📚 🌬 😃 Another Whirlwind Week For Whimsy Wood! 😃 🌬 📚

 

The wheels of ‘Whimsy Wood’ were back on the road again last week, as I was invited to visit Townsend Barn Nursery in Poulshot, Wiltshire, to read ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, book 7 in my Whimsy Wood children’s series.

Visiting Townsend Barn Nursery in Poulshot, Wiltshire.
Visiting Townsend Barn Nursery in Poulshot, Wiltshire.

The pre-school children certainly enjoyed meeting all the woodland folk that I brought with me and loved listening to Posie’s February adventure! They were able to take home Whimsy Wood bookmarks and information about book 8, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’, which is due out this Saturday! 😃

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Talking of which, the first hardback and paperback copies of ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’ arrived last week! I know I’m biased, but they really do look absolutely beautiful! If you’d like to pre-order a copy you can do so here :- http://abelapublishing.com/preorder–fearne-fairy-and-the-dandelion-clocks–book-8-in-the-whimsy-wood-series_p31235401.htm

The 1st Hardback and Paperback Copies Of Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks!
The 1st Hardback And Paperback Copies Of Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks!

I was also invited to Hamp Academy in Bridgwater, Somerset last week, to run 2 creative writing workshops for their junior pupils. We had lots of fun, creating woodland story arcs in the form of game boards. The children were then able to write a short woodland story, using their story game boards. This tied in with a woodland visit the children had been on a few days before.

Finally, I was asked to judge a children’s writing competition run by The Little Hen House in Devizes, Wiltshire and the prize-giving party was last Saturday. The entries we’d received were really wonderful; full of imagination and creativity. Huge congratulations to the winners and indeed all the children who entered. 😃

Along with a treasure hunt around The Little Hen House, the children were treated to a ‘pin the beak on the chicken’ game and craft activities. Following some essential celebratory slices of cake, the children settled down to hear the first ever public reading of ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’!

I’m delighted to say that it went down a storm and the children headed home, happily carrying their party bags and prizes. Hopefully, they had wonderfully whimsical dreams that evening, of little hens getting up to mischief in Whimsy Wood with Fearne Fairy perhaps?! 😃

The mention of dreams has just reminded me, that I really should be finishing off the content required for Whimsy Wood’s new website, which will go live this Sunday! So, I shall bid you farewell and wish you a wonderfully whimsical week!

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

✨ New Year, New Thoughts ✨

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! 😃

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! 😃 ✨

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

✨ 🎁 😊 Time For Thanks And Thanksgiving! 😊 🎁 ✨

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As you may or may not know, across the icy blue Atlantic waters to the vast and glorious country of America, they are currently awaiting the beginning of ‘Thanksgiving’ and the holiday spell that goes with it. This is a special time to spend with family and friends, enjoying each other’s company, eating splendid food and being thankful. It may not be something that we celebrate here, but I came across a rather lovely acrostic poem about this particular time of year recently, so I thought I’d share it with you:-

Holiday Letters

T is for Turkey on ‘Thanksgiving Day’.                                                    is for “Hurry! I’m hungry!” I say.                                                           is for Auntie, she works and she mends.                                             is for Native American friends.                                                           is for Kitchen, the oven’s on low.                                                       is for Silverware, set in a row.                                                             G is for Grandma, the one we love most.                                                 is for Inside, where we’re warm as toast!                                             is for Vegetables, eat them we try.                                                        is for Ice-cream on top of the pie.                                                        is for Never do we have enough dressing!                                        G is for Grandpa, who gives thanks for our blessings. 😊

Now in the wonderful world of ‘Whimsy Wood’, this past week has been truly incredible! There are so many things that have happened recently, that I am well and truly thankful for. The first thing, being the delectable display of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ books in Edington Farm Shop. I was at their Christmas Fair recently and I was absolutely delighted at how and where they’d decided to display my books! In prime position as you enter their shop and at child height! 😃

My 'Whimsy Wood' books out on display at 'Edington FarmShop' 😊
My ‘Whimsy Wood’ books out on display at ‘Edington FarmShop’ 😊

A few days after this Christmas Fair, I received an exciting email from ‘The Royal Dragonfly Book Awards’ over in America. They wanted to inform me that ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ and ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’ (books 6 and 7 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series) were tied winners of the ‘Picture Book For 6 Years+’ category!! I was completely bowled over and utterly elated!!

'Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm' and 'Posie Pixie And The Pancakes' are tied winners in The Royal Dragonfly Awards! 😃
‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ and ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’ are tied winners in The Royal Dragonfly Awards! 😃

At the weekend, I attended the annual ‘Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ conference in Winchester. I learnt a lot from the various brilliant guest-speakers. These ranged from senior editors and agents to…..

The awesome annual SCBWI conference in Winchester!
The awesome annual SCBWI conference in Winchester!

….amazing authors and illustrators, such as Philip Reeves and Sarah McIntyre……

Guest speakers Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
Guest speakers Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

…..and Jonny Duddle. I was very fortunate, that these 3 fabulous folk kindly signed their books, that I’d brought from home with me. My 3 children were over-joyed, to see personal messages written to them on the insides of their well-thumbed copies! 😉

Guest speaker Jonny Duddle
Guest speaker Jonny Duddle

In the evening, I’m delighted and honoured to say that ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ and ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, were included in the conference’s ‘Mass Book Launch’! I received my autographed certificate from fellow children’s authors, Philip Reeves and Jonny Duddle….

The Mass Book Launch (I'm at the back on the right hand side 😉)
The Mass Book Launch (I’m at the back on the right hand side 😉)

…..and we all celebrated with a slice of the splendid, swashbuckling ‘Mass Book Launch’ cake! It featured front covers of all the books that were included in this fabulous launch and I must say, it was the best chocolate cake I think I’ve ever had! 😋

The SCBWI Mass Book Launch swashbuckling cake!
The SCBWI Mass Book Launch swashbuckling cake!

For all these terrific things that I’ve mentioned above, I am indeed very, very thankful. On that note, I shall bid you farewell and wish you a truly happy thanksgiving! 😃✨

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

💫✨😃 A Wonderfully Whimsical Week! 😃✨💫

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. 😉 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' 😃
My perfect ‘prescription’ books from ‘Warm Vellum Books’ 😃

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! 😉😊  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! 😃

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. 😃

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

 

 

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! 😉😊

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:-  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.