Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Fractured fairy tales and lady fire fighters from Peachtree Publishing and Holiday House Books [Review & USA GIVEAWAY]

Three Little Vikings by Bethan Woollvin (Peachtree, for ages 5–9, available 8/30/2022)

My thoughts: 
A trio of little girls in the Viking village are observant and see signs of unusual activity going on around the village and woods. They investigate and then alert the Chieftain of their findings. He discounts their concerns and says things are ok and he knows best but they go on to prove him wrong.

A cute story but not overwhelmingly interesting or fun. It does show girls being proactive, strong-minded, and problem solvers. But it also seems to be a bit male-bashing, too. I'm not familiar with the fairy tale of which it is suppose to be a fractured version. 

A good school or public library source.

About the book: Gather around for a romping, stomping story with gripping tension and lots of silly mischief and mayhem. From the creator of the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book, Little Red, comes another thrilling and spunky fairy tale retelling about three very brave and rebellious Viking girls. Someone—or something—is CRASHING and BASHING near a village of Viking folk! Three little Viking girls know just what the trouble is, but the silly chieftain won’t listen to them! Can this gumptious trio work together to raise their voices and prove who knows best, after all? Bethan Woollvin excels at creating fractured fairy tales with feminist twists. For more, check out Rapunzel, Hansel & Gretel, and Bo the Brave.

“Female smarts and planning save the day, a village, and its treasure. Clever and timely.”—Kirkus Reviews

Author information: Bethan Woollvin graduated from the Cambridge School of Art with a First Class Degree in Illustration. She has since made a name for herself with dark and witty twists on traditional stories. Her first book, a fractured fairy tale, Little Red, won the prestigious Macmillan Prize for Illustration and was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book. She also wrote and illustrated Rapunzel as well as Hansel & Gretel. Bethan lives in England, where she continues to create extraordinary books. 

Firefighter Flo! by Andrea Zimmerman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino (Holiday House, for ages 3–6, available 10/4/2022) 

My thoughts:
The main character is Flo, a female firefighter and she leads the crew of firefighters on a night-time excursion to put out a fire. From the moment the phone sounds the alarm and the firefighters hustle to go to the fire to when they return to their firestation, their actions are captured in terse text that small listeners can join in by repeating words.

Book has particularly dark pages which are representative of night time. It does seem a bit stark.

A fun read for little ones who always love fire trucks and firefighters.

About the book: Ring! Clang! Firefighter Flo jumps out of bed! Follow along as Flo and her fellow firefighters race to stop a fire in this picture book filled with bold art and fun onomatopoeia. With dynamic artwork from Dan Yaccarino, Nickelodeon character designer for The Backyardians, and energetic verse from Andrea Zimmerman, best-selling author of Trashy Town, Firefighter Flo is the perfect read for kids who love to watch the big red fire trucks rush by.  The CLANG of the siren and WHOOSH of the fire will have parents and kids reading aloud together. The title kicks of the Big Jobs, Bold Women picture book series, which will focus on the empowering diversity of women in historically male-dominated occupations. Crane Jane! will be available in Spring 2023.

“Readers will be happy to have Flo in their homes day or night! This book’s on fire!”—Kirkus Reviews

About the author: Andrea Zimmerman is the author of many beloved books for children, including the bestseller Trashy Town, co-authored with her husband, David Clemesha, and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. She enjoys gardening, going for walks, and visiting museums. Andrea has three grown sons. She lives with her husband in Southern California. You may visit her website at 

About the illustrator: Dan Yaccarino is the author and illustrator of more than fifty books for children and the creator and producer of three animated series. He is also the character designer for the animated series The Backyardigans. Awards and honors include the Bologna Ragazzi Award, The New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books, ALA Notable Children’s Books, and the Parents’ Choice Award.

Begins November 1
Ends November 22 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary books from Holiday House Publishing and Peachtree Publishing to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and sent directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. Thank you for the giveaway Vera!

  2. The two Holiday House books I’d be interested are The 12 Days of Christmas and the Night Before Christmas Deep Under the sea. This one is seemingly unique as it has me wondering what sea creatures and features will be used in the artwork and plot.

  3. The Peachtree books of interest are Back to Bed,Ed! And Camp K-9.


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