August Fantasy Newsletter

Here’s a selection of covers from our August Fantasy newsletter.

Cover of Joe Abercrombie's Half a King Cover of Sarah Beth Durst's The Lost  Cover of Charlie Fletcher's The Oversight Cover of Erika Johansen's The Queen of the Tearling Cover of Simon R. Green's Property of a Lady Faire Cover of The Given by Vicki Pettersson


As well as short stories this month’s newsletter features collections of short stories by the likes of Terry Pratchett, Patricia McKillip, and Sherrilyn Kenyon. You can read the whole newsletter one our website or subscribe and it will get delivered to your inbox every month.

Away with the Fairies

Cover of Rainbow FairiesThere is something about fairies, if you have a 6-year old daughter they are everywhere. Books about fairies are everywhere! To take just the the Rainbow Magic series – there are colour fairies, jewel fairies, animal fairies, dance fairies, ocean fairies,  sporty fairies, fairies for the days of the week, holidays (including 5 devoted solely to Christmas) and even the weather – one suspects that they must be running out of ideas soon – surely! Series for children are not all bad – previous blogs here have discussed their role in encouraging early readers. I remember  my first solo reading – Five go off in a Caravan.  I pulled this from my mother’s hands to try to read by myself as I was so frustrated by her rationing of one chapter a day.  Ignore the badly written prose, poor storyline and zero dimensional characters – getting kids hooked reading words is the goal that will lead them on to higher things.

However, at this stage – my daughter’s not reading the fairy stories – I am!  Since my daughter’s primary judgement for good reading  is based on how pink the cover is – sometimes I do get a reprieve.  In addition to fairies, there are princesses and also ponies, and sometimes I am truly lucky and I get all three – Princess Evie’s Ponies – Silver the Magic Snow Pony – fortunately due to the wise judgment of library selectors not available at Christchurch City Libraries.  I am afraid to say that I am not always the most patient of parents – some of these books I have found so truly dreadful, that despite protests and even  tears, I am physically incapable of reading more than one page.

So what series are good to read to your 6 year old girl? Well, we have found some that we both enjoy:

  • Cover of Grandpa ChatterjiGrandpa Chatterji – a delightful series about a strange and mysterious grandfather from India who comes to stay.
  • Ivy and Bean – Two friends who get up to mischievous pranks.
  • Just Grace – Imagine being in a class with 4 other Graces.
  • Tilly Beanie – Tilly has a great imagination and always wants to be someone she’s not.
  • Katie – The Revolting bridesmaid – the girl who hates pink and “exquisite beading” has to be her sister’s bridesmaid.
  • Daisy and the trouble with … – Daisy is a cheeky girl who is often a  bit naughty and things go wrong and she gets into all sorts of predicaments.