Bloom – Nicola Skinner

Illustrated by: Flavia Sorrentino

Stars: *****

Sorrel Fallowfield always follows the rules; she likes being good. At her school, Grittysnits, there are lots of rules to follow as their headmaster is very strict. It’s not a problem for Sorrel though because she knows them all. When a competition is launched to find the best behaved pupil in the school, she knows she has an excellent chance of winning the top prize: a family trip to Portugal. All she had to do was carry on being good.

But what Sorrel couldn’t have planned for is the packet of Surprising Seeds she finds in her garden. Along with her best friend Neena, she visits Strangeways plant shop to discover how best to plant these seeds and meet Sid Strangeways who offers some peculiar advice.

Soon, the seeds begin to grow and flourish, but not in the way the girls expect. With their life growing wilder by the day, can Sorrel still win the prize?

As you can see from the above quite, the start of this book does an incredible job pulling the reader in. I was hooked after one paragraph! Nicola Skinner has a brilliant way with language which makes the reader feel really involved in the story from start to finish!

Following Sorrrel’s unexpected adventure was exciting; it was full of twists and turns (much like the plants!) with Sorrel discovering as much about herself as she did about other people. Neena was a very well-created character, as she challenged and contrasted with Sorrel in a way that best friends can; she was independent within the story as well as being used to develop Sorrel too.

(*Spoiler!*) My favourite part of the book was the way the different plants represented the personalities of each person: the wallflowers, the smelly plants, the bright, colourful sprouts. They were cleverly personalised to each character and for me, the highlight of the book (it made me want to research the different flora mentioned!).

I thought it was interesting that there were some parts mentioning an epidemic, spreading seeds and being made to stay at home which is very apt for the time we are in now – I pulled this from the ‘To Be Read’ jar at a very coincidental time!

Flavia’s beautiful illustrations throughout were beautiful, helping to build an image in your mind without preventing you to use your own imagination. They built through the book in the same way the story did; I loved the little plant tendrils creeping onto the page.

A bloomin’ beautiful book.

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