Jill Atkins is in my writing group so I was thrilled to be invited by her publisher to take part in the blog tour for her new book, Racoon and the Hot Air Balloon. Unfortunately a hiking holiday in the hills meant I missed the actual tour, but I was lucky enough to be sent a copy to review anyway.
I absolutely loved the Racoon character – everything you could want in a role model – kind, compassionate, brave, and adventurous. And always getting into mischief – something that should appeal to young readers!
And the Eagle mum character is also very strongly written. She allows Raccoon to explore, but there in the background to prevent disaster. What a lovely way to include the “grown-up” in the story. I remember hearing Katherine Rundell say in a speech “there is nothing so endangered in children’s literature as a mother” and it’s true – as writers we’re encouraged to write them out so the children can solve their problems, but I like them to be there in the background.
And as if that wasn’t enough, there is the underlying message of good deeds repaying themselves.
Raccoon is in search of adventure! A hot air balloon looks like the perfect way for her to experience flying…but how do you get down?
Jill Atkins is a self-proclaimed ‘escaped teacher’ who is now writing for children with 46 books published so far, ranging from early reading material to teenage novels. She is married with two grown-up children and five grandchildren, and loves to read both adult and children’s books.