For the sake of honesty, I have to admit that in this house we are already big fans of Laura Ellen Anderson...I mean, just look at the reaction when the STUNNING proof copy arrived a few months ago!
So, being huge fans of her previous series Amelia Fang, anticipation was high for this new series from this brilliant author/illustrator. I'm pleased to say we were not disappointed.
Ten-year-old Ray Grey lives in the magical Weatherlands, high in the sky. Ray is surrounded by Weatherlings with astounding weather power at their fingertips . . . but she doesn't have ANY magic!
Then, after a trip to Earth, Ray’s life changes forever. She is transformed from Ray Grey into RAINBOW GREY! With the help of her best friends (and exploding cloud cat, Nim) now all Ray has to do is master her powers AND save the world from a mysterious, powerful enemy . . .
This series is recognisably Laura Ellen's work - themes of friendship, challenge and working together to overcome difficulties sit alongside magic, adventure and cute 'sidekicks' just as they did in Amelia Fang, but this is definitely more of a 'chapter book' for readers ready to take that next step, and Ray Grey is just as appealing a character.
The brilliant illustrations, quirky names, humour and magic are all engaging and appealing, and the plot keeps readers reading right to the end, as we see main character Ray finding her inner power (as a Rainbow Weatherling), discovering her own identity and overcoming challenges, and battling to save the world from the Rogues who threaten to bring the ultimate storm!
I've already seen that there are further books planned in this series, and can't wait to read more Weatherlands and City of Celestia-based adventures - more great stuff from this brilliant author.
I'm thrilled to have been included in the blogtour for this brilliant book, and also that Laura has contributed the following guest content, revealing more about Ray Grey and her world:
Ray Grey is the protagonist of our story. She is kind, caring, curious and DETERMINED. She does NOT give up easily. Ray will always strive to do her absolute best. It’s no secret that Ray is born with NO weather magic. In fact, there’s been no weather magic on her mum’s side of the family for generations. But Ray doesn’t let that stop her from joining in all of the same activities as her friends, and learning all about the weather world and how it works. Ray is still determined to be an Earth Explorer just like her hero La Blaze DeLight.
Ray also has a trusty cloud-cat sidekick called Nim, who has a tendency to explode with warning! Ray doesn’t go anywhere without Nim. Just like Amelia and Squashy, Ray and Nim are inseparable.
Whilst her friends are off learning their individual weather skills, Ray loves to spend time in the Sky Academy Lower Library reading books. Ray finds reading a bit tricky as the words appear a little jumbled on the page, but Ray is kind to herself, and takes the time she needs to reach the end result.
As passionate and determined the lovely Ray is, sometimes she can be a little TOO eager to prove herself sometimes, and that is exactly what results in a forbidden trip to Earth on the night of the eclipse… what follows changes her life forever!
Ray isn’t afraid to face a good challenge, and with the help of her best friends Snowden and Droplett, they can do ANYTHING together. Their friendship goes from strength to strength, but that’s not to say they don’t face the same friendship hiccups kids do. Yes, there’s the odd disagreement, but that’s life! I wanted to make Ray as relatable as possible to readers of all ages. As much as I loved Amelia Fang, Ray does have a little more OOMPH than Amelia and is a TAD more willing to break the rules! But I think both would get on very well. Imagine the stories that would unfold if Ray and Amelia teamed up?! Not to mention the cute overload when Squashy AND Nim combined forces!
Next we have Ray’s best friend, Snowden Everfreeze. He is like the ‘Wooo’ of the gang… Calm, collected and always trying to solve problems and give Ray handy advice. Snowden is a snow weatherling and the cleverest kid in Sky Academy with an attendance of one hundred and two percent (the two is VERY important!) He doesn’t go anywhere without his trusty Anthology of Snowflakes, and speaking of snowflakes; whenever Snowden is thinking about something or trying to work something out, his ears or nose erupt with tiny snowflakes that he likes to call his ‘think flakes!’ Snowden LOVES a drizzle pickle sandwich, but only tends to get one bite in before it’s SPLOSHED in way or another by Droplett’s rain magic!
Ray’s other best friend Droplett Dewbells is the complete opposite to Snowden. She never completes her homework; she can’t keep still and she’s rather cheeky! Droplett is feisty little rain weatherling, with a rebellious streak BUT she has the BIGGEST heart! She’d do anything for her friends, and she loves them to pieces. Droplett is a fabulous friend to have around and she is VERY good at any rainy sports, particularly puddle-porting. Puddle-porting is super handy for travelling to far away locations VERY quickly. But remember, if you’re going to be puddle-ported by Droplett, do NOT let go of her hand, don’t open your mouth and don’t fart!!! (Oh, and be sure to have a spare drizzle pickle sandwich around when you’re with Droplett… Or at least, eat it before you meet her!)
Check out what other bloggers had to say as part of the blogyour at the following places:
Rainbow Grey is published by Farshore (Follow @FarshoreBooks and find out more at www.farshore.co.uk/products/rainbow-grey-rainbow-grey-series-9781405298728/, and is out now.
Find out more about Laura Ellen by following her on Twitter as @Lillustrator and on Instagram as @laura_ellen_anderson
Her website is lauraellenanderson.co.uk
Thank you to Farshore and Fritha (@FrithaL) for the copies of the book to review and for including me on this blogtour.
Further, extra SPECIAL thanks to Laura for rescuing this silly daddy after an ordering mixup and organising a special delivery for a big fan - hugely appreciated and just one of several kind gestures you have made - thank you.