Fairies in the forest by Lindsey Kelk

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Illus. by Pippa Curnick. Cinders and Sparks book 2. HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780008292140. 208pp.
(Age: 7+) Very highly recommended as a series. Recommended as a stand-alone book. I haven't read book one Magic at midnight but after reading this I am now looking out for it and book three as I think you need to read them all in quick order so that you get the full joy of these books.
The book begins with Cinders who is a modern day Cinderella on the run in the deep dark woods with her dog Sparks and mouse who is now a horse (of course) and Hansel. If you haven't read book one there are a number of things that you either have to take for granted or work out as the story progresses that have obviously occurred in book one, however the story flows in such a way that you are pulled along on a wild and enjoyable ride.
As Cinders ventures deeper into the forest she encounters the Three Bears, sleeps in their beds, convinces Daddy Bear not to eat her, escapes forest monsters and meets Rapunzel. In this convoluted fairy tale adventure children will certainly be engaged and giggle as they read the book, especially if they have experience with a number of fairy tales. I love the illustrations and feel that these really add to the story and help to support the story and engage the younger readers.
This is a fantastic book, however I think that children would find the cliff-hanger ending frustrating which is why I feel that this series of books would be best read together rather than individually. Saying this does not change my opinion that these would be fantastic as class novels or as a read-aloud and will become favourites within classes and libraries with all students, especially those who have moved onto short novels. Themes: Family, Friendship, Fairies, Fairytales, Animals, Magic.
Mhairi Alcorn