Monday 30 April 2018

The Nokka by K.K.Nikolaou Children's Book Review (age 7+)

The Nokka is an excellent read which whisks you away to the land of the fairies. It does it very cleverly too, as it's very modern and easy to read, but has a classic feel and really could be set at any time...and in any woods...

The Nokka tells the tale of Jenifer and Jory, two youngsters living in Cornwall. Their names annoyed me, partly because of the spelling I'll admit, but I soon got over it as they are both intelligent and likeable youngsters. They have just enough bravery to get through the story, while still showing their own weaknesses. Jenifer's 8 year old brother Tristan features heavily too, and even he is a nice lad who you wish no harm to.

Jory's father went missing many years ago, so he lives with his mother, while Jenifer and Tristan live with their parents and Grandmother. Jenifer's late Grandfather told wonderful tales about little people living in the woods, and claimed to have even rescued one which had become caught in a snare. The little man dropped his bag, which Jenifer's Grandmother still has, and it contains 2 special stones and a riddle.

Jenifer's Grandfather was mocked for his stories, because he truly believed them, but the children realise that there may well be more to them than just imagination, and start to research.  The stories told of a portal to the little people's world, and suggest that humans who go missing in the woods must have found the portal and never returned. The children turn their focus to the puzzle, as that will give them the answers they need...

Obviously Jenifer and Jory then go in search and... I won't spoil the story because it really is a great book. The descriptions are vivid and you can easily imagine the locations and the emotions that the children feel. You urge them on and later in the book are really aware of the time pressure they are under. No-one wants to be late home...

There's a little bit of peril and suspense, and the children do find themselves in a couple of scary situations, but it's fantastical and shouldn't give anyone bad dreams. There aren't really any 'bad guys' or protagonists in this book, no-one with an agenda or an evil plan, it teaches us more about being tolerant and understanding of others.

Towards the end of the book there is a point where the group go into a bar and drink Merrymead, which helps them forget their troubles for a while. Clearly an adult can make some assumptions from that, and I think it was an error to add it, but Harry Potter gets away with Butterbeer. Who knows, maybe in magical lands you'd need a bit of a counter-measure after fighting evil spells and curses for 16 hours. 

We loved this story and it gets the thumbs up from my 8 and 9 year old boys and myself. The pace quickens towards the end and I for one couldn't wait to find out what happened. Now I've finished it, I can't wait to find out what happens next...

The Nokka is recommended for age 7-11, I actually thing that is a little low and an older child would enjoy it just as much. The language is simple and the flow excellent, so confident readers of 7 will enjoy it too. We read together in this case. The Nokka is ideal for either girls or boys, which isn't something I thought I'd be able to say so confidently about a book with fairies and a lead female character, but it's true. The Nokka itself is a Cornish legend, and there's enough action and adventure for anyone, even the fairies have teeth....

The Nokka is written by K.K.Nikolaou, who also illustrated the gorgeous green embossed cover, and published by BookGuild. Paperback, 208 pages. Available now rrp £7.99 from all good book shops in store and online. 

We were sent our copy of The Nokka for review.


  1. What a lovely sounding book. I think my little boy would enjoy this x

    1. I think that he would. It's really well written and has great pace :)


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