Cressida Cowell is a phenomenon, producing volume after volume of fantasy adventure stories without ever losing quality or zest. She also illustrates them in wild black pencil, with cartoonish figures sometimes taking up whole pages or else cropping up mid paragraph... Characters are more human than heroic, as often as not possessing a fragile dignity that never quite succeeds in covering up their faults however hard they try. The only exception is Looker, Xar's older brother, happy to exhibit his essential selfishness until the very end. At this point it gradually becomes clear that all the main characters are in fact junior players in the future court of King Arthur. But the unhappiness and division that is now bound to follow as they get older is not part of this jolly story's remit. Readers can simply sit back and enjoy rollicking fun from an author-illustrator working at top form as well as high speed. The perfect choice as the current Children's Laureate in 2019, her tenure has now been extended to June 2022. Children are lucky to have her, and so are we.
This is everything you'd expect from the Laureate: engaging, imperfect characters who have much to learn, a strong narrator that guides readers through the story, and sprinklings of cultural references and stretching words to keep readers of all levels stimulated....Another energetic page turner
Scotland's Children's Laureate is back with the final book in the best-selling The Wizards Of Once series. Cowell, author of How To Train Your Dragon, reunites nine to 11-year-olds with Xar and Wish who are on a quest to unite their worlds in time to save the WiIdwoods. The duo are now locked in a rollercoaster adventure in which the Kingwitch is calling them to the lake of the lost. Pure magic!
The final book in the Wizards of Once series, Never and Forever, is every bit as wonderful as its predecessors. Quirky illustrations and engaging characters make this a compelling read...This is a story full of action. The mysterious narrator is revealed at the close of the tale, having guided the reader through it, offering dire warnings and words of wisdom along the way. Many touches set this apart from other series - the antics of the key, the spoon and the fork; the satirical treatment of the children's parents; the children's wonderful entourage of companions, especially the adorable Squeezjoos, who deserves a novel all of his own! Mayhem and madness brilliantly combine to create a highly engaging series, culminating in the final story, Never and Forever, a triumph of fantasy! Five stars *****
Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell returns with the fourth and final instalment of her marvellously magical Wizards of Once series...The pages of this funny, clever adventure story are bursting with lots of exuberant artwork. It's a brilliant conclusion to a wonderful series.
Welcome to the fourth and final book in the absolutely sparkling Wizards of Once series... a wonderful series to be savoured by fans of How To Train Your Dragon. It's so well written, the characters and story come totally alive on the page - and Cressida Cowell's beautiful, expressive scratchy drawings add so much. This is mesmerising, truly captivating world-building. The final battle scenes are breathtaking, too - Cressida's imagination knows no bounds, and this is epic stuff! On top of all that, there's real wisdom here about how adults need to take responsibility to sort out the world, which is timely in this era of children protesting against climate change. A great finale to a great series.
Cowell's short sentences and scribbly pencil illustrations carry considerable skill and humour, advocate love, and manage to be lively and momentous.
The final book in this incredible series is a rollercoaster ride of adventure. Xar and Wish have found the ingredients for the Spell to get rid of Witches. But first they must negotiate tiny tunnels, defeat a hungry Tatzelwurm monster and escape with the Cup of Second Chances. With surprises and laughs galore, the Children's Laureate delivers once again. ***** Five stars
Better than ever....everything you could want from our wonderful Children's Laureate
Readers will love this fourth and final book in Cowell's high-octane WIZARDS OF ONCE series. Cowell is one of our greatest living storytellers and readers will be left of the edge of their seat/beds