Autumn Moonbeam loves dancing and gymnastics so much that she even gets out of bed with a cartwheel. That might not seem unusual for an enthusiastic eight-year-old, but when Autumn cartwheels, she leaves a trail of yellow swirls of light behind her, and when she boogies, butterflies flutter around her hands.
Perfectly aimed at those starting their reading journey, this story captures the dance team obsession of TV programmes like The Next Step (a huge hit with the 7-year-olds in our house) but it is kinder and wittier, and best of all, the dancers are full-of-fun young witches.
Autumn is thrilled when she gets the chance to try out for the competitive dance team at Sparkledale Dance Academy. It’s a dream come true – and means she will finally have the space to dance without the rules and restrictions of home – but there are still obstacles to overcome, including her mean neighbour Severina Bloodworth, and crucially, her own self doubt.
This enchanting story is filled with wonderful witchy details that bring the setting to life (from Beetlebix for breakfast to a giant spider’s web trampoline) and we loved Heidi Cannon’s vibrant illustrations, which made us want to get up and dance with the characters too.
We can’t wait to read more adventures from Sparky Autumn and her loyal best friends Leif and Batty, and we’re especially looking forward to finding out what super-cool cats Storm and Cosmic Creeper get up to next.
Autumn Moonbeam: Dance Magic, by Emma Finlayson-Palmer and Heidi Cannon (UCLAN)