Official Review: Jessie and the Shimmering Withywicks

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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Official Review: Jessie and the Shimmering Withywicks

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 17 Jul 2019, 08:03

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Jessie and the Shimmering Withywicks" by Viv Walker.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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There is something peculiar going on in the forest, and 10-year-old Jessie Fenton is determined to find out what it is. She is curious about the shimmering lights coming from the woods at night, and she can't shake the feeling that someone is watching her. That is when she meets Blaze who is a Tomtee from the Withywick clan. Tomtees look similar to humans, but they are about half the size and covered in hair.

Blaze and the other Tomtees mean no harm and are looking for help to protect their homes from obliteration. The dwindling of crops has affected their food supply, and some members of the Withywick clan have been displaced. Jessie wants to help whatever way she can, but she has to earn the trust of the Tomtees first.

Jessie and the Shimmering Withywicks by Viv Walker is the first book in the Tomtee Tales series. It is a children's book for 8-12 year-olds and follows the main character, Jessie, as she learns about the importance of friendship and facing her fears.

My favorite part of Jessie and the Shimmering Withywicks was Jessie's willingness to help a friend in need. Blaze and the rest of the Tomtees' issues were mostly due to decisions made by the humans living on Holly Mount Hall. Jessie's friendship was the first step in making amends. Her kindness sends a clear message to young readers about the importance of advocating for others that may not have the means to do so themselves.

Another thing that I particularly enjoyed was the author's emphasis on being yourself. Although Blaze and Jessie were unlikely friends, it was clear that differences should never be a deterrent in friendship. When one of the Tomtees felt shameful about his appearance, Jessie encouraged him by saying: "I like you. I don't care what you look like. It's what's inside that counts." I think the book did an excellent job of celebrating differences by embracing the unique qualities of Jessie's new friends.

The writing is superb, and I found no spelling or grammatical errors. It is apparent that the book has been professionally edited and the author is a well-seasoned writer. I have happily chosen to give Jessie and the Shimmering Withywicks a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.

I would recommend this book to preteens who enjoy reading stories about friendship and acceptance with some fantasy weaved into the plot. I think this would be an excellent book for the classroom as it emphasizes the importance of charity and advocacy. I would not recommend Jessie and the Shimmering Withwicks to adults as the book is intended to appeal to younger readers.

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Jessie and the Shimmering Withywicks
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Post by Shadiid » 19 Jul 2019, 09:01

I think children will enjoy this book especially those with low self-esteem as it will teach that it is alright to be yourself. Great review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 19 Jul 2019, 09:27

I'm glad this one is so well-written as it seems like a nice story for children. I love the term "withywicks." The names make me think this would be an enjoyable one to read out loud. Thanks for the information!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 19 Jul 2019, 19:49

kandscreeley wrote:
19 Jul 2019, 09:27
I'm glad this one is so well-written as it seems like a nice story for children. I love the term "withywicks." The names make me think this would be an enjoyable one to read out loud. Thanks for the information!
It was such a fun book.Thank you!

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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 19 Jul 2019, 19:50

Shadiid wrote:
19 Jul 2019, 09:01
I think children will enjoy this book especially those with low self-esteem as it will teach that it is alright to be yourself. Great review.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

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Post by Cecilia_L » 19 Jul 2019, 20:18

This sounds like a fun book for young readers. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 19 Jul 2019, 20:49

It loosely reminds me of the Tiffany Aching books, minus the more satirical aspects, of course. I also like the lessons that Jessie's friendship with the Tomtees is designed to produce.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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Post by kdstrack » 19 Jul 2019, 21:02

What a refreshing and creative story for young people! It also teaches the readers valuable lessons. This looks really good. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 20 Jul 2019, 06:20

Cecilia_L wrote:
19 Jul 2019, 20:18
This sounds like a fun book for young readers. Thanks for the recommendation.
Thank you!

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 20 Jul 2019, 06:21

Nisha Ward wrote:
19 Jul 2019, 20:49
It loosely reminds me of the Tiffany Aching books, minus the more satirical aspects, of course. I also like the lessons that Jessie's friendship with the Tomtees is designed to produce.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

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Post by Prisallen » 20 Jul 2019, 08:11

I love the themes presented in this book of advocating for those who can not, and you can still like someone who looks different than you. It is also wonderful that this is a well-written book with no errors. Thank you for a great review, as always!

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 20 Jul 2019, 09:52

Prisallen wrote:
20 Jul 2019, 08:11
I love the themes presented in this book of advocating for those who can not, and you can still like someone who looks different than you. It is also wonderful that this is a well-written book with no errors. Thank you for a great review, as always!
Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

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Post by Helene_2008 » 20 Jul 2019, 20:25

I'll have to keep this series in mind for when my daughter gets older. I appreciate a novel with the moral of being yourself.

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 20 Jul 2019, 21:18

Helene_2008 wrote:
20 Jul 2019, 20:25
I'll have to keep this series in mind for when my daughter gets older. I appreciate a novel with the moral of being yourself.
Thanks for your comment!

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Post by Everydayadventure15 » 22 Jul 2019, 18:07

This sounds like an adorable story! I’d love to check it out for my niece. I like to buy books for her for Christmas and the messages in this book seem well-suited to the challenges she faces in school. Thanks for the review!

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