"Climb on my branch, and I will lift you over to the worsops."

Most fantasy books with a developed plot are written for children a bit older. The Harry Potter novels comprise the obvious and classic example of our time. But this book is a perfect read for younger fantasy enthusiasts. Scarlett, the brave heroine of this chapter book for young readers, may be the future hero for all 2nd graders. She is young, strong, brave, and tenacious. In addition, this wholesome young protagonist has perfected coping skills as she retreats by herself for some alone time, walking in the flower garden. She also has excellent guidance from her parents and others, as when she is instructed on leadership skills and encouraged by Ogantort: "...above all you must give them hope." The plot includes numerous fanciful new creatures like the rainbow chickens, but, in short, the story's focus is on Scarlett and her parents as the ones who help in the quest to defend Henwood against the wolfbriar and gangletreens.

This is a magical book from the pages it is printed on to the fantasy story within. Aside from the author's extraordinary imagination and the book's original story, the illustrations add an exuberant, bright beat. The words are printed on pages of starry yellow that fade to violet like a sunset. Overall, like the classic Alice in Wonderland, readers crawl into the fantasy with the heroine with lines such as "It darted from crystal to crystal, leaving a swath of colour behind it, just like a comet would as it journeyed across the heavens." Whether intentional or not, most children's books encourage some solution in the quest for happily-ever-after. This usually comes in the form of family, community, and/or magic. In Scarlett's world, expect all three. "We will all watch over you and make sure you will be safe...my little pickle."

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