Harper and the Night Forest by Cerrie Burnell, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson
Series: Harper #3
Genre: Middle Grade | Adventure
Length: 240 pages
Published on 2nd March 2017 by Scholastic Children’s Books
Purchase: Amazon | TBD | Waterstones | WHSmith
Cerrie Burnell: Twitter | Goodreads
Laura Ellen Anderson: Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads
A review copy received from Scholastic Children’s Books via Faye Rogers
Harper and her friends get to visit the mysterious Night Forest, and it is rumoured that a magical Ice Raven lives amongst the ebony trees. Will the children try to capture it? Or give it freedom?
Thanks to Faye I got a copy of Harper and the Night Forest for review. I said this last year when I reviewed Shadow Magic, I don’t usually read middle grade books but the cover for Harper was too cute it said “illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson” so that meant illustrations inside too? Dope! Sign me up.
Harper and the Night Forest is a quick read. So quick that I uh really should’ve taken two books to work yesterday when I read it in Costa before hand because returning clothes turned out to be a lot quicker than every other time I’ve done so. (Yes bad me for only finishing this book yesterday).
Anyway, point being, the large text and illustrations means you can zoom through this whilst drinking a coffee (I actually had a mango and passion fruit iced drink).
The quickness of this book doesn’t subtract from how much I enjoyed it though. I can 100% see young me loving this book so much.
The book is just full of magic. Every page has a magical element to it and its awesome.
With this book being the third in the series its kind of obvious as times as the relationships are pre-established and there are clearly elements being referenced – Harper’s umbrella and harp for sure. But the book still easily explains anything that it does mention, it is totally understanding that children often read books out of sequence so absolutely nothing is too confusing nor lost if you haven’t read the others.
Some of my favourite elements from this book is Harper’s umbrella which they use to fly in:
It doesn’t even need to be pulled along by helicopter this was just to keep everyone together.
I really liked that parental figures existed in this book and were nice parents too. I really dislike it in children’s’ books where they just ignore the fact a parent should be there because they’d “get in the way” of the story. Instead in this they’re actually pretty vital. The children ask permission before heading out on their adventure to the Night Forest, the parents drop them off, and 2 even stay to supervise. This really simple thing was super important to me.
The Night Forest itself is really magical too – its a place for fairy tales, each fairy tales “birthday” (the day the story is created) the characters come to life within the forest! How cute.
It would’ve been super lovely to see a face or two that we know well but instead Cerrie creates her own, a fairy tale of the Ice Raven and Wolf that is unfinished so the two remain alive and well in the forest in a never ending cycle due to having no ending.
I think this was a really interesting thing to do because it made sure the book wasn’t relying on someone well known, and also gave the children in the novel a problem to face and decide what to do. Again, I found this important as it illustrates in a nice way how even people of young ages need to think about their actions as they could cause unhappiness to others even if what they chose to do would’ve benefited someone else.
So overall this story definitely had its perks, was a very descriptive and magical world, and I just wish that I was younger so I could’ve enjoyed it fully, rather than enjoying it because I can see the importance of it. If that makes sense?
Oh one last thing, the illustrations throughout are super cute and I loved them! It really helped make the book feel that extra bit special and magical.