2020 Reviews · children · new release · Picture book

Children’s Book Review: The Enchanted Oak Tree by Sarah, Duchess of York

Title: The Enchanted Oak Treethe enchanted oak tree small

Author: Sarah, Duchess of York

Illustrator: Veronica Rooke

Published: 31 July 2020

Publisher: Serenity Press

Pages: 34

Genres:  Children (3+)

RRP: $19.99

Rating: 4.5 stars

Open the antique gate and enter a secret garden where a world of enchantment and wonder awaits…Children will delight in this charming tale about an old oak tree that is not what it seems, for frolicking fairies make their home among its sheltering branches. When the fairies spy from on high that Lily the Lamb is in trouble they discover it will take more than a sprinkle of magic dust to free her. Perhaps the Butterfly Catchers will know what to do. Can they help to return calm and harmony to the Secret Garden and all the creatures who dwell in it? Will they come to see the old oak tree for what it truly is – the heart of this special place? An enchanting, heart-warming tale from Sarah, Duchess of York.

Review:

“Thank you, dear tree,” they said.

“You are not just a place where the fairies take their tea,

you are the secret garden’s heart for all to see.”

Fairies, a magical tree, butterflies, a secret garden and a gaggle of delightful farm animals join the stage in Sarah, Duchess of York’s The Enchanted Oak Tree. A beautiful picture book that encourages the core values of empathy, kindness and respect, The Enchanted Oak Tree is a book that will delight all young minds.

Welcome to the magical world of The Enchanted Oak Tree. Entry to this secret world via an antique gate opens up a realm of possibility. The reader is charmed by all this story beholds. A truly entrancing book for young readers, this is the tale of a lonely old oak tree, who wishes to more for than the company of the fairies from the secret garden.  When a spot of trouble occurs in the harmonic secret garden, the inhabitants of this magical world band together to save a gentle friend. This miraculous event allows the butterfly catchers and the other inhabitants of the secret garden to see the true value of the majestic oak tree.

I was excited to learn that a local publisher in my area acquired a major publishing deal with Sarah, Duchess of York. With a number of picture books and chapter books for young readers planned for release, The Enchanted Oak Tree is my first taste of the Duchess Serenity Collection and it was a heartwarming tale.

In a story reminiscent of one of my favourite childhood books, The Folk of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, The Enchanted Oak Tree immediately ignites the reader’s imagination and sweeps the audience into a world inhabited by some very special creatures. I basked in the glory of the wise old oak tree, the delightful fairies, the stunning butterflies and the mystical secret garden. It was a lovely chance to cast reality aside and indulge in a spot of fantasy for a short time.

The prose is a delight, full of magic and wonder. It is in tune with the young age group this picture book is targeted towards, which would be readers aged three to eight years old. I liked the clear use of both alliteration and onomatopoeia in this book, it works to full effect to extend the storyline. I also valued the strong emphasis on the core themes of respect, kindness, helpfulness, self confidence, friendship, gratitude and empathy. These key ideas are presented in an accessible format, capturing the full attention of young minds.

The prose is supported by the eye catching artwork of Veronica Rooke. This is not my first experience of the talented illustrator’s work, but I was still taken aback by the beauty of Rooke’s page spreads. The colour choices, the careful detail and the framing of the characters in this story brings all the figures featured in this tale to life in a truly magical sense. Any child who is a fan of enchanted worlds and fairies is going to love all The Enchanted Oak Tree has to offer.

The Enchanted Oak Tree by Sarah, Duchess of York was published on 31st July 2020 by Serenity Press. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Enchanted Oak Tree, Sarah, Duchess of York visit here.

*I wish to thank Serenity Press for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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