Describing the "Whistle Bright Magic, a Nutfolk Tale", a midgrade novel about divorce, the strength of family and friendship, and the magic of wood fairies who live in a stump, by author Barb Bentler Ullman.
Online review, American Library Association
"...Ullman skillfully weaves the distressed-fairy thread and the lost-father thread into a winsome first-person narrative with an ending that is both magical and unconventionally happy. "
Charlotte's Library, Reviews of Multicultural Fantasy/Sci Fi
"A very interesting and satisfying story of real world and fairy world problems intersecting.."
"A now grown Willa (heroine of The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood c.2006) and her daughter Zelly have returned to Plunkit for the funeral of Willa's mother. The two hope to stay on in Plunkit long enough for Willa to put her mother's affairs in order and turn over her Bookstore to a family member. For Zelly's part she is delighted to attend a new school and make two new friends, even if they are all oddly different from one another. To Zelly's delight she is able to see the fairy folk and makes the acquaintance of Ronald Whistle Bright, the last fairy child in Nutfolk Wood. The wood has fallen on hard times as development has destroyed much of the forest that so ably has hidden the wee folk. Zelly and her friends hatch a plan to help the fairies, but it is thwarted by her mother's desire to return to the city by Christmas. Zelly also wants to learn more about the father who abandoned them when she was very small and she believes that in Plunkit she will get her answers. When Zelly and her friends happen upon a deserted cabin in the woods and meet the man who lives there, Zelly is convinced that this is her father and sets out to prove to her mother that he is a changed man. This fist person narrative blends fantasy with reality into a cohesive and credible whole. The story stands alone, but interested readers may want to go back and read the first book to experience Willa's childhood encounter with the fairies. There are hard emotional issues to be dealt with and these are nicely handled. The children's belief in the fairies has a charm and innocence that is refreshing. This would pair well with Afternoon of the Elves, by Lisle Janet Taylor c.1989 Penguin Putnam. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
The Horn Book Fall 2010 Guide
"Set twenty years after The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood, this sequel offers a welcome return to that realm. Zelly doesn't remember her father, but she's sure the answer to his disappearance lies in the forest. There she meets a fairy teen who needs her help. The let's-save-our-fairy-forest-home story line isn't new, but the pair's friendship is sympathetic."
Time for Kids - Winter's best books:
"I would rate this book a 9 because it is a heart warming story that jumps from an adventure to a love story at the end. Zelly is spunky and fun, and all kids can relate to her. Though a fantasy book, these children face real-life problems. From the first paragraph to the last, this book kept me on my toes and biting my fingernails."
A Fort Made of Books:
"This latest addition to Nutfolk lore, which began as bedtime stories for the author's children, glows with the warmth of love for the type of woodland home in which the Ullman family lives (in Washington state, USA) and with a keen sympathy for the griefs and heartaches that are a part of every life."
One Librarian - Things I Liked:
"I liked the sweet, yet serious feel of the book. The story of Zelly managed to be both light and serious at the same time. Instead of being silly or fluffy, since it's about fairies, it managed to have a depth that I hadn't expected. I liked Zelly as well. She would sometimes initially have opinions of people or things that she didn't particularly like, but she didn't have a problem changing them when she learned she was wrong. "
Where the Best Books Are - Fast Reads for the Road
"Pair this engaging sequel with the first book for the trip there and back."
"Zellie is a sympathetic character, trying to be strong and rational, while opening the Pandora’s box of her feelings about her missing father. Saving Whistle Bright’s village and finding Zellie’s father become intertwined stories, each with their own heartwarming resolution. The characters, both human and fey, are charmingly real. One can only hope for sequels."
Tegen Books HarperCollins