Tuesday 16 October 2018

The Grumpy Gnome's Garden by Della Jane Hales Children's Book Review

The Grumpy Gnome's Garden by Dell's Jayne Hales is my latest review for Matador Books. A more traditional children's tale, it stars The Grumpy Gnome and his housemate, The Little Fairy.

Although The Grumpy Gnome's Garden is suitable for independent readers aged around 6+, I actually think this book works better for reading together and is ideal for bedtime with younger children who enjoy fairy stories.

The author wanted to encourage children to see the enjoyment and reward that comes with gardening, and the friends build a beautiful garden together. They grow flowers and vegetables and herbs, and working together as a team create something very special to them both, which also benefits the animals, birds and insects.

This is Della's first book and it's an interesting little collection of stories sharing a few months with the Grumpy Gnome. The Fairy Princess and Grumpy Gnome are great home-growers and make all kinds of delicious things with the produce, including Pavlova, jams, chutneys and 'Apple Fizz'. Apple Fizz is clearly cider and they make 450 bottles of it in all, most of which they sell for charity.

By the end of the book 'Grumpy' is no more and the Little Gnome has friends and parties and is a regular socialite. There's an underlying moral message about not making assumptions about people before you know them.

The writing style and subject matter are fairly old-school, I'm reminded very much of Enid Blyton and it will appeal best to children who enjoy listening to more traditional fairy and animal tales. There's no clever or complicated storyline to follow, no peril or sadness and the story has natural, regular breaks, which really does make it ideal for bedtime with younger children.

The Grumpy Gnome's Garden is written and illustrated by Della Jayne Hales and published by Matador Books, the children's part of Troubador. Available to buy now priced £6.99rrp, 69 pages with colour illustrations throughout. Available from all good book shops including Amazon (affiliate* link).

I was sent my copy of The Grumpy Gnome's Garden for review. *Amazon links are affiliate, which means I earn a few pence if you buy through my link, but you don't pay any extra, and if I keep the blog long enough then in a mere 35,000 years I might have earned enough for a little cottage like the one Gnome lives in.

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