In June of last year I was so thrilled to be able to support a good writer friend as she bravely published her first book for children. Jenny Sanders writes seriously thought provoking Christian non-fiction for adults, so to discover she had a talent for writing funny for children was a delight. I said of her first children’s book, The Magnificent Moustache and other stories’ that it was
‘A book of funny stories for younger readers, that will also make adults snigger.’
Her second book ‘Charlie Peach’s Pumpkins and other stories’ definitely lives up to the same description. I am so happy to be able to review it for you as part of Jenny’s blog tour.
Jenny’s stories are funny, sometimes laugh out loud funny, but more often quietly amusing, and always verging on the ridiculous. This second book, as the first, contains six separate stories. Each one would be suitable for reading together at bedtime, or for a child to read alone. There are no nasties – no dark themes, no scary monsters, no unhappy endings. They are just pure fun, completely family friendly, affirming and entertaining. Again Jenny has come up with the most ingenious character names and wildly imaginative storylines. And they hook you in.
The title story in Charlie Peach’s Pumpkins, is all about – yes you’ve guessed it – Charlie Peach and his pumpkins. Determined to become famous in his small corner of the English countryside, Charlie Peach sets out to become a champion vegetable grower. With twists and turns along the way he finds himself becoming a local celebrity, and garnering international fans.
In Wooing Carletia, the incoming Ambassador discovers he has inherited both a dilapidated embassy and no funds to entertain the dignitaries of Carletia – much ingenious reusing and recycling ensues, including the inspired use of kazoos.
The Beasley- Babbingtons also have inheritance problems -what to do with a half-ruined castle. and in Sovereign Secrets a pair of bored monarchs branch out and discover new hobbies which ultimately bring them together in a most surprising ways. The Surprising Power of Cake is all about that. For who can deny how powerful cake is in bringing people to your door?
A GREAT READ
My absolute favourite of the stories in this book is The Viticulture Venture. If you had to look up what ‘viticulture’ means, then so did I! Jenny does not shy away from using words that might expand her young readers’ vocabulary. In this story a savvy teenager saves his wine evening hosting Grandad from embarrassment by coming up with his own concoctions made from what he can find in the kitchen store cupboard. The story is hilarious, and surprisingly good – just like the pretend ‘wine’.
I can highly recommend Charlie Peach’s Pumpkins to you. It is a great read and the witty writing is marvellously enhanced by Amanda Young’s incredible illustrations. Who doesn’t need a little bit of light relief? And a good old laugh from time to time?
Charlie Peach’s Pumpkins and other stories Published by: The Conrad Press
ISBN number: 978-1915494900
Available as a paperback, via Amazon , and on order at all good bookshops. Or purchase direct from the author:
You can find and contact the author, Jenny Sanders in the following places:
Facebook: Jenny Sanders – writer
Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. ‘The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022, and her third novel ‘The Bride’ will be published on 20th October 2023. She also has her first non-fiction book, an Advent Devotional called ‘Christ Illuminated‘, being published by Kevin Mayhew this autumn.
More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com