Monday, April 15, 2024

The Day I Fell Into A Fairy Tale by Ben Miller

by Ben Miller
Illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzinni
Middle Grade Fantasy
240 pages
ages 8 to 12

APRIL 23rd!!!

From actor, author, and comedian Ben Miller comes an illustrated middle grade fantasy adventure following a brother and sister who stumble into a magical new world—perfect for fans of Half Upon a Time and Land of Stories!

Lana loves stories, especially the ones she and her brother, Harrison, share in their make-believe games. But when Harrison decides he’s too grown-up to play with Lana anymore, she’s too lonely to find the wonder in storytelling…until something magical happens.

Lana discovers a portal to a fairy tale world hidden in the strange new supermarket in town! But these aren’t the happy-ever-after fairy tales that Lana knows—they are darker and more dangerous, and the characters need Lana’s help to defeat an evil witch. But she can’t do it alone.

Can she convince Harrison to believe in stories again and journey to the world with her before it’s too late?


Fairy tales meet supermarkets in a humorous tale packed with adventure.

It's summer break, which should mean time to head out and play all sorts of games, but Lana's older brother, Harrison, is taking his middle grade years seriously and only wants to learn. Boring! When a new supermarket suddenly appears in town, Lana isn't nearly as thrilled as her mother but is promised a treat if she goes along. Lana's love for books draws her to that section of the humongous store, and when she finds one she'd like, the store keeper warns that it might not be appropriate for her. The book of fairy tales lean toward the original tales as by the Brothers Grimm, and Lana soon finds portals in the supermarket which lead to the stories...but they are dangerous. 

Adventure propels this tale forward as it balances between two worlds. Lana and her family live in a very normal small town. Everything about her family, sibling relations, and daily life are normal. So, despite little on the description end, it's no problem for readers to connect to with a sense of familiarity. The grocery store connects the two worlds in a clever way, allowing the fantasy to snuggle up to reality while keeping borders between the two fairly stiff. The drama, which builds on the reality side, hits with humor and understandable frustration, while mystery layers in the grocery store, and action bounds in the world of fairy tales. So, it's a fun mix. To top things off, not only does Lana dance between reality and the world of fairy tales, but there are sections, where stories are being told or read...tales within the tale.

This is a read more for the lower end of the middle grade audience, although the length is a bit on the mighty side. There are lovely illustrations to accompany the story, and the constant add ins of smaller decorations give the read a nice appearance and touch. This also breaks up the text a bit. The writing is fine for the level, while pushing readers to increase their skills on this end. There isn't much depth to the characters, which works better for younger readers. While there are enough descriptions to build the world nicely with fitting details to let readers sink in fine, these stays on the lighter side, allowing the action and adventure to power the pages forward. And it is a fast-paced read with many surprises.


And here they are...

Ben Miller is the bestselling author of magical stories for the whole family: The Night I Met Father Christmas, The Boy Who Made the World Disappear, The Day I Fell into a Fairy TaleHow I Became a Dog Called Midnight, Diary of a Christmas Elf, and The Night We Got Stuck in a Story. He is an actor, director, and comedian best known for The Armstrong & Miller Show, the Johnny English and Paddington films, BBC’s Death in Paradise, and recent Netflix smash Bridgerton.

Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini is an illustrator whose work has appeared in galleries worldwide. She studied fine arts in Milan before moving to London to study photography. Daniela’s contemporary take on classic style allows her to take on some very challenging picture books; The Seeing Stick by Jane Yolen and Animals Marco Polo Saw by Sandra Markle attracted much industry acclaim.

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