Colourful book captures children’s imaginations

Young reviewers Emily and Lawrie review Bella Boo and Bloomer Fen
Young reviewers Emily and Lawrie review Bella Boo and Bloomer Fen

Bella Boo and Bloomer Fen by Sebastian Hockaday

Inspired by his two young siblings, 21-year-old Haywards Heath author Sebastian Hockaday has penned this charming story about a young girl who loves to dance in her garden.

While out exploring she finds the perfect spot in the woods and, pretending her shoes are magic, begins to dance.

She doesn’t know she is being watched by a tree man named Bloomer Fen, who longs to learn to dance himself, but doesn’t know how.

Thinking her shoes hold the key, he tries to take them, but though Bella Boo catches him, she can’t stay mad at him for long. Instead she shows him she can dance without the shoes, and teaches him how to dance as well.

Illustrated by Nick Lucas, this is a bright and cheerful book with colourful pages showing the young girl and her tree man friend.

Young book-lovers Emily, eight, and Lawrie Stainer, five, read the story together.

Emily said: “I really liked the bit where they danced together. The pictures are very detailed and the characters are funny. I love their names!

“The book has a good message – if you think you can’t do something, just try and try again until you can do it.”

The book was ideal for Lawrie to read himself, with a bit of help from Emily on the trickier words.

He said: “I like the bit where the tree man is creeping up and the stick he stands on goes SNAP! The pictures are colourful, and it’s funny.”

Emily thought the book was aimed at children slightly younger than she is, but both gave it a thumbs up and said they would recommend it to their friends.

For more information about Bella Boo and Bloomer Fen, or to order a signed copy, visit

by Gina Stainer with help from Emily and Lawrie