Time For Inspiration And Imagination!

“So, what’s been happening in the world of Whimsy Wood this week?” I hear you ask. Well now that book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, is going through its proofing run at the print company, things have been a little calmer and quieter. In fact, it’s been rather wonderful to be able to get back to writing more whimsical stories for my 35-book Whimsy Wood series! I have already written up to book 14, however there’s always room for tweaking, re-writing and editing of previously written manuscripts, as well as creating new stories for the remaining books. My series is divided into 5 sets each containing 7 books you see, so with book 7 nearing its publication date, we are coming to the end of the 1st Whimsy Wood set. I feel a real sense of sadness as we say “Goodbye” to ‘Posie Pixie’, my main character for books 1-7, but don’t fret too much. . . .she’ll be back later on in the series!! 😉

Now folk often ask me where I get my inspiration for my woodland-based children’s books. My reply is that I research woodland blogs and websites for intriguing information and nature-related flora and fauna that spark my creative juices! One such brilliant example is the brimstone butterfly! I had never heard of this charming creature prior to changing my career from Veterinary Surgeon to children’s author. Shame on me! The name of this beautiful butterfly was enough to make me say, “Now that wee thing definitely needs to appear in a Whimsy Wood book!”

Beautiful Brimstone Butterfly! :)

Beautiful Brimstone Butterfly! 🙂

However, it may not just be the name of something that triggers my imagination. It can be a yummy, scrummy image such as this :-

Uber cute baby Blue-Tit!

Uber cute baby Blue-Tit!

I happen to love alliteration, so seeing this baby Blue-tit picture made me squeak with delight at its utter cuteness and the repetition of the letter ‘b’! Sometimes it can really be that simple! My whimsical stories also have proverbs tucked away in them for the reader to find, giving them real meaning. There are over 400 proverbs in the English language, so I have a fair few to choose from for inspiration!

All this talk of imagination and inspiration has reminded me that I really must get on and create some more whimsical stories, or my series will never be finished and that just wont do! Now before I go, I must tell you that ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’ will be launched on Saturday June the 27th, at The White Horse Book Shop in Marlborough, Wiltshire from 2.30-5.30pm. There’ll be colouring-in competitions for under 5s and over 5s. Winners of each category will receive signed copies of all of the 7 books in this 1st Whimsy Wood set! Wow! I’ll also be reading book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, during the launch if you’d like to drop in and have a listen to the whimsical woodland voices! 🙂

For more information regarding this book launch and to keep up-to-date with Whimsy Wood developments, then please visit our Whimsy Wood page and like it if you do 😉 Thank you 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/WhimsyWoodSeries?ref=hl

Whimsical wishes,

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

Awesome Author School Visits!

It’s been one eventful, whimsical week for all of us here at the ‘Whimsy Wood Series’ headquarters! We’ve received not just 1, no, not even 2, but 3! Yes 3, invitations to visit primary schools in the next few weeks! Phew! That’s just too exciting for me, ‘Posie Pixie’, ‘Wibble Woodlouse’ and the rest of the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk!

My next author visit will be to Knebworth Primary School in Hertfordshire on June the 9th. The 2nd visit is to St.Thomas’s Primary School in Boston, Lincolnshire on June the 29th. Finally, my 3rd visit is to Nursteed Primary School in Devizes on July the 8th. I absolutely love visiting primary schools, engaging with the children and teachers and running woodland-related literacy activities, or creative writing workshops.

I was also fortunate enough be invited back to Urchfont Primary School in Wiltshire this week. I had a wonderful time meeting their lovely KS1 children and staff. They met some whimsical woodland animals that I’d brought with me and I read book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, to them. Finally we had book signings of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series in their library at the end of the day ? If you would like a ‘Whimsy Wood’ author visit to your school, please email me on whimsy.pixie76@gmail.com  thank you.

Interestingly, if your school is in the South West of England, your school can apply for funding for author visits! ‘Literature Works’ have a Grassroots fund for this exact thing and its funding window reopens on May the 26th 2015. Please see the link below for this funding possibility ?

http://www.literatureworks.org.uk/grassroots-fund-window-closing-on-february-15th-2015-until-may-1st-2015/

Now amidst all this excitement, the formatting process for book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, (the final book in the 1st set of my series) is complete! It’s currently winging its beautiful self to the print company as we speak, for its proofing run ? Below is a sneak preview at the fabulous front cover of ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, which will be launched in June!

The Fabulous Front Cover Of 'Posie Pixie And The Pancakes'!

The Fabulous Front Cover Of ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’!

On that rather joyous note, I shall wish you a delightful day from all of us ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk ?

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

The Delightful Dawn Chorus!

The marvellous month of May usually brings with it all sorts of wonderful delights here in Whimsy Wood! The choir start practising earlier and earlier every morning, with more and more young birds trying their hand, or should I say wing, at auditioning for the Whimsy Wood’s annual ‘Dawn Chorus’ singing event!

Winona Wren singing her wee heart out in Whimsy Wood's 'Dawn Chorus' competition!

Winona Wren singing her wee heart out in Whimsy Wood’s ‘Dawn Chorus’ competition!

Then there’s the annual May Day Fair, with dancing around the maple May Pole. There’s also the Bluebell Bonnet parade, where all the Whimsy Wood folk can decorate and adapt a bluebell, to be worn by themselves in this prestigious parade! Prizes that day are for the ‘Most Imaginative Design’ and for the ‘Most Number Of Bluebells Used For One Bonnet’! Mrs Spottisdowne the sparrow (Whimsy Wood’s seamstress) and Mrs Scarlet the squirrel, who runs The Woodland Store, are usually the guest judges for the Bluebell Bonnet Parade.

Are you ready for the Bluebell Bonnet Parade in Whimsy Wood this May?!

Are you ready for the Bluebell Bonnet Parade in Whimsy Wood this May?!

 

This talk of bluebells may indeed make you think of our very own charming character, Posie Pixie, who does indeed sport a jingling, tinkling bluebell hat! She was beyond excited when we received a handmade bluebell hat in the post last week, from one of her fabulous Whimsy Wood fans! Thank you so very much for this gift! ?

Incredible handmade replica of Posie Pixie's bluebell hat!

Incredible handmade replica of Posie Pixie’s bluebell hat!

This amazing creation has now become somewhat of a lucky mascot for my Whimsy Wood series and I. It came on its first outing to our book-signing event last Saturday, at The Madhatter Book Shop in Burford! This uniquely special store not only sells brilliant books, but fabulous hats as well, so we were in good company!! The book-signing event went swimmingly and it was wonderful to see so many new faces! Thank you all for coming ?

On that fun and frivolous note, I shall bid you a fond farewell and a slightly early wonderfully whimsical weekend! If you would care to have a look at the most recent review of my 6th ‘Whimsy Wood’ book, titled ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, then please do click on this link below. Thank you ?

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series

Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm…a Whimsy Woods review

Bank Holiday Book Signing Bonanza!

So, the 1st May bank holiday is almost upon us and what will you be doing? Yes that’s right, of course! You’ll be joining me at the ‘Whimsy Wood’ book signing event, at The Madhatter Book Shop, 122 High Street, Burford, Oxofrdshire, this Saturday! We’ll be there from 2.30pm (and so will ‘Posie Pixie’!) so venture to the heart of the Cotswolds and grab yourself a signed copy or 2 of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s books! 🙂

All set and ready for the 'Whimsy Wood' book signing this Saturday!

All set and ready for the ‘Whimsy Wood’ book signing this Saturday!

Now, not only have we been preparing for this exciting book signing event, but we’re also in the midst of formatting book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’! Once this book is published, which will be around mid-June, we will have completed the 1st set in the 35-book ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series! Will ‘Posie Pixie’ still feature in the next set? Will another exciting whimsical character enter the twists and turns of the ‘Whimsy Wood’ plot? I wish I could tell you!! Really, I do!! But I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a little longer, until I tell you anymore about book 8 and the start of the 2nd set in my series! For now, I shall give you an extract from book 7, ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’……

‘…….DING-A-LING-A-LING! went The Woodland Store’s acorn bell, as Posie Pixie opened the shop door one foggy February morning.

“Good morning Posie dear!” said Mrs Scarlet the squirrel, from behind her chestnut counter inside the cosy store.

“Good morning to you too Mrs Scarlet!” Posie cheerily replied, as she dutifully wiped her feet on the store doormat. Mrs Scarlet was a rather particular squirrel and she insisted on her customers wiping their feet or paws, when they entered the store; or she’d follow them with a beech broom, sweeping the floor behind them as they walked!

“So then Posie, what can I get for you today?” asked Mrs Scarlet, peering at Posie over her half-moon glasses, as she closed the weekly ‘Whimsy Wood News’ leaf-paper that she was reading. …..’

On that note, I’ll leave you contemplating what Posie needs from The Woodland Store on this particular day and bid you a wonderfully whimsical early weekend (Friday’s nearly here, I can almost smell it!!) Please check out the link below for our book signing event this coming Saturday!! Thank you 🙂

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

http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/?u=705cd45f4b8a105d3f75a0978&id=17e36ee52b

Spectacular Spring!

What a splendid time of year Spring is! Posie Pixie loves hearing all the Whimsy Wood birds tweet and twitter away, as they practise their Spring songs. She’s particular fond of Nettle Nightingale’s melodies and has been known to do one of her many pixie dances amongst the sunny, star-shaped celandines, while Nettle is singing her sweet songs!

'Nettle Nightingale' in 'Whimsy Wood'!

‘Nettle Nightingale’ in ‘Whimsy Wood’!

Stunning star-shaped celandines, that are definite signs of Spring!

Stunning star-shaped celandines, that are definite signs of Spring!

Raspberry Rabbit has of course had a busy time, since it was Easter not so long ago. The Easter Rabbit was rather weighed down with eggs this year in Whimsy Wood and so Raspberry Rabbit helped him make all his deliveries. In return for her kindness, he gave her an extra large Easter egg with very pretty wrapping around it. In her usual recycling fashion, she’s currently using this wonderful wrapping as a new table-cloth in her burrow! Clever rabbit ?

The Easter Rabbit making his deliveries in Whimsy Wood! ?

The Easter Rabbit making his deliveries in Whimsy Wood! ?

On other fronts, the 7th book in my Whimsy Wood children’s series, titled ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’, is currently in the formatting stages which is all jolly exciting indeed! Abela Publishing (who publisher my children’s books) and I, attended the London Book Fair this week, which was fabulous! Lots of networking and seminar-attending ?

The London Book Fair 2015, 'Making Words Go Further'

The London Book Fair 2015, ‘Making Words Go Further’

We’re also preparing for a Whimsy Wood book signing event at The Madhatter’s Book Shop in Burford, on Saturday May the 2nd! This particular book shop is exceptionally unique….not only does it sell books, but hats as well! Posie Pixie in particular is hoping to find another jingling, tinkling bluebell hat, since her current one is getting rather worn! Please check out the link below for this exciting event!

On that note, I shall bid you farewell and a wonderfully whimsical weekend!

 

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

Book Signing on May 2nd For The latest in the @WhimsyWood Series By Children’s Author Sarah Hill

The ‘Snowball Effect’

Things certainly seem to be ‘hotting up’ for my Whimsy Wood children’s series and I! Perhaps it’s the excitement of Spring which is certainly upon us! Hurray! But without a shadow of a doubt, there is a definite buzz brewing about my woodland-based books and the ‘snowball’ of Whimsy Wood is growing and growing, as it’s whimsical wheels roll round and around!

Last Friday, I was privileged to be invited to Mawsley Community Primary School up in Northamptonshire. They had requested a virtual author visit and this was my first! I met the 2 winners from their ‘Extreme Reading’ competition, which the school had held during World Book Week earlier this month. These two charming children wanted to ask me lots of questions about being an author and I let them in on a few ‘Whimsy Wood’ secrets too!! All in all it was a delightful experience ?

Earlier this week, I was astounded to receive another 5 Star Award from Readers’ Favourite over in America! This time the award was for my 3rd Whimsy Wood book ‘Posie Pixie And The Torn Tunic’! Here it is below with its new front cover, proudly showing the award!

The new front cover for 'Posie Pixie And The Torn Tunic' with its 5 star award!

The new front cover for ‘Posie Pixie And The Torn Tunic’ with its 5 star award!

Finally, I’m thrilled to confirm that The Madhatter Book Shop in Burford, the heart of the Cotswolds, will be hosting a book signing event for my Whimsy Wood Series and I! This will be on Saturday May the 2nd (the Saturday of the 1st May bank holiday!) from 2.30pm. So do come along to this entirely unique bookstore, as not only do they sell books, but hats as well!! Posie Pixie is desperately hoping they might have a new jingling, tinkling bluebell hat for her!!

The folk of Whimsy Wood have been busying themselves too this week, as they are planning their usual eggstr-special Easter Egg hunt around the wood! This takes a lot of precision planning and cunning, as the eggs need to be hidden while all the baby woodland creatures (Mr and Mrs Dusty the dormice’s 6 little ones for example!) are asleep! I will tell you more about their egg-citing Easter Egg hunt next week!

For now, I will of course bid you a wonderfully whimsical early weekend (nearly there folks!!) ?

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series

 

 

 

 

Mysterious Mistletoe!

“Now that’s an intriguing title to today’s post!” I hear you say and indeed you would be right! Today I have learnt something rather extraordinary whilst on a particular woodland website and that is what mistletoe looks like when it’s in flower! ?

 

Mistletoe in flower!!

Mistletoe in flower!!

Pretty darn impressive don’t you think!?! So, you’ll be pleased to learn that this joyous woodland phenomenon has been included cunningly in my next ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s book! This will be book 7 would you believe!?! This last book in the 1st set of 35 books that make up my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series, is titled ‘Posie Pixie And The Pancakes’ and is written for the month of February of course! Every book in my series is written for a specific month in the calendar you see, so the flora and fauna change as you read through the series ?

Now, excitingly, Abela Publishing (who publish my ‘Whimsy Wood’ books) will be engaging a new promotional company and with this is mind, I have to get my creative skates on, as book 7 needs to be completely finished and coming off the press rollers by the end of April!! Phew!!

So without further ado, I’d best get on and start twirling and whirling my ‘Whimsy Wood’ wand, as it won’t get done by itself now! I’ll leave you with a final image from inside book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, which was launched at the end of February :-

Where are Posie Pixie and her friends off to in this 6th 'Whimsy Wood' adventure?

Where are Posie Pixie and her friends off to in this 6th ‘Whimsy Wood’ adventure?

 

Warmest whimsical wishes,

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of ‘The Whimsy Wood Series’ ?

Hip Hip Hooray! It’s World Book Day!

Finally, this fabulous day for celebrating everything and anything to do with books is here! Yippee! I hope wherever you are, you are having a delectable day reading your favourite book, dressing up as one of your much-loved book characters, or watching a film adaptation of your most treasured book. I’ve been having a splendiferous time myself this entire week in the name of World Book Day, as I have been privileged enough to be invited to not just one, oh no, no, no! Not just 2, or even 3 my good friends! I was invited to visit 4 fantastic primary schools this week, as part of their celebration for World Book Day today.

These schools were Staniland Academy in Boston, Lincolnshire, Easton Royal Academy in Easton Royal, Pewsey, Wiltshire, Queen’s Crescent Primary in Chippenham, Wiltshire and this afternoon I’m visiting Heddington Primary in Heddington, Wiltshire. I’ve had so much fun taking their assemblies, creating woodland maps with their Year 2 children, creating woodland characters with their Year 1 children and discussing woodland phonics with their Reception children. I also ran creative writing workshops for the Junior children at Easton Royal Academy, where I am honoured to be their Associate Author. I was also very fortunate to be invited to Queen’s Crescent Primary’s Reading Festival that they held last night. I’m really looking forward to reading book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, to all the Key-Stage 1 children at Heddington Primary this afternoon and to be part of their Book Fair after school today.

Talking of ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, which was launched very successfully last Saturday at the Trowbridge branch of WHSmith, I wondered if you might like to have a sneaky peek in this freshly published latest instalment from my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series?! Okey-cokey…here we go…

Inside book 6, 'Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm'!

Inside book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’!

Now Posie was beside herself with excitement during the launch of book 6 at the weekend! She’s also giddy with glee, since it’s World Book Day today! So much so, she thought she’d try to write her own story with the help of all the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk! Now down in ‘Whimsy Wood’, they don’t have such things as paper or pens of course. Instead, ‘Posie Pixie’, ‘Raspberry Rabbit’, ‘Florence Fox’ and ‘Bromley Badger’ have been writing their own special stories on ivy leaves. ‘Mrs Spottisdowne the sparrow’ had to fly to ‘The Woodland Store’ earlier, to purchase some more blackberry ink from ‘Mrs Scarlet the squirrel’, who runs the store. The woodland folk had been creating some many splendid stories, that they’d used up Posie’s blackberry ink supplies!!

Well, on that creative note, I had best fly away myself to visit the children at Heddington Primary! I will leave you with a link to some free colouring-in sheets from my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series, that are currently available on the publisher’s website. I hope you have fun with them! Wishing you all a wonderfully whimsical World Book Day! 🙂

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

Busy Busy Bee! Bzzzzz!!

My oh my! I don’t know where to start! It’s been such a splendiferous week for my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series and I! We’ve been in ‘The Gazette And Herald’, our local newspaper, following my author visit to Townsend Barn Nursery recently, to read one of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ books to their pre-school children.

Townsend Barn Nursery's pre-school children and I during my author visit :)

Townsend Barn Nursery’s pre-school children and I during my author visit 🙂

We’ve got the launch of book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, this Saturday (February the 28th) at the Trowbridge branch of WHSmith, from 2pm. If you’re free then please do come along and meet ‘Posie Pixie’ in person and a few more of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ characters! There’ll be a colouring-in station for children (and grown-ups!) with sheets from my children’s series to take home. I’ll also be signing any copies of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ books if folk would like that 😉

In the midst of book launch preparation this week, I was delighted to receive a glowing review of book 1, ‘Posie Pixie And The Copper Kettle’, from the Readers’ Favourite in America. They have awarded this 1st book in my series a 5-star seal no less!! I was absolutely ecstatic to receive this and read the awesome review! The link to this I’ve pasted below 🙂

The Readers' Favourite 5-Star Seal for book 1, 'Posie Pixie And The Copper Kettle'!

The Readers’ Favourite 5-Star Seal for book 1, ‘Posie Pixie And The Copper Kettle’!

The last thing I’ve been doing this week, is preparing for ‘World Book Week’ next week! It is the busiest week in ‘Whimsy Wood’s’ calendar and rightly so! We have been invited to visit 4 schools during this joyous week of literary celebration. My first author visit is on Monday March the 2nd to Staniland Academy in Boston, Lincolnshire. The 2nd is on March the 3rd to Easton Royal Academy, near Pewsey, Wiltshire (where I am their ‘Associate Author’ no less!) Author visit number 3, is on March the 3rd to Queen’s Crescent Primary School in Chippenham, Wiltshire (they have also kindly invited me to be part of their ‘Reading Festival’ in the evening on this day 🙂 )and finally, my 4th visit is on ‘World Book Day’ (Thursday March the 5th) itself to Heddington Primary, Wiltshire. I really cant wait to get started on my school visits next week and meet all the children, teachers and parents. The best part of my author visits is spending time with the Key-Stage 1 children, running literary-related woodland activities and with the Key-Stage 2 children running writing workshops 🙂
So, that’s what’s been going on from the ‘Whimsy Wood’ writer’s side of things. But I bet you’d like to know what’s been going on within the enchanting world of ‘Whimsy Wood’ itself?! Well, let’s open the heavy oak doors that lead into this charming woodland and see what our characters have been up to…………………… Look above you and you’ll see ‘Mr.Bilberry the blackbird’, ‘Whimsy Wood’s’ postman, flapping about as he delivers leaf-letters to the woodland folk. He takes his job incredibly seriously I’ll have you know and this important role of postman has been in his family for generations! ‘Dr.Tustle the tawny owl’ is also swooping off to visit a poorly patient. My guess is it’s ‘Bromley Badger’ who he’s visiting! Bromley is ‘Whimsy Wood’s’ party-animal shall we say! Whenever I’ve met him, he’s either been off to a party, or returning to his set after dancing the night away!! Oh….what’s that I can hear? It sounds like a rustling and a scuttling under the leaves by my feet…. Who can that be I wonder??… Of course! It’s none other than ‘Wibble Woodlouse’! She’s telling me that she’s on her way to see ‘Mrs Scarlet the squirrel’ at ‘The Woodland Store’, as ‘Posie Pixie’ (her best friend) has run out of thistle-milk!
It seems like my ‘Whimsy Wood’ characters are terribly busy today as they go about the wood and so I shall close the heavy oak doors on this delightful world and bid you all a wonderfully whimsical week 🙂 I shall leave with you one more beautiful illustration from book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’, by our amazing illustrator Sarah Mauchline.
Amazing illustration by Sarah Mauchline from book 6, 'Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm'

Amazing illustration by Sarah Mauchline from book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’

Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series
Ps; if you cant wait til next week, then by all means pay Posie a visit on her very own Facebook page below, or visit the publisher’s website where you can view the latest book, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ 😉
Visit Posie Pixie on her very own Facebook page!
To pre-order book 6, ‘Posie Pixie And The Snowstorm’ direct from the publisher, Abela Publishing, please click on this link :-