Author: J. Lyon Layden
Illustrated by: Kenny Savage
What do you get if two friends decide to write and illustrate a children’s book together? The Other Side Of Yore answers this question with it’s beautiful illustrations and enchanting storyline. This is very much a mixture between The Hobbit and The Wind in the Willows.
This delightful tale follows herbalist Frawg Findig on his adventures. The opening chapter sees Frawg and a dragonfly named Buzz, befriend each other on the waters of Terramore. As they decide to team up together in search of dandelions needed for the people of the land, they soon learn that everywhere is completely out of these precious flowers. Even Frogtown is suffering.
It is only when Dr Croaks informs them that King Bog’s daughter, Princess Lily Pad, has been taken ill and is in a deep sleep that all three recognize something more sinister is afoot. Called to meet with King Bog, Dr Croaks travels there with the newly acquainted friends in Frawg’s tortoiseshell boat.
During the journey Frawg decides to stop at the side of the river to try and collect some magical pollen from a flower named The Hua Flower. It claims to help frogs become stronger and Frawg is sure this pollen can help the three with their quest.
Later, when they arrive at the Palace, Bog tells Frawg and Dr Croaks that in order to wake the sleeping Princess they will have to travel to Mudgunkland. Here they will have to rid this land from deadly snakes and the poisonous green smoke that is rising from the swamps and killing off the flowers. Can Frawg be a brave and victorious hero and help to rouse the Princess? There is only one way to find out. Follow these explorers and discover more. As they overcome their own fears and survive, they also come to understand the true sense of what it is to be brave and face treachery. Children will love the rights and wrongs which this charming story portrays and will enjoy identifying with the Goodies.
The way the author has invented simple things such as a boat made out of a tortoise shell and bog water tea conjures up an image of a fairytale world in which anything can happen. It is also beautifully enhanced with illustrations to help make this imaginary world become even more delightful.
One of the best books of it’s type. As much as it will fascinate children, I think this will also appeal to adults. It’s a wonderful treasure to own.
I absolutely guarantee this is one book you will want to have in your collection. I only wish when I was a child that someone had given me this bewitching book.
The above review was contributed by: Jessica Roberts: Jessica has been a reviewer for a newspaper and a national women’s magazine. She is working on a novel and has written some poetry and other writings in the past.