Ruby Wishfingers #5: Funny Money – Deborah Kelly

Illustrations – Leigh Hedstrom

This is my second favourite Ruby Wishfingers book. I loved the originality of the first one and then enjoyed 2 to 4 but they didn’t seem to have the charm of the first. In book 5 it felt like I was rediscovering the whimsy of the first.

Ruby wants to go to a concert with Todd but neither of them have enough money saved. She plans on doing some household chores with Todd to earn the rest of the money they need. Suddenly Ruby begins to find shiny new coins wherever she goes. She knows it’s not her magic making them appear and it’s not Jellybean’s magic either. So where are the coins coming from?

Throughout the series I’ve enjoyed watching Ruby’s father flat out denying the existence of magic, even though it’s been a big part of his family’s life for generations. I appreciated the humourous results of his disbelief in this book. As good ol’ Ruby helps to save the day in each book I keep wondering what she’d wish for if she wasn’t so busy using up all of her wishes to help everyone else.

Once again Leigh Hedstrom’s illustrations are perfect for this series. I particularly liked the contemptuous look on cranky cat Jupiter’s face in his illustration.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

It must be Ruby’s lucky day! She keeps finding coins everywhere. But there is something funny about this money. Why is it so bright, shiny and new looking? And where on earth is it coming from?

When Ruby’s new wishes appear much earlier than expected, she wonders if someone else in the Wishfingers’ household might be developing magical powers of their own. But who?

You can bet your bottom dollar this will be a magical adventure to remember.

Ruby Wishfingers #4: King of the Castle – Deborah Kelly

Illustrations – Leigh Hedstrom

I’ve read all of the Ruby Wishfingers books that have been published so far and really enjoy the positive characters, Leigh Hedstrom’s adorable illustrations and the imaginative storylines. I confess I’ve already read Ruby Wishfingers: King of the Castle but during my first read I didn’t find it as enchanting as the previous novels.

I was interested to find out if a second read would change my mind about this one or if I’d work out what put me off the first time around. I’m glad I did as it turned out I loved this the second time around and have concluded that during my first read I must have been having one of those ‘nothing is ever good enough’ critical days where I just needed to get over myself.

Ruby inherited her Wishfingers magic from several generations ago. When she’s granted wishes she feels a tingling in her fingertips and to use them she makes a wish and blows on the tips of her fingers. Ruby is a lovely girl and usually ends up using a lot of her wishes to help other people or to fix problems that arise due to the unexpected fallout from previous wishes. She’s learned to be very careful regarding what she wishes for and remembers that it is very helpful to always have a spare wish, just in case.

Ruby is not the only Wishfingers with magic. Granny inherited some magic as well and she is helpful in providing guidance to Ruby. Also, Ruby has recently discovered that her younger brother, Jellybean, has inherited some magic of his own! In the previous book, Hide-and-Seek, Ruby loses one of her wishes and it is still missing at the beginning of this book.

When Ruby gets mad at Jellybean after wasting three of her new wishes on remedying problems he has created, she manipulates Jellybean into doing whatever she wants by declaring herself Queen Ruby and playing a game of Queen Ruby Says with him. Cousin Todd comes to visit and with Ruby still on her power trip, she begins bossing him around. Todd finds Ruby’s missing wish and decides that no one will be able to tell him what to do if he’s the King of Australia. Chaos ensues!

I definitely enjoyed this book more the second time around. I love that there are consequences for any poor decisions made, lessons are learned and children apologise for bad behaviour without having an adult tell them they have to. I look forward to reading the fifth book, Funny Money, upon its release and am interested to discover how the twist at the end of this book is explored.

Thank you very much to NetGalley, Wombat Books and Rhiza Press for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Ruby is back, with twelve new wishes! And one missing wish from last spring that is still floating about in the garden somewhere …

Jellybean is once again making mischief for Ruby, until she discovers the perfect way to make her little brother do exactly what she says. But Cousin Todd isn’t so keen on doing what Ruby says.

When Todd stumbles across Ruby’s missing wish he decides to teach her a lesson about being bossy, and make a few rules of his own.

Meet Australia’s new king and explore a country where school, homework, manners and peas are all banned. Discover monster trucks, giant jumping castles, furious principals and hungry crocodiles along with plenty of laughs in an all new Ruby Wishfingers adventure.

Nelly Jelly and the Magnificent Tree – Lisa Limbrick

Illustrations – Jemima Trappel

When Nelly gets annoyed with her four year old sister Alice for calling her ‘Nelly Jelly’ and embarrassed that her friend Hannah is there to hear it, Nelly impulsively grabs her sister’s favourite doll and throws it in the air. It gets stuck way up high in a tree and Nelly is forced to confront her deepest, darkest fear, a fear she’s kept secret until now. She is afraid of heights. Will she decide to be brave and overcome the soggy, sticky and squishy things in her way or will she let her fear win?

Hannah is a good friend, using empathy by telling stories to Nelly about situations where her Nana felt the same way to distract Nelly from her fear. The book was full of terrible jokes and puns but young children may find them funny. I would have loved to have read the part where Nelly apologises to Alice for throwing her ‘best friend’ into a tree but it didn’t happen.

This book shows children that by using perseverance and determination you can overcome obstacles and conquer your fears. Hannah and Alice both encourage Nelly as she climbs and celebrate her accomplishment with her. It’s a nice story but I don’t think it will stay with me, unlike some other children’s books I’ve read recently.

The illustrations by Jemima Trappel are really cute and I liked that there was a small picture at the beginning of each chapter showing what the doll experiences in that chapter.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Wombat Books for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

There’s only one thing that Nelly dislikes more than jelly, and that’s heights. In fact, she’s terrified of high places!

But when she has to climb the magnificent tree to rescue her younger sister’s doll, Nelly has to not only face her greatest fear but a series of unexpected … soggy … squishy … and sticky things.

Join Nelly Jelly and her friends for what will be a hilarious, fun and GROSS adventure up into the magnificent tree.