Lily the Elf: The Wishing Seed & The Elf Flute, by Anna Brandford, illustrated by Lisa Coutts

The Wishing Seed (Lily the Elf)
Lily hugs the seed tightly. Then she whispers into the fluff.
Lovely dandelion seed
(not a pest and not a weed),
grant my wish
with super-speed,
a princess crown
is what I need!

Lily’s dress up crown is broken and tattered. She dreams of having a sparkly, unbroken princess crown. So, when a dandelion wish seed floats by, she knows what to do. She makes the wish and waits impatiently for it to come true. But nothing happens. Her wise dad and granny tell her that sometimes fixing things is better than wishing things, but Lily isn’t convinced – until both adults help her to fix her crown into something very special.

The Elf Flute (Lily the Elf)
First, she holds the flute sideways. Next, she wiggles her fingers over the holes. Then she blows over the big hole at the top.
She waits for lovely music to fill the room. But there is only a whiffling sound.

When Lily is given a brand new elf flute, she decides she will play it at the Grand Elf Concert, rather than recite the poem she has written. But learning to play the flute is harder than she thought. Will she master it in time for the concert?

The Wishing Seed and The Elf Flute are two new titles in the delightful Lily the Elf series. Each self-contained chapter book features Lily and her family – her father and her granny. Lily tackles problems which are a charming blend of elfish and human problems – wanting or wishing for something, mastering a new skill, appreciating individual talents and so on.

Black and white illustrations on most spreads, simple sentence structures and large font make these titles suitable for emergent readers, but accessibility has not compromised the story quality.

A lovely pair.

The Wishing Seed (ISBN 9781925081060)
The Elf Flute (ISBN 9781925081077)
both by Anna Brandford & Lisa Coutts (ill)
Walker Books, 2015

The Boy From Snowy River, by Edwina Howard

‘Well, maybe this is a way you can go. Read this,’ says Gran. She tosses the paper at me.

It’s about the Dargan’s Ridge Festival. On the bottom Gran has circled this:

Celebrate the spirit of ‘The Man From Snowy River’ with the Stockman’s Cup! $500 first place!

George really wants to go to Bill Spills Water World, but it’s expensive, and a long way from Mumblegum, where he lives. Gran has a solution: he can enter a horse race on their old stock horse, Bandicoot. Not much can go wrong – unless Bandicooot’s friend Croak gets involved, or George is accused of cheating, or some rogue goats get free.

The Boy from Snowy River, new in Omnubus Books’ Mates series, is a fast moving, easy to read offering with plenty of humour. Colour illustrations, by Joe Bond, and text embellishments add interest and help in making the text accessible.

Lots of fun for lower primary readers.


The Boy from Snowy River, by Edwina Howard, illustrated by Joe Bond
Omnibus Books, 2014
ISBN 9781862919976

Available from good bookstores or online.