Magical Kingdom of Birds- The Snow Goose by Anne Booth illustrated by Rosie Butcher

Christmas is coming and we are returning to a wintery take in The Magical Kingdom of Birds that I honestly think is the best so far, the plot is thrilling and the kindness and growth throughout us beautiful. Children really resonate with Maya and no doubt warm to her advice to a little Snow Goose who is struggling with the physical demands of their quest and one of the Geese has one of the best names ever.

The Magical Kingdom of Birds is a series that is very close to my heart and that of both my daughters in igniting their imaginations, Littlefae is inspired in both play and storytelling from these stories and so in turn has her little sister who adores these stories too.

I implore you that if you know of a child in that early readers stage who loves animals, non-fiction details and magic then please please try The Magical Kingdom of Birds out with them because this series is so full of magic and grit with gentle peril and to boot is one of the few existing childrens books with a disabled protagonist who does not use magic to solve her physical difficulties, she uses teamwork and smarts to work through them.

The Magical Kingdom Of Birds- The Snow Goose

It’s the Christmas holidays and Lauren has returned from university and invited her friends to visit and Maya is feeling rather wobbly about being in the way so she hides in her room and finds the Magical colouring book calling her on another adventure.

This time Lord Astor has abducted the Silver Goose who usually leads the Snow Geese along their migratory path which heralds the start of winter throughout the kingdom. Maya, Patch and Princess Willow team up with some adult snow geese for a rescue mission… only to discover the flutter of tiny wings behind them!

Littlefae

The little geese were a bit cheeky and the book is magic, it made me feel all cosy. It made we want to fly with Maya and the snow geese- my favourite character was Tabitha the snow goose she was very brave and clever!!

First of all Anne’s stories are always full of Hearst and kindness without being preachy. Anne has a talent for picking out the type of response many children would have in different circumstances, here Maya feeling a little intimidated by her sister’s friends and wanting to hide, and indeed the mix of shame and bravado from the young goslings who are prepared to break the rules to take part in the adventure.

Illustration from The Magical Kingdom Of Birds: The Snow Goose
Extract of Illustration by Rosie Butcher

There is also the most beautiful and powerfully poignant conversation between Maya and a young goose Tabitha who is the smallest of the group and struggling with the flight. When Maya reassures her that anything worth doing isn’t easy, and that it can sometimes feel hopeless but that’s when it starts to work, I could cry and hug Anne for this soothing reassurance. Because that is just like my Littlefae, so frustrated when she can’t keep up or do something the way she wants to the first time, whether due to her small size or general ability and I know so many children struggle with those feelings, and unchecked can descend into perfectionism (hello!). Anne promotes building resilience in an empathetic and kind way acknowledging frustrations and directing to hope, and that is SUCH a wonderful thing.

Tinyfae

I like the little geese I like Tabitha she is a little little goose and she was flying with Maya, she’s brave. I want to play it with {Littlefae}

The teamwork factor in this is fantastic too and the way that everyone from the biggest to the littlest plays a part in saving the day, as many young children can feel left out of things, Anne reminds us that everyone has something they CAN do.

Rosie Butcher’s illustrations make these books an absolute joy too, with detailed yet playful pictures. The focus on the grace and individual differences between the geese just adds to the wonder of this book that is enhanced by the framing borders to everyone page.

Illustration from The Magical Kingdom Of Birds: The Snow Goose
Extract of Illustration by Rosie Butcher

Overall, this is a fantastically Festive treat that will keep giving into the New Year when it can be paired up with The Ice Swans which is another beautiful Wintery tale of ice and snow and wicked Lord Astor being thwarted by a young girl and her merry band of fae and feathered friends.

Magical Kingdom of Birds- The Ice Swans

Both Littlefae and I are utterly heartbroken that the next book is the supposedly the last as this series deserves so much more attention but whatever the outcome I will remain eternally grateful to Anne and Rosie for the magical spell they have worked on my both my girls.

I hope these books find other readers that need them as much as my girls have flourished with them.

The Magical Kingdom Of Birds: The Snow Goose by Anne Booth and illustrated by Rosie Butcher is published by OUP.

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