Willow Moss and the lost day by Dominique Valente

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Illus. by Sarah Warburton. Starfell bk. 1. HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780008308391.
(Ages 8-12) Recommended. Themes: Magic, Witches, Time, Fantasy. Dominique Valente's debut fantasy novel conjures up a magical world, filled with witches and trolls, controlled by an evil time spell. In the village of Starfell everyone has a magical talent, some are more exciting than others. Unfortunately, Willow Moss has a simple one, she can find lost things, wooden teeth, lost glasses, and the townsfolk line up and pay a spurgle for her help. Then powerful witch, Moreg Vaine, requests that Willow accompany her on a quest to find the missing day - Tuesday. The pace picks up as Willow leaves her home town with her carpet bag and Oswin, a very opinionated kobold (a green furry cat-like creature) and ventures out into dark forests and magical towns. Journeying by broomstick, they are guided by the Storypass, and stopped by the menacing Brothers of Wol, Moreg who want to rule the world. Danger lurks at every turn, who can they trust, where will their journey take them?
The young witch grows in confidence as she travels far from home. Feathering the dragon joins the travellers transporting them up to Cloud Mountain, meeting a forgotten teller (not fortune teller) Nolin Sometimes, who reveals more of the mystery to them.
The impact of losing a weekday seems insignificant, until Willow thinks about all the births, deaths, special appointments and events that are lost, as history's course is changed. One young witch and her quite sarcastic sidekick Oswin the kobold finds hidden strengths, learn resilience and find courage on their dangerous mission.
Dominique Valente's imaginative world building, cast of unusual crazy characters, fun conversations, humorous and dangerous encounters and fast-paced actions make Willow Moss and the lost day an exciting and enjoyable novel. Middle Primary students will enjoy diving into this magical world, overflowing with witches, wizards, trolls and monsters. What's next for Willow Morse and her caustic kobold?
Rhyllis Bignell