Three kids, Milo, Mia and Birdy, are on a countryside holiday when they wander into an Enchanted Wood. Among the whispering leaves, there is a beautiful tree that stands high above the rest. The Magic Faraway Tree is home to remarkable creatures including a fairy called Silky, her best friend Moonface and more. Birdy is delighted to find that fairies are real. Even her older brother and sister are soon won over by the magic of the Faraway Tree and the extraordinary places they discover above it, including the Land of Unicorns. But not every land is so much fun. Danger looms in the Land of Dragons. Will Moonface’s magic work in time to save the children?
The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton was Jacqueline Wilson’s own favourite book as a young child. Now Britain’s favourite contemporary children’s author, creator of Hetty Feather and Tracy Beaker, revisits this glorious magical world, weaving a brand-new story perfect for the next generation of young readers. Discover the magic!
‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ has always been my most favourite book ever – the original one that is, with the original gang of Jo, Bessie and Fanny (not forgetting cousin Dick of course). So when I saw that THE Jacqueline Wilson was bringing out a new children’s book based on that very faraway tree where trees go ‘wisha wisha’, and a character is covered head to toe in saucepans who ironically, is hard of hearing (I wonder why), I couldn’t help but feel both excited AND nervous.
‘Why the nerves?’ I hear you ask. Well, if your most favourite book in the whole world was being brought into the 21st century by your most favourite author in the whole world, keeping the tree and the trees residents at the heart of the storyline whilst creating a new story at the same time – wouldn’t you be a little nervous? I was very unsure as to how it would play out. ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ is an iconic book in my opinion, and I was worried that the new version would dilute the magic of Silky and Moonface and end up making me dislike the entire thing.
I could not have been more wrong if I tried. ‘A New Adventure’ is exactly that, a brand new adventure. Jacqueline Wilson kept the magical characters at the heart of her story, bringing them back to life after what has felt like ages. That said, it felt as though they had never been away, as though I was catching up with friends I hadn’t seen for a long time. Yes, there were a lot of similarities between the books, such as three children going off on their own into the woods with personalities that would be relatable to a lot of children in this day and age, just like Jo, Bessie, and Fanny did back in the day. Not only that, visiting different lands at the top of the tree, and even getting covered in Dame Wash-a-lots water were also iconic similarities. However, there were subtle differences which gave the book its own identity. For example, the concept of time was different, and the children’s lives weren’t as important outside of the faraway tree as they were in the original.
Even though ‘A New Adventure’ is a novel in its own right (despite the obvious inspiration), it felt like a continuation of the magical story we have all grown to love and adore. I was in my element reading this story, and I was so excited to be back with the gang – all my Christmases had come at once! I was swept up in the magic of the faraway and lost in Jacqueline Wilson’s brilliant storytelling – what more could I have wanted?
So yeah, its understandable if you’ve seen this book and felt a bit apprehensive, as though you’re cheating on Enid Blyton’s original, but please don’t despair. It is worth the read and then some. I loved it! Once again I didn’t want to leave Silky and Moonface, so I was gutted when it had to end.
Until next time The Magic Faraway Tree!
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