Tuesday 14 April 2015

Lily the Elf: The Precious Ring

Lily the Elf: The Precious Ring by Anna Branford, illustrated by Lisa Coutts (Walker Books)
PB RRP $7.95
ISBN 9781925081046

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Lily the elf lives with her dad in a house below the bridge. Her granny lives in her granny flat behind their house. They are a loving and caring family. Today Lily is faced with a new dilemma. She awakes to find what appears to be a paddling pool in her yard. Granny tells her it’s a human ring. Lily has been taught that elves must return lost precious things to humans. But she wants to keep it.

After playing in her pool, Lily discovers a glass gem is missing from the ring when she tries to polish it. While Granny suggests they fill the space with coloured foil, they hear voices. A mother and her anxious child have come to the bridge in search of the lost ring. Lily hears that it is the girl’s favourite possession, although not of much value.

Lily knows the feeling of losing something special. Will she return the ring as she should, even though she really wants to keep it?

Anna Branford’s warm and engaging tone is ever present. Her work carries subtle ethical dilemmas, a temptation, and a positive resolution. There is a strong sense of fairness, and of right and wrong in her stories. They always present opposing views of the same story which encourages a choice or decision. Lisa Coutts’ illustrations are carefully considered and complement the text perfectly in watercolour and pen and ink.

I am a fan Branford’s work, and believe this series will initiate discussion about important themes; in class and at home with adults. For young readers of the 5+ age group who enjoy Lily’s adventures, her other titles, The Wishing Seed and The Elf Flute are also listed as being available.

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