Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

View all Blogs
Featured Book
Until the Road Ends
Until the Road Ends

BOOK OF THE MONTH - the long-awaited new novel from bestselling author Phil Earle about the unbreakable bond between a girl and a stray dog.

View book
Featured Book
Never Trust a Gemini
Never Trust a Gemini

FEATURED BOOK FOR TEENS/YA - a laugh-out-loud LGBTQ+ romantic comedy from a stellar debut talent

View book

Best books by age

Winners of the Fairy Tale Writing Competition


Inspired by Lindsey Kelk's magical new children's book, Cinders and Sparks – a fresh, funny and fabulous take on Cinderella, we invited Toppsta readers to write their very own fairy tales. We had some incredible entries and, like Cinders and Sparks, each story we received featured a talking animal and a touch of magic!

After much deliberation Team Toppsta whittled the entries down to their top three. Check out the winning stories below:

The Pocket Watch by Abigail, age 12
I take the watch out of the dusty box and walk carefully down the attic ladder.

“What’s that Lizzie?” My mum asks pointing at my hands.  

“Oh, just a pocket watch I found in the attic. Can I keep it?” I ask.  

“Fine by me” she answers as she walks downstairs. Going into my bedroom I sit down on my bed and realise the watch has the wrong time so I slowly turn it backwards. I’m suddenly spun around by thin air and bright colours start appearing...

I slowly open my eyes to a busy road full of people dressed in odd clothes. Then I look down to myself and realise that I have strange clothes too. The town is odd as well. People are riding in carriages pulled by horses and the houses look old. Then it dawns on me. I’m in the Victorian times! 

“Strange” I mumble to myself, “the clock must have made me travel back in time! So to get back home I need to use the clock again!” 

I feel in my pockets for the watch but it isn’t there. Then I see a glimmer out of the corner of my eye. A man is holding my watch and smirking at me.

“Well” he says “what do we have he..” he is cut off by a loud meow and a beautiful black cat jumps up at him and grabs my watch. The man runs away and an almost human laugh comes from the cat as she prowls towards me.

“I believe this is yours?” She purrs as I take my watch from her.

“Wait...what!?” I exclaim as I stroke her glossy fur. “How can you talk?” I ask and she rolls onto her back.  

“My name is Mimi, I am a witch’s cat and you are my new owner! Now use that watch to take us back” she answers. 

I slowly turn the hands of the watch and I get that spinning sensation again. The bright colours glow and fade and then I am back in my room with Mimi now on my lap. “Wow” I whisper “that...was amazing!”


The Enchanted Woods by Serena, age 7
In a faraway land there lived a little girl named Goldie. She had blonde hair and sparkly lips. Goldie had a pet cat and his name was Fluff. He had silver whiskers and pointed black ears. Goldie’s family were very poor and they lived in a small wooden house with broken windows and hardly any furniture. Goldie went to school but she didn’t have many friends. So Fluff was her best friend even though she knew he couldn’t talk. She would chat to him all day, read books together and go for long walks in the woods.

The woods were near Goldie’s house. There was a path, which was mostly covered in green fluffy moss, that led into the middle of the forest. In the middle of the forest were another three paths. Goldie never chose the straight one because it looked dark and creepy. She always followed the other safer looking paths.

One evening, Goldie and Fluff were in her room. Goldie was dreaming about some plump juicy sausages. She said out loud, “If only I could have a sausage right now.” 

A voice said, “Me too.” Goldie looked around.

“Oh, what’s the matter, dear?” said Fluff.

“Did you say something, Fluff?” exclaimed Goldie. 

Her voice was so loud that her mum burst into the room and said, “Goldie, why on earth do you need to raise your voice?”

Goldie knew she needed to take Fluff into the woods to see if she had been dreaming of a talking cat. Goldie and Fluff reached the middle of the forest. Goldie was about to take her usual path but then they heard a low growl. Goldie and Fluff didn’t hesitate, they ran.

They ran until Goldie noticed the path was a very straight one. They had taken the wrong path and there was something ahead of them. 

“What are we going to do?” whispered Goldie.

“Yummy food,” growled a fierce looking wolf. Beside him was a terrifying giant. Fluff said, “leave it to me.”

“Big bad wolf. Wolf bad big. Bad big wolf. Big wolf bad,” Fluff said loudly.

“You want to play a game of tongue twister before I gobble you up? My turn. Big bad wolf. Big bad wolf. Big bad…” growled the wolf. Goldie wondered why her talking cat was playing tongue twister. The wolf had another go.

“Big b-b-bad, big b-b.” The wolf’s tongue started to twist and so did his body. His tail wrapped around his head and his arms wrapped around the giant. Fluff’s whiskers started to shake and a bright light shone, blinding the wolf and giant.

Goldie and Fluff ran down the straight path. They reached the house, not stopping to look behind them.

“What an adventure we had,” Fluff panted once they got inside. 

Goldie hugged her clever cat. “It always ends happily ever after!” she said.

The Mimicking Macaw by Isobel, age 10
Kelly sat down, crying. Her mother had passed away that week and, being the black hearted man her father was, he had forced her to write an invitation to the funeral for everyone he knew. As Kelly stared at the mirror in front of her, a miserable girl with short hair stared back (her father had decided to cut all her hair off!).  She fiddled with her hair and then began to cry. When she finally looked up, Kelly had to do a double take. A golden macaw had just landed on the window sill!

“Hello, I’m sorry but I’m awfully busy, why don’t you visit someone else?” stuttered Kelly.

“Why don’t you visit someone else? Classic!” laughed the bird.

“I’m sorry,” started Kelly, feeling annoyed, “but unless you have something important to say then I’m going to have to ask you to leave!”

“I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” mimicked the bird, he was enjoying himself. “No, I guess the Fairy Council isn’t ‘important’,” the bird turned to leave, knowing what would come.

“Fairy Council? What’s all this about?” Kelly gasped.

The bird stopped and smirked. “The Fairy Council have been watching you for ages and have decided that if you wish, you may come and live in Fairy Land,” he finished dramatically. 

Kelly was amazed but she had always believed in fairies and could somehow tell the bird wasn’t lying. She tried to focus, however, and she immediately found herself in a whirlpool of dancing colours! Then, she was falling! Kelly shut her eyes and hoped for the best. She soon landed on something soft and looked up at a beautiful woman. She was wearing a silver sequin dress and tiara. On her shoulder was the parrot.

“Welcome to Fairy Land, Kelly!” said the Fairy Queen majestically.





Winners of the Fairy Tale Writing Competition
Book pages Placeholder Book

Cinders and Sparks: Magic at Midnight

Perfect for readers of 7-9, Cinders and Sparks is a fresh, funny and fabulous take on Cinderella, for everyone who loved Frozen and Shrek.

A magic girl. A talking dog. Let's get this party started . . .

Cinders lives a boring life with her selfish stepsisters and mean stepmother. So when her wishes start magically coming true it's a surprise to say the least.

Then Cinders meets her fairy godmother: she's magic, she can fly, and she's called . . . Brian. 

Soon, Cinders finds herself heading to the glamorous ball at the King's palace. But Brian is NOT very reliable and Cinders is NOT very good at magic. Now her life isn't boring at all - it's total chaos!


30th July 2019

Share this read with others...

Tweet Email
Featured Book
Until the Road Ends
Until the Road Ends

BOOK OF THE MONTH - the long-awaited new novel from bestselling author Phil Earle about the unbreakable bond between a girl and a stray dog.

View book
Featured Book
Never Trust a Gemini
Never Trust a Gemini

FEATURED BOOK FOR TEENS/YA - a laugh-out-loud LGBTQ+ romantic comedy from a stellar debut talent

View book