I had the privilege of reading early an absolutely adorable children’s chapter book. I even got my own, real copy. Neener neener.
I’m reviewing Wishweaver, written and illustrated by J.H. Winter, as both an author and an elementary educator. In both arenas, Whimsy’s journey–and it literally is a journey–is one that will delight young readers from beginning to end. Even the ones who don’t like spiders.
Whimsy is an unusual spider, one who is afraid of heights and doesn’t behave as other spiders do. She is best friends with Flit, a milkweed seedling, who is one of many wisps destined to hold Wishweaver magic.
But there’s a problem in Weyburn: The Wishweaver has gone away, and a new one hasn’t taken her place. Without a Wishweaver, there is no one to take the wisps, fill them with magic, and send them off to wish makers. The animals of Weyburn are left wishing for someone to make their wishes come true.
Whimsy and Flit decide to explore Weyburn and find the Wishweaver tree, perhaps solving the mystery of what happened to the Wishweaver. Along the way, they meet several colorful characters, including a crocodile covered with hair, a singing water buffalo, a timid roly-poly, and my personal favorite, a pair of aging owls.
Throughout the story, Whimsy must use her web-spinning ability to help the creatures she meets, often needing to convince them first that she won’t eat them (or in the case of the owls, that they shouldn’t eat her and her friends). She must overcome her fears and hone her sense of purpose, one that is fully realized at the end of her journey.
Wishweaver is full of surprises, tender moments, and is peppered with humor. I loved Whimsy’s and Flit’s interactions both with each other and with the animals they meet. In addition to being an adorably fun story, there are lessons in overcoming fear, being selfless, and caring for one another, should the grown-ups want to guide their littles down those roads. I suspect, however, that children and grown-ups alike will enjoy reading Whimsy’s story together simply for the delight that it is.
Wishweaver: Tales of Whimsy, Book 1 will be released on September 1, just four days from my penning of this review (but you can order now!). Pick up a copy as a gift for a special young reader in your life–or for yourself. We won’t tell.
And as if the release of Whimsy’s story isn’t enough good news for the day, there’s more! For the crafty types among you, on book release day, Winter is also releasing the pattern for her crocheted amigurumi (plush-like toy) of Whimsy and Flit. Better yet, the pattern is free! Head over to her blog (here), Ravelry (here), or Lovecrafts (here) for details.