Children’s Book Review: “The Adventures of Daffadowndilly”

While my interest in books may change with the seasons, I never tire of reading fantasy. Especially if a book, be it geared to adults or children, can embrace: the entrancing world of fairies, the frolics of goblins, and perhaps a queen thrown in for good measure. Oh, and the tale must leave me mulling over a happy ending. The Adventures of Daffadowndilly by author Wendy Martin, encompasses this protocol, and the added bonus of moral lessons, in her children’s book.

Learn, too, where Ms. Martin, a long-time writer at the Yahoo! Contributor Network, got the inspiration for her main character.

These Royals Have Chores
– This woodland fairy, who, by the way, is Princess Daffadowndilly, displays behavior typical of youth; she’s easily distracted and curious. Despite the distinction of her royal lineage, the one-day Fairy Queen, has a variety of chores she must attend to. I love that idea. It takes any “status” equation out of the picture.

The Other World
– Accomplishing these tasks she will and does-eventually: but not before she ventures off track to explore the amazing distractions of the world around her. Naturally, if she is to fulfill her queenly fairy duties someday, she believes delving into the other world to be an important learning aspect for her future job. What could be a more enlightening lesson than having the courage to step outside your comfort zone?

The Sweet Peril that is Daffadowndilly
– The fairy’s chore is simple this fine day. In preparation for the upcoming Fairy Ball, Daffadowndilly is assigned to gather a dozen flower petals. This may seem like a trifling duty, but a chore is a chore, and well… she is a princess fairy after all. This is a beneficial way to show kids that everyone has responsibilities. When an author isn’t afraid to make a character accountable, I appreciate the story that much more.

Storming Rose Cottage
– While counting her pink petals, she is disrupted by a mortal passing by. Then, scurrying to hide in a cranny of the rock garden, she drops her rose petals. The mortal, Bethan, nabs the petals for potpourri, and hurries into Rose Cottage with her find. Using Mr. Blackbird as a distraction, Daffadowndilly sneaks into the cottage to retrieve her petals: perfect scenario because she faces her dilemma, realizing she needs to tackle her problem head on.

The Not So Good News
– What she learns inside the cottage is that Bethan’s brother, Archie, whom Bethan loves very much, is ill. The rose petals hardly seem important at this point. She thinks a healing potion is in order so Archie will be well again. Daff leaves the petals behind; there is something much more pressing that needs attention now, Fairy Ball or not. It’s easy to take away that Daffadowndilly is selflessly putting a stranger above herself.

Let the Adventure Begin
– However, how will she accomplish this thoughtful feat? And so Daffadowndilly’s true adventures begin. Her journey introduces the reader to her BFF, Bluebell, and Owo, the wisest owl. A mouse named Mervyn, Geraint, a pixie prince, and the court jester, Calamitous Jake, are entertaining characters-all brave hearts, and willing to step out on a limb like Daffadowndilly.

I won’t spoil the rest of the story, but I’ll say, while it’s delightfully magical in detail, it also contains a persuasive moral lesson. The book is written with six to a nine-year-old in mind. It’s a sweet little read for any age, though.

About the Author
– I became acquainted with Wendy Martin a few years ago via our passion for writing. In 2008, we joined Associated Content (now Yahoo! Voices) within a month of each other. The author makes her home in the sea town of Porthcawl, South Wales, in the UK. By e-mail, I asked Wendy to fill me in on a few things I was curious about pertaining to her book. Especially since I am an aspiring novelist with my first book in progress.

The Overall Concept
– The credit for the idea behind The Adventures of Daffadowndilly, Wendy informed me, goes to her mother. She notes the book is based on story/stories that her mother used to tell her grandchildren when she was babysitting. According to Wendy, the Daffadowndilly character/name is her mother’s idea. However, the storyline in Wendy’s book is her own original theme — and nothing like her mother’s story.

Previous Attempts
– Putting Daffadowndilly on paper was something Wendy tried twice in the 90s. Lack of proper time to write the book and other circumstances, unfortunately ‘got in the way’. This time, though, Wendy made her dream a reality. From the writing process to published book, it took Wendy six months to get Daffadowndilly out to the world. As of this writing, she has a second book draft on its way to interested literary agents.

Pearls of Wisdom
– Wendy has a tip for those who’d like to try their hand at writing a book: “My advice to anyone writing for the first time is to get your plot worked out first. Decide where you want to take your characters as you can lose ‘their places’ along the way; and continuity of a story is the big problem if you have not worked out a logical route! (As I found out and it cost me time). The easiest part is the writing-once those words flow, the fingers follow! But, get your plot done first.”

The Adventures of Daffadowndilly is available at Amazon UK.

Publisher: Arthur H. Stockwell LTD (December 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0722340621

ISBN-13: 978-0722340622

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *