Review: Autumn Moonbeam: Dance Magic!

Written by Emma Finlayson-Palmer
Illustrated by Heidi Cannon
Published by Uclan Publishing

Autumn Moonbeam:  Dance Magic! is an absolute joyous, fun-filled magic-tastical adventure which completely enchanted me.

Young witch, Autumn Moonbeam loves gymnastics and dance but can sometimes find it hard to practise her dance magic at home as she is often interrupted by her wonderfully loud, messy and amazing family.  When she discovers that Sparkledale Dance Academy are having try-outs for their dance team, Black Cats, she can’t resist the dance-tastic opportunity to follow her dreams.  Will Autumn have enough self-belief to get through try-outs successfully? Will her mean neighbour, Severina Bloodworth, spoil her chance of getting on the team?

I adored Autumn who is full of joie de vivre, enthusiasm and kindness, but also doubts her talent, and worries that she will not be good enough to get a place in the Academy. She is such a great role model for young children who may be worrying about taking on new challenges or doubting their ability.  Autumn has a wonderfully warm and supportive friendship with Edith and Leif who also love to dance.

I loved the playful use of language:  I’d definitely like to watch the Aaarghlympics on the spell-a-vision whilst eating an ice-scream!  This is a beautifully illustrated chapter book with vibrant partial and full-page illustrations throughout which complement the story perfectly.  I really liked that the characters are introduced through portrait illustrations at the start of the book which I think is a fantastic way for young readers to get to know and remember the brilliantly diverse group of characters.

This is sure to delight young readers of 6+ who I have no doubt will be trying out some of Autumn’s dance moves, and will be looking forward eagerly to her next adventure.

Thank you to Uclan Publishing and Emma for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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