Reviews of A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird

Reviews of An Sithean Press books, posted by readers around the world, with the most recent at the top.

From amazon.ca on November 29th, 2015

★★★★★"Wonderful Little Book"

Reviewed by Gerry [verified purchase]

A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird, kindle ebook edition

"Wonderful Little Book" - I have been following the online "Adventures of Algy" for over a year and was excited to hear that Author Jenny Chapman had brought Algy - aka a Surprisingly Fluffy Bird to life in the words and illustrations of her first book. The story chronicles Algy's adventures on the coast of Scotland and introduces readers to a variety of British coastal wildlife. It is a good read for young and old (7+ years, a bit younger if you are going to read the story out loud), and the way in which Jenny chose to emphasize sections of text begs for it to be read aloud. The story does have a Scottish flavour to it, for those unfamiliar with some of the words and phrases there is an online dictionary available at www.adventuresofalgy.com. I'm looking forward to seeing the second installment of Algy's adventures when the next book is published.

From amazon.com on November 29th, 2015

★★★★★Like others here

Reviewed by Codud [verified purchase]

A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird, kindle ebook edition

Like others here, I have followed Algy on Tumblr for a while. And even though I am well up there now in years, my wife and I do still enjoy children's literature. So it was a very welcome development to see that Jenny Chapman has published her first Algy book. It was a well written and enjoyable book to read with something to appeal to all ages. Algy is very engaging bird.

From amazon.co.uk on November 27th, 2015

★★★★★An atmospheric coastal adventure

Reviewed by Stuart Bruce [TOP 1000 REVIEWER : VINE VOICE]

A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird, paperback edition

We read the story of Algy to our 4-year-old. It needed a few explanations in parts, and it needed to be serialised as it was too much for one sitting, but she was genuinely gripped by it, and wasn’t interested in being read any other story until we’d finished this one. The chapters are a good helping for a bedtime story. I’m confident that in a few years’ time she’ll go back and read it herself as well, and I’d encourage her to do so.

It’s not your conventional children’s story, to put it mildly. From page one, Algy is a lost, stranded, endangered bird, scared and confused. He meets a variety of creatures, mostly birds, some friendly, some not so friendly, and all well-observed renditions of common birds of the Western Isles- well, apart from the fact that real birds can’t speak English, but otherwise you know what I mean. There’s quite a macabre feel of hopelessness about it at some points, there are several points of genuine peril, and it’s even debatable as to whether it’s got a happy ending or not.

There’s a strong thread of traditional oral storytelling running through the core of the story. At one point Algy effectively pays his way with a song, his own ballad of how he came to be stranded in a strange place (the prose turns into poetry for several pages at this stage). You can easily picture a good folk singer giving the story some real welly at this point.

In keeping with the oral storytelling, sound plays a big part in the story- and in the reading of the story. The sound of the sea is ever-present, and is good fun to read out loud. The cormorants and the seagulls all have dialogue clearly written with their proper bird calls in mind, so if you are reading it out loud, it can become a real impressions-of-birds performance piece.

On an adult level the story is also a love song to the coast of the Western Isles. The carefully observed and well-evoked atmosphere of the cold, barren yet beautiful coastline is sure to make anybody who grew up somewhere like that feel a twinge of homesickness (unless of course they hated living there…).

According to the blurb, Algy was a puppet and a Tumblr star first before getting his story told in print, and unusually, the one thing that our daughter didn’t get so interested in is Algy the puppet, who image crops up once per chapter. Somehow the look of the puppet feels slightly disconnected to the character of Algy in the story. The puppet feels like a distant cousin of CBBC’s Ed The Duck or Gordon The Gopher, quite cartoon-like and a bit silly, whereas the story is full of realistic-looking birds in a real environment. It’s a strange point to make really but there you go.

As kids stories go, it was great to read something that felt so traditional and sincere. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for any further adventures.

From amazon.co.uk on November 8th, 2015

★★★★★A beautifully written book suitable to be read as a bedtime ...

Reviewed by Amazon Customer

A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird, paperback edition

A beautifully written book suitable to be read as a bedtime story to little ones or on their own by older children. Had to read it myself before giving to my granddaughter and have since bought more copies for other young members of the family. Can't recommend it highly enough- it deserves to become a modern day classic. Look forward to the sequel.

From amazon.com on November 5th, 2015

★★★★★Algy is Awesome!

Reviewed by Blondegirlfrnd [verified purchase]

A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird, kindle ebook edition

Seriously. This is a great book. Algy has quite the imagination. You should follow Algy on Tumblr.

From amazon.co.uk on November 5th, 2015

★★★★★"It made me feel adventurous!"

Reviewed by Family-of-6

A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird, paperback edition

"This is one of my favourite books. I liked how there were so many interesting animals, and I liked how they talked. It made me feel adventurous when I read it!" Grayson Chapin, age 7

From amazon.co.uk on November 3rd, 2015

★★★★Deceptively titled

Reviewed by Amazon Customer

A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird, paperback edition

The tale of a bird washed into the sea and carried on driftwood to a strange and wild shore. The soppy title is deceptive as Fluffy Bird is actually about pathfinding, fear, and winning acceptance – the things that really interest children. And adults too. From a bank of seaweed, blocking escape as the tide approaches, to the urgency of relearning to fly as a predator pounces, objects, animals, landscapes and events are a series of dimly grasped but deadly threats, until the escaped hero finally recounts them in ballad form to his new friends, like the shipwrecked wanderer Odysseus to the hospitable Phaeacians. For Phaeacia read the west coast of Scotland. Jenny Chapman writes in verse at least as well as in prose, which is well though not simply. A pleasure for imaginative kids who like stories. Mum and dad will enjoy it too.

From amazon.co.uk on October 15th, 2015

★★★★★Tell Santa about this one

Reviewed by Amazon Customer

A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird, paperback edition

Absolutely wonderful for little ones, tweens and teens and never-grow-up big kids. Perfect bedtime reading. Algy will hopefully meet Buzzle (my surprising fluffy, world travelling bee) one day.....Make sure this is in your youngster's Christmas stocking this year.

From amazon.co.uk on October 15th, 2015

★★★★★It was nice to introduce the scenary of beauty in Scotland to ...

Reviewed by m [verified purchase]

A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird, paperback edition

Our three certainly have found Algy, a very likeable charachter. Through the story they were all cheering for Algy as he went through challenges that keeps coming in his way. It was nice to introduce the scenary of beauty in Scotland to the girls. Here are the thoughts of the girls...

The story is about a fluffly bird lost at sea. His name is Algy In his adventure he meets strange creatures. He sings a song about how he got to the strange place and when he sings creatures listen to his story. I wished that the story was longer than that. I also wish I could shake Algy's wing to congratulate how brave he was on his adventure. I can't wait to hear the next book .
(M age 8.)

I loved the strory of Algy and I wish that it would have not ended so quickly. I loved Algy's advencher and the creatures he met. I like Algy because he was a fluffy bird . The best part of the story was when he singed the song . (S age 6)

I liked Algy making new friends. I like to look at Algy's pictures on computer and photos. I want to play with Algy. (E age 4)

From amazon.co.uk on October 11th, 2015

★★★★★An enjoyable read for children of all ages

Reviewed by AndyT [verified purchase]

A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird, kindle ebook edition

An enchanting tale of a little white fluffy bird arriving in a strange new world making friends and enchanting all with his wonderful song.

Jenny really captures the joys and essence of the scenery and wildlife in the West Highlands. Algy's new animal friends are instantly recognisable from their descriptions and it is a pleasure to read about their adventures and philosophies on life.

An enjoyable read for children of all ages - Andrew aged 50 and three quarters.