Review – Fairies Of Nutfolk Wood by Barb Bentler Ullman

After Willa's parents' divorce, Willa and her mom find themselves starting fresh in the country town of Plunkit. Catching a glimpse of a sparkle by the creek and in the old woods, Willa knows there's something unusual about her new surroundings. And her older-than-old neighbour, Hazel Wicket, has an amusing story about an imagined family of tiny people that inhabit a tree stump.
Willa knows there's no such thing as fairies, but when she spots more and more oddities, she can't stop wondering if there's some truth behind Hazel's curious tales of the fairies called Nutfolk. . . .

It’s not too often that I read books geared towards a younger audience, but I am glad that I picked up The Fairies Of Nutfolk Wood. This is a children’s book that really tells two stories at the same time. The main plot for me was about a young girl named Willa, and how she her life changes after her parents divorce. Willa finds herself being affected both emotionally and physically by this, she seems unsure of her feelings and also becomes melancholy, losing much of her child-like zest. Willa’s mother, in an effort to help her daughter and the situation, decides to pack-up and move them into the country to find peace.

The other story is one of childhood magic, when Willa begins seeing fantastical things happening all around her in the woods surrounding her new home. However, Willa is not so easily convinced of this magical world and her scepticism is always trying to override her more fanciful wish that fairies and other creatures are real.

The binding of these two plots was really good, it was great to see how Willa tried so hard to think of the situation in a logical way, while it was obvious that she would like nothing more than to surrender her good sense and believe in magic. I also enjoyed the structure of the story, it was told in an easy and relaxed manner, with little to no major conflict, other than everyday nuisances. It’s nice to see a children’s book that doesn’t rely on bad guys, but instead tells of the life of a young girl and her very real troubles. The characters were interesting, the pacing was well-done, and the descriptions were terrific - especially the forest setting, of which the author creates vivid thoughts of how the trees and foliage must appear.

About The Author
Barb Bentler Ullman lives with her family -- husband Jim, two daughters, a blind grandma, a vicious house cat, and an overweight dog -- in a house that her husband built in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. "My daughter Sara once came up with the idea for an American woodland fairy. She was glue-gunning acorns together and calling them 'nut-babies.' They resided in pretty places in our woods,  living quiet, natural lives. One thing led to another."

Published by HarperCollins

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Barb said...

Dear book zombie,
What a nice review of my story. It was fresh and inciteful, and so rewarding that you got all the nuances. Thanks, Barb Ullman

naida said...

this sounds good, great review :)
how nice of the author to stop by and comment too.

Nymeth said...

I want this! It sounds right up my alley.