Eliza Bluebell by A. J. York and illustrated by Gavin Childs, e-book, 97 pages, published by Smashwords in 2015, first published in 2014.
Eliza Bluebell has a special talent; her shadow is a separate entity and is invisible to all bar Eliza. When Eliza and her shadow arrive in Blossom Brook they begin running a tearoom on the high street. On the side, Eliza and her shadow help members of the community with any problems they might be having.
This is a delightful chapter book! Some magic and humour, and a lesson that helping others can be very rewarding. The language is simple with short chapters, perfect for younger children. Each chapter began with a black and white silhouette illustration of the main theme of the chapter. The flow of the story was very smooth without the interruption of illustrations within the text. I love the cover of Eliza Bluebell too, it’s so simple, yet striking.
Eliza is a bit like Mary Poppins, arriving when needed, and leaving quietly when she is no longer required. She is kind and gentle, while her shadow is quite cheeky. I really liked grumpy old Mr Groop, with his sour expression and insistence on telling the bus driver how late the bus is running. I’m glad someone was able to cheer him up though!
Eliza Bluebell is suitable for lower and middle primary school students. It would make a great read for early independent and reluctant readers, as well as being a nice story to share. I liked this story very much, and I hope there will be more Eliza Bluebell adventures in the future.
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.