I promised two reviews from the same publisher. So after The Boy Who Breathed Underwater last week, as we head for festive season, here is the second.
First of all, I have to note that 10% of profits from this book are donated to Hospital Radio Plymouth. Love this! In fact the story was first read by Sue Crowhurst on the radio, and I’m sure the young listeners enjoyed it. I hope it will feature in this years festive line up too.
The next thing to note is the unusual font. It’s all in a very heavy sans serif in bold. My first reaction was it’s a bit “shouty” (like writing an email ALL IN CAPS but there is no explanation so I’m hoping it’s a dyslexia friendly font (would love that confirmed if anyone knows).
My favourite character was Broderick the bookworm (of course). And the idea of trying to trick the king with green and red snow made me giggle and opens the door for plenty of silly conversations. Thankfully there was no mention of yellow snow – eeeewwww – that could have created some interesting discussions! Actually I think there’s a missed opportunity to play with the white Christmas/ green Christmas here and add an eco layer to the plot.
Each page has crisp and cheerful illustrations by Michael S Kane. Annoyingly, again the publisher hasn’t provided any details on the illustrator, but at least he’s credited on the cover (it’s a pet hate of mine when the illustrator/ narrator are not credited).
When lying in his bed, a boy is visited by a genie. He is given a week to try out different superhero powers. What adventures will King Mark is a higgledy-piggledy king and he gets into a pickle every day. “Do something, Bert!” he shouts, and Wizard Bert, and his sidekick, Broderick the bookworm, always save the day. When snow fell on Windy Hill Castle, everyone was delighted – except for King Mark! King Mark didn’t like snow and he started to sulk. Will Bert and Broderick save the day again? Will King Mark walk into trouble? Do the children of Windy Hill Village have the answer…?
About the author
Jocelyn’s writing career began when she was asked to write a story for a preschool magazine. That story was the first of many. Jocelyn became the writer/editor of several preschool magazines and continued in that role for 15 years. Writing one new story every month, plus rhymes and activities was a tough gig, but very exhilarating.
Time is the big difference between writing for a magazine and writing a book. You see your work on the supermarket shelves within a few weeks of completion. A book takes longer – a lot longer. Jocelyn has to be patient now – not something she’s good at.
Before becoming a writer, Jocelyn work in higher education as International Students Officer. It was a rewarding and interesting job even though she was on call 24/7.
Jocelyn also trained as a counsellor and volunteered at drop-in centers. She never knew who would arrive for counselling and had to be prepared for anything. This work gave her insight into some of the darker corners of life.
Motor sport was one of Jocelyn’s early loves, she had spine tingling thrill of taking part in a 24-hour national rally as navigator – those were the days when rallies were held on public roads! Jocelyn work as an au pair in Paris in her teens. Having visited the city on a school trip, she fell in love with it, and always wanted to return.