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 :- 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! 😃 🐣 🐰 💐

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

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📚 🌬 😃 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.

✨ 📚 😊 A Whimsical Website And A Writing Competition! 😊 📚 ✨

Hello there and a happy Thursday to you all! I hope you’ve been having a wonderfully whimsical week so far and thank goodness it’s nearly Friday! My desperate need to reach the weekend, has been fuelled by the frenetic pace of this week. I honestly don’t know if I’ve been coming or going! Mostly ‘going’ I suspect though and probably ’round the twist’!

Anyway, needless to say that the wheels of ‘Whimsy Wood’ have been whirring away and at an equally hectic speed. This is because book 8, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’, is going through its formatting stage, ready for its release on March the 19th. Here’s another of Sarah Mauchline’s (our incredible illustrator) enchanting illustrations for this next Whimsy Wood book.

Poor 'Fearne Fairy' has crash landed again! 😁
Poor ‘Fearne Fairy’ has crash landed again! 😁

Along with the formatting of book 8, a wonderfully whimsical website is currently being created for my Whimsy Wood children’s series. This website will contain inside information about the series and background information on all the Whimsy Wood characters. There will be regular children’s competitions and woodland-related craft ideas, along with Whimsy Wood’s own little online shop. I am really excited about Whimsy Wood’s website and I hope you like it when it’s completed. 😊

In other Whimsy Wood news, I’m delighted to share with you information regarding a children’s writing competition! This is being run by The Little Hen House in Devizes, Wiltshire. If you’re not familiar with this super shop, I can tell you that The Little Hen House stocks charming children’s clothes for ages 0-8 years old.

They opened their children’s writing competition on January the 23rd, (National Handwriting Day) and the deadline for entries is February the 23rd. So if you were looking for a half-term activity for your children, then this could be a splendid suggestion. 😊

In the afternoon of Saturday March the 12th, I shall be giving out the prizes to the wonderful winners of this writing competition. This prize-giving event will be held in The Little Hen House and there’ll be a treasure hunt, colouring-in station and a Whimsy Wood book reading. For further information regarding this competition, please contact The Little Hen House directly. Thank you.

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Well, that’s all from me for today. Time is pressing and my ‘to-do’ list isn’t getting any shorter!

With whimsical wishes,

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

✨ 📚 😃 A Brand New Whimsy Wood Children’s Book Is Coming Soon! 😃 📚 ✨

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.

‘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 ✨

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.

📚 🎄 😃 It’s Going To Be A Hardback Christmas! 😃 🎄 📚

Along with the wonderful Christmas cards that have been arriving at our family home in the wonderful county of Wiltshire, there have also been boxes of hardbacks of my 1st 7 ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s books, arriving directly from the publisher, Abela Publishing. 📚

I was absolutely delighted when Abela Publishing were keen to produce hardback copies of my woodland books for 5-8 year olds and, I know I’m biased, but they really do look and feel pretty darn fantastic! ✨ If you’d like to purchase a hardback copy of ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’ in time for Christmas, then please click on this link. Thank you. 😊 http://www.amazon.co.uk/POSIE-PIXIE-CHRISTMAS-TREE-Whimsy/dp/1910882615/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449494997&sr=1-1&keywords=Posie+Pixie+And+The+Christmas+Tree

Hardback copy of 'Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree' 🎄 ✨
Hardback copy of ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’ 🎄 ✨

Now, if you’d rather try your hand at winning a copy of ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, then The Wildlife Trusts UK (who we donate 10% of all ‘Whimsy Wood’ book sales to), are currently running a competition in their children’s magazine, ‘Wildlife Watch’, as shown below. 😉

Competition to win 'Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree'!
Competition to win ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’!

Incase you’re not familiar with ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, then here’s an extract for you to get you in the festive spirit:-

‘ ….That night, with Wibble curled up by her feet in the matchbox bed, Posie dreamt of a huge snow-kissed Christmas tree that filled her copper kettle house. It had beautiful red and white baubles hanging from its branches and twinkly, sparkly tinsel spiralling down from top to bottom.

By dawn the next morning, Posie was up and dressed in her purple pixie tunic, leggings and boots. She’d eaten her hot porridge with honey and drunk her nettle tea. As she was putting on her ice-blue duffle coat, Wibble scuttled into the kitchen. ….’

Well, that’s all from me for now. Christmas baking and present wrapping is calling! 🎁

Wishing you a wonderfully whimsical week. 😊

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

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🎁😊🎁 It’s All About Giving 🎁😊🎁

This morning was my daughters’ school harvest festival in our local village church. We live in Wiltshire, in the wee hamlet of Seend Cleeve (which happens to have 2 pubs, so for a small place it certainly has its priorities right!) The church in question, where this seasonal service was held, is in the spectacular village of Seend. The Church Of The Holy Cross (for this is its name) is a truly beautiful and historic church, tucked away down a quiet lane.

Inside the church this morning was a large table, filled with food donations from all the school children and their families, as part of the harvest service. This food will go to the local food bank and the splendid service itself, reminded me of the importance of giving to everyone and everything around us.

With this in mind and the thought of food and what traditionally used to be taken to harvest festivals years ago – I distinctly remember taking courgettes, marrows and a rather large pumpkin, to my own school harvest festival many moons ago! I thought I’d share with you a vegetable poem, that is one of my children’s favourites!

Where Broccoli Comes From – by Michael Rosen

Not many people know                                                                     that broccoli grows in the armpits                                                      of very big green men                                                                      who live in the forest                                                                         and brave broccoli cutters                                                                  go deep into the forests                                                                    and they creep up on the                                                                   very big green men.

They wait for the                                                                               very big green men                                                                              to fall asleep                                                                                     and the broccoli cutters                                                                      get out their                                                                                     great big broccoli razors                                                                   and they shave the armpits                                                                  of the very big green men.

And that’s where broccoli comes from.                                             Not many people know that.                                                             Just thought I’d let you know. 😃

With the same ‘giving’ theme and after numerous requests of hard back versions of my 1st 7 ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s books, Abela Publishing (who have published my books to date) are indeed releasing hard back copies! Here is the front cover of the proof copy of ‘Posie Pixie And The Copper Kettle’, in its hard back form’:-

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You can now order a copy of this hard back version of my 1st ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s book, directly from the publishers:-

http://abelapublishing.com/posie-pixie-and-the-copper-kettle–book-1-in-the-whimsy-wood-series–hardback_p31204951.htm

If the front cover hasn’t tempted you, then please check out its back cover! 😃

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Finally, on the subject of giving, I decided to donate copies of ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ and ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’ (books 5, 6 and 7 respectively in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series) to our local libraries this week. They already had copies of my 1st 4 ‘Whimsy Wood’ books, so it only seemed right to donate the rest of this 1st whimsical children’s set. 😊

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Donating copies of my 5th, 6th and 7th ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s books to Wiltshire Libraries 😊

Well, that’s me done on here for this week, so I’ll bid you farewell and wish you a wonderfully whimsical day! 😉

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 £25! Here’s the link for this awesome offer, if you missed the launch 😉 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! 😃 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! ( 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 😃

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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! 😉😊

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.