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Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day

Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day

Published: 5 Mar 2020

Paperback / softback, 304 pages

Recommended for age 9+ and 11+

By Dominique Valente

Illustrated by Sarah Warburton

Published by HarperCollins Publishers

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The first book in the most spellbinding children's fantasy series of the year, now in paperback, with beautiful black-and-white inside illustrations by Sarah Warburton. Perfect for fans of Cressida Cowell and Nevermoor.

This title features in our The Reading Journey selection.

The Starfell series

Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day
Starfell: Willow Moss and the Vanished Kingdom
Starfell: Willow Moss and the Forgotten Tale

Reviewed by Alice Reedy

Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day is the first novel in the Starfell series. We are all familiar with the confusion and frustration of losing keys, phones and wallets – but what about losing a whole day of the week?

That’s what happens in the magical debut novel by Dominique Valente. Title character Willow Moss (who thus far in her life has been the least powerful witch in the family) suddenly becomes a vital part of solving this mystical conundrum due to her ability to find misplaced matter.

This series, which was fought over by publishers in a seven-way auction, meaning expectations for this initial instalment were sky-high. Luckily, the wizarding world that Valente has created feels fully-formed, warm and most importantly original; something which is no mean feat in a genre that can feel over-saturated with Harry Potter derived fantasy fiction. The beautiful black and white illustrations work alongside the under-stated language to capture the imagination of the reader and build this new universe.

Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day would be a perfect recommendation for children that have already devoured and loved the novels of Cressida Cowell, Laura Ellen Anderson or Fleur Hitchcock. And of course, Harry Potter!

I am a Year 3 teacher and English lead in a lovely, diverse primary school in East London. Bringing reading for pleasure to the forefront of children's educational experience is something I am really passionate about!