Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Peter John Woods

Avalon Days

Pages: 186 Ratings:
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This gentle fantasy about Olivia’s visits to her ‘New World’ of Avalon, accessed through her grandfather’s picture of a robin which hangs on her bedroom wall, is a children’s story. Yet, it is much more than what is normally implied by that description.

The robin comes to life and calls her through the picture frame into Avalon where she is crowned queen over the forest birds and animals. Olivia explores their world and helps save them from various disasters. But she also grows up. In the first Avalon adventure she is a child, but by the final one she is sixteen, a teenager tracing her individual path as the slightly lonely, youngest child in her real-life family. More than that, she is a teenager dealing with the loss of the beloved granddad who was the person who understood her best. Avalon’s lesson about the continuation of their relationship, beyond death, is the theme of Olivia’s last adventure.

Avalon Days has overtones of the writing of the Austrian novelist, poet, and painter Adalbert Stifter (1805-1868). Stifter’s concern for conservation and environmental issues is increasingly relevant today.

Peter John Woods is a retired head teacher now living in Norfolk. In the late 1980s children from Peter’s school – Brixworth V C Primary School – worked with the author Theresa Whistler over a period of 12 months and collectively produced a full-length children’s story entitled Rushavenn Time. This was the winner of the 1988 Smarties Prize for children’s books in the 9–11 years category. Peter has written a collection of poetry and prose entitled Fallen Leaves and an account of the writer Leo Walmsley’s autobiographical style of writing (The Honey-Gatherers). As an archaeologist, he has directed several major excavations publishing widely in national journals.

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