Bloom- Nicola Skinner

This book is incredibly timely it deals with themes that have become increasingly visual and crucial over the last six months including the regreening of urban spaces, the responsibility to the the environment allowing for biodiversity and gentle-footprints.

For young dreamers and budding environmentalists this is a Middle Grade novel to inspire creative green solutions as much as argue for change and encouraging the imaginative responses to our climate crisis can only be a positive thing.

Book cover for Bloom
Illustrations by Flavia Sorrentino

Sorrel Coriander Fallowfield prides herself on being a ‘good girl’, maybe if she is good she might be good enough to cheer her mum up or at least win that holiday for the most obedient child competition at Grittysnit School.

One day, something funny happens at home, the door bangs, the patio cracks open and the horrid sad tree in the garden seems to be calling to her. In the cracks she finds a packet of seeds which she investigates with her friend Neena, and of course the most extraordinary things start occurring…

A fully formed thought bubbles up inside my brain as if somebody had planted it there. the Surprising Seeds did not want to be sealed up any longer. They wanted to get out into the world.

I was aching to read this when it first came out, but budgetwise I tend to hold out for paperbacks. However I caved in when I saw a photograph online of the jawdroppingly beautiful illustrated hardback cover underneath the dust jacket and the end papers – swoon. Between the cover, the end papers and the wonderful floral illustrations curling around the text Flavia Sorrentino has created a piece of art!!

The themes themselves are wonderful, I can’t say much without spoilers but it is about challenging those who wish to stamp the wild imaginations out of children for conformity and uniform, and about the need for nature and green spaces both of the Land and within the human spirit, that we as a species are at a loss if we ‘pave paradise to put up an exam hall’ to paraphrase Joni Mitchell.

But accessible to middle grade children.

And that’s where this is so magical, it takes the wondrous and the ridiculous that childrens literature does so well and applies a regreening theme quite literally!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book so much I had to put it down at 1.20am because I had to get up at 5.30am and immediately it was decided what audiobook we were starting in the car for our journey!! Littlefae is enchanted by this and she hasn’t even got to the Magical part yet!!!

There are a lot of ideas for discussion of environment, social responsibility in civic planning and even art too- I can see that there could be a great projects and even fun alternative or theme to Easter Bonnets or recyclables-fashion parades using this book as a prompt.

We will certainly be starting with some flower exploration, art and headpieces!!

Bloom by Nicola Skinner is published by Harper Collins

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5 thoughts on “Bloom- Nicola Skinner

    1. It’s rather quirky, it’s got that early Middle grade nonsense and silliness aspect but is really open hearted and full of hope, and has a bit of grit in there too as it has a scathing attitude to property developers and urban planning that excludes nature from everyday life.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s gorgeous I think this sandwiches nicely in that inbetweeny early chapter and middle grade (despite the size of the book) where it’s got some of the youthful silliness and sweet low peril hopeful magic which I know you like to know about to recommend but not necessarily your thing to read.

      Liked by 1 person

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