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Wondrous Willow by Christine Horner

Wondrous Willow

by Christine Horner

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Wondrous Willow by Christine Horner & illustrated by Joey McGrellis is a captivating children's story. It also has valuble lessons for young readers. I gave it five stars.

Willow is a beautiful Swallowtail butterfly. Percy is an adorable but mischievous hedgehog. Skipper is a malodorous baby skunk. There are many more creatures who live on the mountain. Skipper & Percy were both Willow's friends.

"Skipper hiccupped again, becoming more nervous. It’s what he did when he was upset. Skipper wasn’t sure if he got nervous because of the hiccups or if the hiccups were what made him nervous." He was friends with Percy who seemed upset with Willow.

"The truth was Percy was jealous of Willow. He knew that Skipper was quite fond of the butterfly and Percy was afraid of losing his friend to Willow. Percy didn’t realize making new friends doesn’t mean your old friends go away. It’s just, well, Percy may be adorable, but he was so ornery he didn’t have any close friends."

Percy got jealous & pushed Skipper into the stream. Skipper crept out & hid but Percy & Willow were rescued by Madera, the Great Horned Owl who is the leader of the Rocky Mountain Wisdom Circle. She did not usually appear during the day.

"Wisdom Circles are created so that the animals & insects can meet as friends, without the fear of being eaten. The also honor & show their appreciation for each other for being part of the Circle of Life."

Parts of the story are sad, but that is the way of life. It is also full of joy.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair review. This did not change my opinion for this review. ( )
  carolyninjoy | Feb 18, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was hoping this would be a fun children's book. Unfortunately I found it to be clunky, skipping from chapter to chapter, and the animal personifications were unengaging and in my mind a little trite. It didn't grab my attention at all, and while I do enjoy children's books, this one failed to hit the mark.

*i received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ( )
  bellymonster | Jan 10, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I found this book to be incredibly boring. I didn't even want to finish read it. It is about a group of anthropomorphic animals, which the author makes appear really stupid and petty. I just cannot take such a book seriously. This book is a waste of time and paper in my opinion.

Disclaimer: I received a free ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. ( )
  panthercat23 | Nov 4, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was not impressed by the story at all. Anthropomorphic animals usually do not make the best stories, in my opinion. I understood the moral point that the author was trying to make, but I think the message is going to fall flat on most children. In fact, using the story of a controlled burn may harm more children's knowledge of animal behavior and what is good for the environment than intended. A controlled burn is actually a very healthy thing for a forest, unlike what this story would have you believe. The best part of this book is the illustrations. I wish there were more of them! The illustrator shouldn't have a hard time finding a career in illustrating. He did a very good job. ( )
  kristikingmorgan | Oct 28, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Wondrous Willow has a good moral, several well-developed characters and engaging illustrations. Unfortunately, the flow of language throughout the book is inconsistent and clunky with grammatical errors - including verb-less sentences and evident confusion about when to use possessive and plural forms - that periodically distract from the book's message. The use of a controlled burn as the story's source of conflict is questionable at best, misleading at worst, and the combination of poor editing and choppy storytelling made this a challenging read. Sadly, this book appears to have been written quickly and without sufficient proofreading, which is a shame.

The best parts of this book are Joey McGrellis' illustrations, which are charming and colorful. I am certain that I will see his work again, as he is a talented graphic artist and visual storyteller.

I received this book at no cost in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  KateTraylor | Oct 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
3 Stars
The introduction of this book by the author says she wrote it after dealing with her young daughter being diagnosed with cancer. The moral of the book that the author wanted to portray by writing this story is that “we are all equally beautiful, important, and here for a very important reason” and she hopes that children and families braving the illness of a loved one can find solace in this book.
The illustrations, done by a 17 year-old, are marvelous. I wish there were more of them in the book than there are! They’re very nicely done.
Willow is the main character. Willow is a butterfly. This book anthropomorphizes animals, meaning animals think, act, and feel like humans. I personally am not a big fan of anthropomorphic stories, but I do like the message that the author intends for this book to portray.
Willow is a bit of an uppity character, thinking she is so very important because she is the only butterfly of her type on the mountain. She thinks she is special. Her friends are tired of her uppity attitude, accusing her of sitting around and preening and looking at her reflection all day. Skipper and Percy are two animals who are her friends, one of whom really likes Willow and the other one is a bit jealous that Willow will steal his friend away. One day a great owl comes to find Skipper, who is a skunk, and summon him to a special meeting to discuss something important, but Skipper hides and is scared of the owl. Willow boldly introduces herself to the owl and is summoned to the meeting instead of Skipper. Skipper never knew he was the one who was going to be invited. The catastrophe that they discuss is a fire. The controlled burn is described in such a way as to make it sound like a bad thing, and I didn’t like this at all because controlled burns are necessary and vital for a healthy forest. I am not thrilled that this book portrays burns in a negative light. The animals come up with a plan to scare the humans into leaving so that maybe they won’t burn the forest. They decided to terrorize them at their campsite.
I won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that I was disappointed in the anthropomorphic animals and their attitude towards a controlled burn. The underlying message of everyone being important and having an important role to fulfil in life was there and readers should be able to pick up on it. I was too taken aback by the actions of the animals to really enjoy the message though.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for writing a review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
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