Cover illustration by Andrew Farley. Inside illustrations by Renée Kurilla.
Published by Scholastic, 2017.
Storms and Rainbows and Best Friends are the two books that complete the Unicorns of Blossom Wood series. You can read my reviews of the first two books in the series here.
Cousins Cora, Lei and Isabelle are on holiday with their families. They are staying on a campsite but, by placing their feet in three sets of hoof prints that they have discovered in a nearby cove, they are able to transport themselves to the magical world of Blossom Wood. Once they get there, the three girls are transformed into unicorns! On their previous two visits, they have befriended the talking animals who live in the woodland and, on both occasions, they have managed to come to the rescue of one or more of the animals.
In the earlier two books, Cora and Isabelle discovered that they have magical powers as unicorns. Cora is able to heal poorly animals and Isabelle has the power to create light. Only Lei is unsure of her powers or if indeed she has any magical powers at all. Storms and Rainbows, book three in the series, focuses on Lei as she struggles impatiently with not knowing. In an interesting twist, it turns out that Lei’s magical power – to alter the weather – actually threatens the safety of the animals. Frustrated by being the only unicorn unsure of her gift, Lei gallops off in a temper. Moments later, thunder rumbles overhead and a flash flood causes panic among the inhabitants of Blossom Wood. The flood waters rise and the animals have to flee their homes. Will the unicorns, and Lei in particular, be able to save the day?
Best Friends is a sentimental final visit to Blossom Wood. The family holiday is nearly over and the girls will soon be returning to their homes on opposite sides of the world. So, on the final night of their holiday, they sneak off for one last adventure. It’s an extra special one because the animals of Blossom Wood are staging a spectacular talent show. There are tightrope walking bears, juggling caterpillars, hula-hooping rabbits and even a breakdancing beaver! The three unicorns join in with a tap dance, magical rainbow sparkles bursting from their hooves. The book is tinged with sadness but the unicorns are grateful for their happy memories of Blossom Wood and the story ends with a big thumbs up for girl power; the cousins discover that their magic is even more amazing when they combine their powers.
Again, the themes of friendship and community run through both stories and they give the books a positive, life-affirming message. The books are perfectly pitched to their target audience; the three cousins have distinct personalities and readers will enjoy choosing a favourite with whom they most identify. The four-book series is a perfect length – just long enough to draw readers into the magical world and give them a sense of really knowing its characters but short enough to be an achievable goal for a young independent reader. I think this series could be the hook that gets many newly independent readers into reading.
There’s a brilliant, fun-packed website to accompany the series and both books have lots of additional content at the back: wordsearches, puzzles, quizzes and fact files.
Suitable for children aged 6+
Thank you to Scholastic for sending me these books to review. I reviewed these books as part of Scholastic’s Unicorn Day.