Hip Hip Hooray! It’s National Poetry Day!

Incase you didn’t know, today is National Poetry Day here in the U.K.! To celebrate this delightful day, I thought I’d share with you a poem that I’d come across recently. This poem featured in the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) magazine and is written by Jane Yolen:-

THE BEST-SELLING AUTHOR
Getcha red hot metaphors here,
Your poetry stretches line by line.
Yes, you can handle the similes
I think you’ll find they’re rather fine.

Alliteration always sells,
Even in recessions,
But slant rhymes are another kettle
Of fish, of flesh, of fissions.

I’ve got some second-hand paragraphs,
Some small, used punctuations
Suitable for a senior prom
And for most graduations.

And psst, if you will come back here,
You’ll find that you’re in luck.
I’ve got some first class sentences
That just fell off the truck!

I also have a poem of my own that I’d like to share with you on this lyrical day. This poem features in my third ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s book, titled ‘Posie Pixie And The Torn Tunic’. This particular whimsical story is written for the marvellous month of October and is about Posie Pixie’s love of blackberries!

POSIE’S BLACKBERRY POEM
Blackberries, blackberries on my mind,
I could eat you all the time.
In a pie with vanilla ice-cream,
Or hot with custard. Oh what a dream!
I could warm and squash you into jam,
Then spread you on everything, even ham!
Blackberries, blackberries, I love you,
All bumpy and shiny and purpley-blue.

Front Cover Of ‘Posie Pixie And The Torn Tunic’, Book 3 In The Whimsy Wood Series 😃📚✨

 

For an extract from this third Whimsy Wood book, or for more information about the Whimsy Wood children’s series, then please visit the ‘Book’ section on this website. ‘Posie Pixie And The Torn Tunic’ is available from all good online and high street book retailers. Thank you.

With Autumnal whimsical wishes,

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of the Whimsy Wood series.

After An Inspiring Author Visit Packed To The Rafters With Whimsical Fun?

You are? Oh goody! Then you’ve come to the right place because Whimsy Wood’s award-winning children’s author, Sarah Hill, is just the pocket-sized person for your school, library or nursery visit!

Sarah visiting Townsend Barn Nursery, Poulshot, Wiltshire. 😃📚✨

 

Sarah is regularly invited to visit primary schools, nurseries and libraries across the UK. She is very flexible and will work out a plan for her visit to that particular establishment, depending on what has been asked of her.

Sarah Meets Wyberton Primary’s ‘School Council’ After Her Assembly To Their School. 😃📚✨

 

Sarah will happily lead an assembly, run woodland-related literacy activities with each of the KS1 classes and creative writing workshops with the KS2 pupils. If you would just like her to read the latest ‘Whimsy Wood’ book to your nursery children or KS1 children, then again she is happy to do that.

Reading ‘Posie Pixie And The Fireworks Party’ to the children at the Las Vegas Valley Book Festival! 😃📚✨

 

Alternatively, you may prefer to arrange a Skype call with Sarah, as various schools overseas have done in the past.

‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s author Sarah Hill skyping with schools overseas 😃📚✨

Please feel free to contact Sarah by email on whimsy.pixie76@gmail.com or via the contact page on Whimsy Wood’s very own website www.whimsywood.co.uk You’ll also find some wonderful testimonials regarding Sarah’s author visits on Whimsy Wood’s website. For example, here is Staniland Academy’s English Co-ordinator, Mrs Brown’s thoughts:- “The staff and children alike, were inspired by the fantastic workshops that they took part in. The children enjoyed talking to and meeting a ‘real-life’ author and quickly warmed to Sarah’s enthusiastic and friendly personality. The Whimsy Wood stories were brought to life in a fun and imaginative way and we are already looking forward to planning another visit.”

Well, that’s all from me for now, so I shall bid you farewell and wish you a wonderfully whimsical weekend!

Sarah 😃📚✨

Remembering Peter Firmin – A Creative Genius And Inspiration

A few weeks ago, my mum kindly pulled out an article in The Times newspaper and popped it in the post to me, knowing that I would love to read it. Now, I confess, that with the end of my three children’s summer term rapidly approaching when this article arrived in the post, I plonked it on the side in our kitchen along with all the other ‘must do’ things. Yesterday I finally managed to grab five minutes peace to myself and read this article about the truly wonderful and inspiring Peter Firmin.

The amazing Peter Firmin with his creations, The Clangers, their Soup Dragon & Professor Yaffle 😃📚✨

 

It was just a month ago that this wonderful man and creative genius very sadly passed away. He was an incredible artist, puppet maker and animator, probably best known for his involvement with ‘Bagpuss’, ‘The Clangers’, ‘Ivor the Engine’, ‘Basil Brush’ (my favourite!) and ‘Noggin the Nog’.

‘Noggin the Nog’, a children’s much-loved classic 😃📚✨

 

All these fantastic programmes I watched and loved as a child. I had no idea then that these puppets were originally made from discarded rubbish such as yoghurt pots, pipe cleaners and pegs! The quirky pink skin of the Clangers at the time was actually knitted by Peter Firmin’s wife Joan!

Peter Firmin, the Soup Dragon and Mother Clanger in her knitted pinkness! 😃📚✨

 

The enchanting programmes themselves were made in a disused cowshed in Peter Firmin’s backyard under Smallfilms production company, which was formed by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. Oliver Postgate was the phenomenal ‘writing part’ of this hugely successful duo and their production company was active from 1958 to the late 1980s.

Peter Firmin’s daughter Emily and the one and only Bagpuss! 😃📚✨

 

I can only hope and dream that my own creation, the Whimsy Wood Family, will be half as successful as Peter Firmin’s wonderfully whimsical world…. Rest in peace sir. I have a long way to go and a lot to learn. Thank you very much for the hugely inspiring legacy of animation and creativity that you leave behind. 🙏📚✨

😍🦊 Basil Brush! 🦊😍

The Big Butterfly Count And A Wonderful Whimsy Wood Review!

Today marks the start of The Big Butterfly Count here in the U.K.! It runs until August the 12th and was originally launched back in 2010. This project aims to help assess the health of our environment and has rapidly become the world’s biggest survey of butterflies! For more information and to get involved then please check out www.bigbutterflycount.org

Get involved with this year’s Big Butterfly Count! 😃🦋

Keeping with a butterfly theme, I was very fortunate to receive a wonderful review for ‘Fearne Fairy And The Chocolate Caterpillar’, my 9th exciting instalment from the enchanting ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series! Here’s a snippet of what Abbie at ‘Bloomin’ Brilliant Books’ thought:-

“….I loved the way this book is written. Hill’s use of alliteration gives the story a rhythm and makes it immediately engaging to the reader. The use of this technique within the character’s names makes them easy for children to remember. Brilliantly written for young readers, I can imagine that any child would be easily captivated by the story.

Books 8, 9 and 10 in The Whimsy Wood Series! 😃📚💖

Fearne Fairy and the Chocolate Caterpillar

It also has a conversational tone in places making it an ideal book to read aloud to your child. The use of phrases such as ‘splish, splash, splosh’ encourage young, new readers to get involved in the story and I can imagine children saying these phrases loudly. ‘Fearne Fairy And The Chocolate Caterpillar’ is the perfect length to keep young minds focused. …..”

As you can imagine I was absolutely delighted to receive such a fantastic review! Thank you very much Abbie at ‘Bloomin Brilliant Books’! On that cheery note I shall bid you farewell and wish you a wonderfully whimsical weekend!

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of the Whimsy Wood children’s books. @WhimsyWood

A Wonderfully Whimsical World Book Week! 😃📚✨

Last week was World Book Week and with it came the 21st World Book Day on Thursday March the 1st 2018, along with freezing cold temperatures and heavy snow fall across the U.K.!

Hip hip hooray! It’s World Book Day! 😃📚✨

 

My adorable Whimsy Wood Family characters and I were fortunate to be invited to severally primary schools across England, to lead their assemblies, run woodland-related literacy activities for their KS1 children, give creative writing workshops to their KS2 children and read one of the Whimsy Wood stories to their pupils.

Sarah leading the assembly at Rowde Primary Academy

 

Children getting inspired by the Whimsy Wood creative writing workshops! 😃📚✨

 

Luckily, our author visits were completed by Thursday afternoon, before the snow drifts arrived in the south west of England where I live. The site of those beautiful snowflakes falling, creating a magical white wonderland was a joy to behold!

Sarah about to set off on another school visit during World Book Week 2018! 😃📚✨

 

Sarah reading ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’ to the school children during
World Book Week 😃📚✨

 

The snow has now melted away, leaving behind delicate snowdrops and budding daffodils as a sure sign of spring. The post has even been able to arrive today and with it came a really lovely letter from a headmistress of one of the schools I visited last week.

Lovely letter of thanks from the headmistress at Rowde Primary School 😃📚✨

Here was their testimonial following my half day author visit to Rowde Primary School:-
“Sarah Hill, author of The Whimsy Wood Family series of books came to visit us today, as we started Book Week! We had a fantastic morning, Sarah led an inspirational assembly and then read to KS1. KS2 enjoyed a creative writing class with her, designing their own characters and woodland adventures. Thank you Sarah, we all had a amazing, creative morning.”

Goodness me, as you can imagine, I’m absolutely overjoyed to receive such a wonderful letter and glowing testimonial. It really has made a brilliant start to my week! Thank you. 😃📚✨

I really am very fortunate to be invited into primary schools throughout the year with my Whimsy Wood Family children’s books and if you would like to know more about the wonderfully whimsical creative writing workshops that I run or book me, then please feel free to contact me here and browse this website for further information. Thank you.

Wishing you all a wonderfully whimsical week!

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of the Whimsy Wood Family 😃📚✨

Wonderful Reviews For ‘Fearne Fairy And The Landing Lesson’!

Well it’s certainly been a wonderfully whimsical week in the world of ‘Whimsy Wood’! This is because a number of wonderful reviews have arrived in my inbox for a few of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s books, which is just marvellous! In particular, there have been two charming reviews for ‘Fearne Fairy And The Landing Lesson’, book 10 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series, that have really brightened up my week!

Here is a snippet from Briony’s review:-
‘….my son really enjoys these books and all of the wildlife in them. We spend ages pouring over the pictures as he points out different animals and insects. He giggles at the mishaps and now really wants to learn to fly. My only saving grace currently is the season, the lack of available dragonflies to train him is upsetting but understandable. Hopefully he’ll have forgotten by spring, that’s unlikely though isn’t it.

Every time we read a new one of the Whimsy Wood books his interest in the world around him peaks and he looks for bugs and insects even more actively than normal. That for me is the whole reason I love these books. A great story, coupled with an interest in the natural world. ….’ You can find the rest of Briony’s rave review on her brilliant blog at http://anywaytostay.com/fearne-fairy-chocolate-caterpillar-book-review/

The fabulous front cover of ‘Fearne Fairy And The Landing Lesson’, the 10th ‘Whimsy Wood’ book!

Here is a sniff of the review by International Writers Inspiring Change:-
‘….Fearne Fairy and The Landing Lesson, by Sarah Hill, is a wonderful and light-hearted story, filled with visions of a fantasy world. Children will love this story, and no doubt, all the books in The Whimsy Wood Series, of which this one is number 10 in the series. …’

The back cover of ‘Fearne Fairy And The Landing Lesson’!

You won’t be surprised to learn that those lovely reviews have put a smashing smile on my little face! While I’m feeling ‘on top of the world’ so to speak, the best thing for me to do is to carry on writing! With that in mind, I shall bid you farewell and get cracking on book 15, ‘Fearne, Posie And The Giggling Ghost!’

Wishing you a wonderfully whimsical week,

Sarah Hill
Children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series.

Whimsy Wood Visit To Bishops Cannings Preschool And A Library Event!

I must confess that it’s been a truly wonderful and whimsical month for the world of Whimsy Wood! A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be taken on by awesome literary agent extraordinaire, Sharon Facey. My Whimsy Wood children’s series of books continues to be developed into the all new ‘Whimsy Wood Family’ brand, which will include a new series of children’s books, merchandise and a hugely exciting and enchanting animated TV series! Woohoo! 😃📚✨

Last week I was invited to Bishops Cannings Preschool to read a Whimsy Wood story to their children. I was also asked to judge their Whimsy Wood colouring-in competition! This competition had been run across the pre-school and main primary school. The story I read to the lovely little children was the most recent Whimsy Wood book, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Landing Lesson’, which they absolutely loved! There was much giggling at all the charming characters’ voices that appear in this 10th whimsical book.

Wellies belonging to the children at Bishops Cannings Pre-school! 😃📚✨

 

Once I’d finished reading to the children and answered all their brilliant questions, I looked at the huge array of fabulous Whimsy Wood colouring-in entries. Goodness! There were so many and such a lot of effort had been put into every one! It was jolly tricky to decide on the winners but I managed in the end and I’d like to congratulate all the children who entered and send a ginormous Whimsy Wood round-of-applause to the winners! I do hope you enjoy your signed copies of the Whimsy Wood books and other whimsical goodies that you’ve received for being wonderful winners!

As you can see from the image below, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, organised by The Reading Agency and libraries across the country, has started! There is an animal theme this year and I’m delighted to say that I’ve been asked to be part of my local library’s reading challenge events! If you’re free on Saturday August the 12th and are in the Melksham area in Wiltshire, do pop along to Melksham library at 2.30pm. I’ll be reading a Whimsy Wood story to all the children (and grown-ups) who come along to this free event then. I’ll look forward to seeing you!

Join in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge! 😃📚✨

 

Well that’s all from me for now, so I shall wish you all a wonderfully whimsical summer holiday and I’ll go and get creative elsewhere!

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of the Whimsy Wood children’s books.

Enchanting Events In Whimsy Wood During The Jolly Month Of June!

Well, the jolly month of June is almost at an end and what a terrific time it’s been in Whimsy Wood! ‘Dizzy Damselfly’ has thoroughly enjoyed her summer holiday along the banks of Snapdragon Stream this month. She met ‘Bristle Bumblee’ and ‘Dewberry Dragonfly’ while fluttering about the golden ragwort flowers that grow on the sandy banks. They kindly showed Dizzy their ‘Flying Academy’ which they had set up last year. The academy is going from strength to strength and the stag beetles and May bugs’ flying skills are rapidly improving under the careful tuition of Bristle and Dewberry!

‘Dizzy Damselfly’ by Snapdragon Stream 😊📚✨

 

‘Florence Fox’ has become an Auntie for the first time! Her sister Flora had a beautiful litter of four furry fox cubs, perfect in every way. Florence can’t beIieve how much work is involved in rearing young ones and is amazed at how her sister manages! The cubs adore their funny Auntie Flo because she’s brilliant at playing rough and tumble games with them!

‘Fidget Fox Cub’, one of Flora Fox’s four babies! 😃📚✨

 

‘Flora Fox’ is not alone in the wonderful world of motherhood currently, because ‘Mrs Whistle the woodpecker’ is a proud new mummy to little baby Walter. He’s certainly a bruiser of a baby bird as you’ll see from his handsome picture below! He’s certainly keeping Mr and Mrs Whistle busy with his constant demands for fresh earthworms and grubs!

Meet ‘Walter Woodpecker’, Mr and Mrs Whistle’s baby! 😃📚✨

 

Finally, from little big ones, we go to big little ones since the marvellous month of June has seen the enormous Elephant Hawk-moths flutter about in Whimsy Wood from dusk into the balmy summer evenings. These elegant creatures have loved fluttering about with ‘Fearne Fairy’ and ‘Mustard the Magpie moth’!

Meet ‘Elijah Elephant Hawk-moth’! 😃📚✨

 

Well, that’s all from me for now, so I’ll bid you a fond farewell and wish you a wonderfully whimsical weekend! 😃📚✨

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of the Whimsy Wood Family children’s books and brand new animation TV series.

A Whimsical Deadline And A Preschool Visit!

Hello there and apologies for my recent absence. I have been a little snowed under with Whimsy Wood Family work for a deadline, which I’m delighted to say that I met with time to spare! Woohoo!

The work requested of me was to change all the titles of the 1st 10 Whimsy Wood children’s books that have been published to date. I also needed to add a new character to each of these 10 Whimsy Wood books and adjust their storylines slightly. I can let you know a few of the new Whimsy Wood Family characters; there’s ‘Lettie Ladybird’, ‘Soul Songthrush’ (singing teacher extraordinaire!) and ‘Mable Mole’ to name but a few!

Meet ‘Mable Mole’! 😃📚✨

 

The reason I needed to do this tweaking is because, very excitingly, we have a brand new publisher for the Whimsy Wood books! The books, brand new TV animation series and merchandise will now be under the Whimsy Wood Family brand! All super dooper amazing!

Now that my recent flurry of fervent activity is done, I am enioying a little respite and making the most of this glorious weather! While sitting in my sunny garden, listening to the Wiltshire birds twittering and bumblebees buzzing, I’ll be mulling over a wee preschool visit that I’ve been invited to do. This is next month and to Bishop Cannings Preschool in Wiltshire.

Well, I’d better get back to my mullings and sunny snoozings! Wishing you all a wonderfully whimsical week.

Sarah Hill

A Flurry Of Whimsical Activity!

It’s certainly been a busy few weeks in the wonderful world of Whimsy Wood! ‘Posie Pixie’ and ‘Wibble Woodlouse’ have been practising their lines for the brand new animated TV series, ‘Whimsy Wood Family’, which they’re appearing in!

Wibble Woodlouse and Posie Pixie practising their lines for the Whimsy Wood Family TV Series!

 

‘Dr.Tustle the Tawny Owl’ has been helping the Whimsy Wood choir of young chaffinches to get over their sore throats. They have a number of splendid songs to sing in the Whimsy Wood Family TV series and with regular acorn capfuls of Dr.Tustle’s milk thistle medicine, their singing voices are now much better!

The brand new animated TV series, Whimsy Wood Family, is coming to your screens very soon!

 

While the woodland folk have been preparing themselves for the filming of the Whimsy Wood Family which they’ll all feature in, I’ve been busy writing more whimsical stories! Did you know that ‘Fearne Fairy’ has a cousin? No, neither did I! Not until Fearne told me herself just last week!

Fearne’s cousin is called ‘Fortune’ and she lives in a far away land with much colder climes than the delightful Whimsy Wood. I imagine that where she lives is rather like Lapland, especially since she has a team of arctic foxes which all have very delicate white fairy wings, just like Fortune! The image below is the nearest I could find to how I imagine Fortune to be…..

Meet Fearne Fairy’s cousin ‘Fortune’!

 

Well, on that wonderfully whimsical note, I shall bid you farewell and wish you a wonderfully whimsical week!

Sarah Hill, author and creator of the Whimsy Wood children’s books and Whimsy Wood Family TV series. 😊📚✨