Review: George the Orphan Crow and the Creatures of Blossom Valley, by Helen Fox

Didn’t we all love fables and picture books featuring animals when we were small – or at least cartoons ‘starring’ animals, behaving like humans? This tradition is very old, it goes back at least as far as ancient Greece, where Aesop wrote his stories about ants and grasshoppers, lions and mice, and always with a morale. And it’s a Greek-British author who has gone back to this lovely genre: Helen Fox, with her enchanting story about George the Orphan Crow and his adventures in Blossom Valley.
I loved this book throughout; the tale of a young crow-boy who is orphaned one day when human pheasant hunters roam the woods and just shoot at everything in the sky – including his parents, who drop dead on the spot. Devastated, he is comforted by an old owl who tells him he can go and live in Blossom Valley nearby; the creatures there always welcome strangers of all sorts. He follows the owl’s advice, and soon finds himself in a wonderful community of animals, from insects to birds to reptiles, who all care for each other and love each other. Well, not exactly all of them – just as in a human society, there are a handful of mean and jealous creatures who are about to disturb the peace and threaten the close-knit community.
George turns into a hero as he finds out about the evil ladybird’s plan to kill the beautiful butterflies; then, things turn even more dangerous as a gang of criminal grasshoppers incite the wood flies in a nearby area to invade Blossom Valley… There’s plenty of action and adventure in this breath-taking story that won’t let you put the book down!
True to the ancient roots, there are also allusions to Greek mythology; all in all, it makes for a perfect mix of fantasy and real-life drama. We can easily identify with the animals, recognising our own strong and weak points in them, and at the same time, we get lost in a magical world of natural beauty – and some hints about how animals and the environment are treated by humans aren’t missing, either!
A gripping and beautiful read that comes to a climax but not an end – because soon, we’ll learn more about the Creatures of Blossom Valley! I must say I can’t wait…

Published by: Roberta Franklin

I’m an author of romantic fiction, born in Germany and living in Wales and Greece. I’ve worked as a journalist, as social hostess on a cruise ship, as an insurance agent, as a translator and teacher… I love books, movies, computer games, history – and I feel at home everywhere around the world!

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