235594.htm

Finally, the beautiful, brand new ‘Whimsy Wood’ website went live on Sunday March the 20th. With this in mind, please note that this will be the last post on the Whimsy Wood blog here. Next week, you’ll find the weekly Whimsy Wood blog posts over on this wonderfully whimsical website :-Β http://www.whimsywood.co.uk

Well, all that’s left to say is, I hope you all have a wonderfully whimsical, chocolatey, sunshine-filled Easter! πŸ˜ƒ 🐣 🐰 πŸ’

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series.

✨ πŸ“š πŸ˜ƒ A Brand New Whimsy Wood Children’s Book Is Coming Soon! πŸ˜ƒ πŸ“š βœ¨

Yes, it’s official! The eighth Whimsy Wood children’s book, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’, is currently going through its formatting process and will be released on Saturday March the 19th! I am tingling with excitement that this book, which I originally wrote a good 2 years ago now, will be published very soon. 😊

Now, as you may or may not know, there are 35 books in my Whimsy Wood series for 5-8 year olds and these are divided into 5 sets of 7 books. This means that ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’ is the 1st book in the 2nd set of 7 books.

Front Cover Of 'Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks'
Front Cover Of ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’

This is the 1st time that readers, young and old alike, will meet Whimsy Wood’s Fearne. I’m relieved to say that she isn’t your typical pink, sparkly and sugary-sweet fairy. She is certainly a lovely wee creature, but she has flaws just like you and I. For example, Fearne’s brilliant at flying, but she’s completely hopeless when it comes to landing!

As you may remember, every Whimsy Wood children’s book is written for a specific month in the calendar, so the flora and fauna change as you read through the series. ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’ is written for the marvellous month of March, so you’ll read about white wood anemones and yellow daffodils, amongst other things.

White Wood Anemones a Growing In Whimsy Wood
White Wood Anemones Growing In Whimsy Wood

You’ll also meet 2 new Whimsy Wood characters, ‘Bertie and Beatrice Bramble’ who are baby bunny twins. ‘Raspberry Rabbit’, the twins’ auntie, returns in this story having last featured in book 4, ‘Posie Pixie And The Fireworks Party’.

Front Cover Of 'Posie Pixie And The Fireworks Party'
Front Cover Of ‘Posie Pixie And The Fireworks Party’

For now, I’ll leave you with one of the wonderful illustrations from ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’, by our fabulous illustrator Sarah Mauchline.

Fearne Fairy's Looking Jolly Busy In Her Woody Home! 😊
Fearne Fairy’s Looking Jolly Busy In Her Woody Home! 😊

I’ll also share with you one of the reviews that we have in already for this new ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s book :-

” The Whimsy Wood folk are timeless characters in the fashion of Potter, Milne and White. In time, The Whimsy Wood Series is likely to find its place in the lexicon of classic children’s literature.” – Readers’ Favourite, U.S.

Wishing you all a wonderfully whimsical day!

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series.

😁 There’s Nothing Like A Deadline To Focus The Mind! πŸ˜

OK. So you’ve guessed it. I have a pending deadline and I really need to sharpen my creativity and get writing! This is all regarding ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’, the eighth book and start of the second set, in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series.

Now, the book in question is due to be launched this Spring and it’s already been edited. Our editor was perfectly happy with it. TheΒ odd grammatical amendment needed of course, but apart from that we were good to go……Until my creativity, need for absolute perfection and panic over what ‘the world and his wife’ will think of this next whimsical instalment, happened to get in the way. Oh the joys of insecurity and self-criticism!

Anyway, I have spent the last few days in a complete tail-spin as I unpick the story, add more dilemma and humour. This can only be a good thing surely? And the extra work and stress I have put on myself will all be worth it in the end right? Well, let’s hope so!

For now I’ll leave you with the current version of the front cover for ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’ and get back sharpish to my own drawing, or rather writing board!

Front Cover For Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks! πŸ˜ƒ πŸ“š ✨
Front Cover For Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks! πŸ˜ƒ πŸ“š ✨

Wishing you all a wonderfully whimsical weekend.

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series.

 

‘Just January’? Surely Not!

Now nothing in life is ‘just’ anything. Sometimes you have to look hard to find a glimmer of ‘magic’ or intrigue, but it’s there waiting for you to spot it!

The month of January is no different. You may think that January is dull and dreary and that there’d be no point going for a walk, because you wouldn’t see anything interesting. Well, that’s where you’d be wrong! If you were to wander into our very own ‘Whimsy Wood’ right now, this is the first thing you’d see.

A frosty 'Whimsy Wood' in January. 😊 ❄️
A frosty ‘Whimsy Wood’ in January. 😊 ❄️

Looks rather magical don’t you think? If you carried on walking into ‘Whimsy Wood’ and kept your eyes peeled, you might still find some snowberries growing. Providing they haven’t been eaten by ‘Mrs Spottisdowne the sparrow’ or ‘Mr Bilberry the blackbird’ of course!

Frost-covered snowberries in 'Whimsy Wood'
Frost-covered snowberries in ‘Whimsy Wood’

Finally, if you kept very quiet, you might be lucky enough to spot (in the words of the marvellous Roald Dahl) the ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’! Or in the case of ‘Whimsy Wood, our very own ‘Florence Fox’! 😊

'Florence Fox' off for a sniff and a snuffle in 'Whimsy Wood'. 😊 ❄️
‘Florence Fox’ off for a sniff and a snuffle in ‘Whimsy Wood’. 😊 ❄️

If those beautiful, wintry images have tempted your literary tastebuds for a snowy story, filled with adventure that overcomes the elements and is topped off with steaming hot mugs of snowberry juice, then ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, my 6th ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s book, may be just what you and your little ones are after! It’s now available in ebook, hardback and the usual paperback :-http://abelapublishing.com/posie-pixie-and-the-snowstorm–book-6-in-the-whimsy-wood-series-hardback_p31232290.htm

Well, I’d best get on and try to be ‘creative’ elsewhere! Wishing you all a wonderfully whimsical day. 😊 ✨

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series.

✨ New Year, New Thoughts βœ¨

With the beginning of a new year, there often comes the need for change. The world of ‘Whimsy Wood’ and I are no different! With this in mind, there are a number of new and exciting things that I can tell you about, that are planned for my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series this year. 😊

The first thing being the creation of an all-singing, all-dancing ‘Whimsy Wood’ website! The second thing being the creation of some unbelievably cute ‘Whimsy Wood’ stationery, which you will be able to obtain from this whimsical website! The final thing is the creation of book 8, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’! I wrote this March story a while ago now, so I really can’t wait to see it in all its paperback glory!

In the meantime and if you can’t possibly wait until the release of this next wonderfully whimsical book, then please check out ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ which is now available in hardback! Thank you. 😊 http://abelapublishing.com/posie-pixie-and-the-snowstorm–book-6-in-the-whimsy-wood-series-hardback_p31232290.htm

Front cover of 'Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm'!
Front cover of ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’!

This is my 6th ‘Whimsy Wood’ book and it’s written specifically for this wintry month of January. It was awarded the ‘Story Monster Approved’ seal back in October last year and it was a tied winner (with ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, book 7 in my series) in ‘The Royal Dragonfly’ children’s book awards at the end of this year. Not bad going really! πŸ˜ƒ

As for news from ‘Whimsy Wood’ itself, well ‘Wilma Waxwing’ has come to visit her good friend ‘Mrs Spottisdowne the sparrow’. Wilma hails from cooler climes you see and so she likes to come to ‘Whimsy Wood’ for her winter holidays. It’s actually warmer in ‘Whimsy Wood’ presently, than where she lives back home! ❄️

'Wilma Waxwing' arriving in 'Whimsy Wood' for her winter holiday! 😊
‘Wilma Waxwing’ arriving in ‘Whimsy Wood’ for her winter holiday! 😊

Also, ‘Wibble Woodlouse’ was the first of the woodland folk to spot the snowdrops flowering in ‘Whimsy Wood’! ‘Fearne Fairy’ will be pleased, as her skirts are made from snowdrop petals and her old skirt had holes in, poor fairy. Looks like she’ll now be able to make herself a new snowdrop skirt! 😊

The 1st snowdrops flowering in 'Whimsy Wood'. 😊
The first snowdrops flowering in ‘Whimsy Wood’. 😊

Well, I’m off to try and be creative elsewhere, so I shall bid you farewell and wish you a wonderfully whimsical week! πŸ˜ƒ ✨

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series.

πŸπŸ‚πŸ˜ƒ Golden Thank Yous πŸ˜ƒπŸ‚πŸ

It’s been said many times before, but it really doesn’t cost anything to simply say, “Thank you!” Yet these two little words can mean the world to the recipient. Take, for example, this wonderful letter that I received in the post this week, from Wyberton Primary’s school council, following my author visit to them recently.

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When I read this carefully written, thoughtful letter, I was filled with joy and a rather lovely, warm, cosy feeling. I didn’t stop smiling all day! With this in mind, it occurred to me how powerful saying, “Thank you” really is.

I then started thinking about all the things that I am thankful for. Now I came up with quite a long list, which I won’t bore you with, but by simply looking around me when out walking across the fields near where we live, I was reminded how beautiful nature and indeed the seasons are.

We’d been led to believe (as we are every year here in the UK), that there would be an Indian Summer. This was of course and usually is, a load of old codswallop! To be completely truthful, we’ve had a splendid summer in England and I’m rather delighted (indeed thankful!) to see the start of Autumn. I love this colourful month, filled with conkers and crab apples, bonfires and blackberries! To really get you in the spirit of being thankful for all things autumnal, I thought I’d share this poem by Brenda Williams :-

 

Thank you for the harvest
When fruit and berries grow.
Thank you for the ripening corn
Planted long ago.

Thank you for the autumn
And a warm and sunny day.
Thank you for the harvest
And crops to store away.

Thank you for the sugar beet
And fields of new mown hay
To feed the cows and horses
When winter comes to stay

Β© to Brenda Williams

I have been invited to Easton Royal Academy, to lead their assembly next week. This happens to be the school that I am ‘Associate Author’ for (and the second year running I’ll have you know! Something I am thankful for 😊) and they had requested some poetry. Since next Wednesday (the day my visit is planned for), is officially the first day of autumn, I shall be revelling in reading them numerous autumnal poems! I may even include a wee bit from Julia Donaldson’s ‘The Scarecrow’s Wedding’, which my children and I adore!

Something else I am thankful for, is that ‘Posie Pixie And The Copper Kettle’, book 1 from my Whimsy Wood, is now available in hard back form! Please click on this link to the publisher’s website to order your copy! πŸ˜ƒΒ http://abelapublishing.com/posie-pixie-and-the-copper-kettle–book-1-in-the-whimsy-wood-series–hardback_p31204951.htmΒ Before long, the other 6 books in the 1st set from my series, will also be available in hard back form. The next being book 2, ‘Posie Pixie And The Lost Matchbox’.

'Posie Pixie And The Lost Matchbox', book 2 in my 'Whimsy Wood' series 😊
‘Posie Pixie And The Lost Matchbox’, book 2 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series 😊

As you may or may not know, each of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ books is written for a specific month in the calendar, so the flora and fauna within the wood changes as you read through the series. Book 1 happened to be written for the month of August, making book 2 a September book you see. In ‘Posie Pixie And The Lost Matchbox’, we meet ‘Raspberry Rabbit’ ( Whimsy Wood’s cheerful yet silly, recycling rabbit!) and Posie’s best friend ‘Wibble Woodlouse! If you’re looking for an awesome autumnal children’s book, filled with colourful leaves, vivid descriptions and adventure, then this is the book you’re after! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ƒΒ http://abelapublishing.com/posie-pixie-and-the-lost-matchbox–book-2-in-the-whimsy-wood-series_p27279550.htm

Well, I’d best away and be creative elsewhere! Whimsical wishes to you all,

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series.

πŸ’«βœ¨πŸ˜ƒ A Wonderfully Whimsical Week! πŸ˜ƒβœ¨πŸ’«

Where does the time go? Another week has flown by in a blink of an eye and in the world of ‘Whimsy Wood’, we’ve managed to cram a fair bit in!

First of all, I’m thrilled to say that I actually won a competition this week! Yes, little old me, who rarely wins anything! I entered a competition on Twitter to win a 3 month book prescription service with ‘Warm Vellum Books’ you see and low behold, I won it! The lovely folk at ‘Warm Vellum Books’ sent me a questionnaire to fill in, so they knew my interests, likes and dislikes. Then using this information, they sent me a suitable brand new reading book along with a very old Penguin classic book.

With my love of all things written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, they sent me ‘The Gates’ by John Connolly and ‘Room At The Top’ by John Braine. This later book dates back to 1959 and is in mint condition! Well, I was delighted and I can’t wait to receive next month’s’ exciting package in the post! Incidentally, these fabulous books come wrapped in brown paper and green twine. It really is a wonderful service and something I’d highly recommend for any book lover out there. πŸ˜‰ If this is of interest to you, then please click on this link for further information. 😊 http://www.warmvellumbookshop.co.uk/pages/about-us

My perfect 'prescription' books from 'Warm Vellum Books' πŸ˜ƒ
My perfect ‘prescription’ books from ‘Warm Vellum Books’ πŸ˜ƒ

Well, winning that cracking competition certainly started our week off brilliantly! On the subject of competitions, the ‘Wildlife Trusts’ (to whom we donate 10% of all ‘Whimsy Wood’ book sales) are currently running a competition on their children’s e-newsletter, ‘Wildlife Watch’. This is to win signed copies of ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, the seventh book in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series. So if you’re feeling lucky and fancy entering, then please click on this link! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š Β http://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/september-2015-competition

Finally, the other wonderful event that happened this week, was my author visit to Wyberton Primary School in Lincolnshire. I always feel incredibly privileged to be invited into primary schools in the UK, to spend time with the children doing literacy-related woodland activities. This week’s visit was just as joyous!

Wyberton Primary’s splendid school council showed me around their amazing outside space. They have a special ‘Story-telling’ area, a ‘Water Garden’ and a ‘Sculpture Area’, along with their busy buzzing bees that they acquired a few months ago. The plan with the bees and their hive, is for the children to learn much more about the importance of bees in the world we live in, as well as learning to care for and handle bees safely and sensibly. Finally, they plan to use their knowledge and skills of bee-keeping as an enterprise, by selling the honey that is made. What a truly splendid school! πŸ˜ƒ

Meeting Wyberton Primary's 'School Council' after my assembly to the whole school 😊
Meeting Wyberton Primary’s ‘School Council’ after my assembly to the whole school 😊

Well that’s all for now folks! I’d best away and doing something creative and whimsical with my time! Whimsical wishes to you all. πŸ˜ƒ

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series.

 

 

From Special School Visits To Fantastic Food Festivals!

As you may or may not know, we had the lovely launch of book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, (the last book in the 1st set from my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series), at The White Horse Book Shop in Marlborough, Wiltshire on Saturday June the 27th. You’ll be delighted to know that the publisher, Abela Publishing, are still running their spectacular special offer, for all 7 ‘Whimsy Wood’ books in this 1st set, for just Β£25! Here’s the link for this awesome offer, if you missed the launch πŸ˜‰Β http://abelapublishing.com/whimsy-wood-series-set-1–7-book-special-offer_p27279552.htm

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Since then, my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series and I have been fortunate enough to be invited to visit Nursteed Primary School ( http://www.nursteed.wilts.sch.uk ) in Devizes, Wiltshire. This author visit will be on Wednesday July the 8th and I simply can’t wait to meet all the key-stage 1 children and teachers! πŸ˜ƒ I hope they enjoy the reading of book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, during their assembly and all the woodland-based literacy activities that I shall be doing with them! I wonder if there’ll be a special ‘author’s chair’?!

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We’ve also been invited to be part of Edington Farmshop’s Summer Food Festival! (Β http://edingtonfarmshop.co.uk/events ) This will be at the farm shop in Edington, Wiltshire, from midday onwards, on both Saturday July the 11th and Sunday July the 12th. There’ll be plenty of activities, crafts and stalls for all the family, along with an array of food, drink and music to entertain you!

'Mrs Scarlet the squirrel' and 'Posie Pixie' in Whimsy Wood's 'Woodland Store' 😊
‘Mrs Scarlet the squirrel’ and ‘Posie Pixie’ in Whimsy Wood’s ‘Woodland Store’ 😊

‘Mrs Scarlet the squirrel’ and ‘Posie Pixie’ are particularly excited about this event, as they want to see if the farm shop is anything like Whimsy Wood’s wonderful ‘Woodland Store’! If you haven’t been to Edington Farmshop before, then come along to this fantastic food festival and grab yourself a signed copy of one of my award-winning ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s books from our ‘Whimsy Wood’ stall! Hope to see you there πŸ˜ƒ

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Half-way house!

Would you believe that we are almost half-way through 2015 already!?! Crazy I know, but true. During this week, there has of course been the annual D-day celebrations, but did you know that 100 years ago, the 1st publication of Beatrix Potter’s ‘Peter Rabbit’ story occurred? Not only that, but during this week back in 1934, ‘Donald Duck’ made his 1st appearance! Whilst in 1942, Anne Frank received a diary for her 13th birthday. What an amazing gift that became.

To add to these exciting past events and bringing us back to the here-and-now, the new Children’s Laureate was announced this week. Malorie Blackman’s term as the previous children’s laureate has come to a close and instead, Chris Riddell will be taking on this prestigious role.

Closer to home, in our own wonderful world of ‘Whimsy Wood’, flyers have been distributed for the launch of book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’. Journalists have been notified of this pending event at The White Horse Book Shop in Marlborough, Wiltshire, on Saturday June the 27th, from 2.30pm. Fabulous posters advertising the launch, designed specifically for this shop’s window, have arrived. All in all, I think we’re set for a toptastic event! 😊

On a more creative note, I had an awesome author visit to Knebworth Primary School in Hertfordshire this week! I was invited to spend half the day with their KS1 children. We created woodland characters, designed woodland maps and I read ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’ to them during their assembly! Apart from my own 3 children, they were the 1st children to hear this latest instalment from my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series and I’m pretty sure they thoroughly enjoyed it! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š

Signing my 'Whimsy Wood' children's books at Knebworth Primary 😊
Signing my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s books at Knebworth Primary 😊

 

Reading 'Posie Pixie And The Pancakes' to the KS1 children at Knebworth Primary 😊
Reading ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’ to the KS1 children at Knebworth Primary 😊

Not only that, but we can happily announce a competition to win signed copies of book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’ on the fabulous ‘mummascribbles’ website! Thank you heaps Lisa in advance for running this 😊 To be in with a chance to win, simply click on this link below:- Β http://mummascribbles.com/competitions/giveaway-whimsy-wood-book-7-posie-pixie-the-pancakes/

I do believe that’s all there is to mention this week in the world of ‘Whimsy Wood’, so I shall bid you a wonderfully whimsical weekend 😊

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of the ‘Whimsy Wood’ series.

Bloomin’ Blogtastic!!

What a wonderfully whimsical week it’s been for my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series and I! Without further ado, I shall explain exactly why! Well, we were nominated for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’ by the very creative Carmela Dutra! Please check out her own brilliant blog here :- http://ablogforyourthoughts.com/wp-rss.php/blogger-award/

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I would like to nominate these following blogs in turn for this awesome award :-

http://vegbooks.org

http://www.anywaytostayathome.com/

http://ajschildrensbooks.com/

http://awomanswisdom.wordpress.com/

http://ablogforyourthoughts.com/wp-rss.php/blogger-award/

 

In other ‘Whimsy Wood’ related news, I’ve been invited to Townsend Barn Nursery in Poulshot, Wiltshire, to read one of my books to their pre-school children, on Tuesday the 10th of February. I’ve also been invited to Heddington Primary school, Wiltshire, on Tuesday March the 3rd as part of World Book Week, which is all very exciting! This recent invitation, means that my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series and I, are now booked for all of this wonderful week! (March the 2nd – March the 6th)

Finally, the 4th version of ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ (book 6 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series) is back from tweaking and fiddling and formatting with the publisher! I shall need to go over it later and ensure ‘Posie Pixie’ is also happy with it! This book is due to be launched on February the 28th and I feel the need to give you a wee extract from it, to wet your whimsical appetite a tad!…..

” WHEEE!” cried Posie Pixie with delight, as she slid down the slippery spout slide into her copper kettle house one icy January morning. “This is sooo much fun Wibble!” she squealed happily and promptly landed in her kitchen with a BUMPETY-BUMP, skidding sideways and narrowly missing her woodlouse friend. ……

Now, as I would say to my own children at the end of their bedtime story, “….and that is where we shall leave it….” ! I couldn’t possibly give you anymore from ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’!! Well….maybe… I’ll tell you a little more next week! Until then, I shall close the heavy oak doors on the wonderful world of Whimsy Wood and bid you all a very whimsical, rather early, weekend (hey, it’s nearly Friday!) πŸ˜‰