Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Sophie and Kiera are twins. In many ways they were very much the same, but they were also quite different. While Sophie was gentle and sometimes timid, Kiera was confident, outgoing and often impatient. However, the two girls were inseparable and one thing they had in common was their love of a good bedtime story. And their mother was full of wonderful stories: fantasies that included castles, witches and magical creatures. Every night it was a different story, every night the twins heard something that had happened to their mother when she was a child. As the children listened with rapt attention for the most part, only occasionally interrupted by their curious questions, the mother shared her childhood experiences and learned something more about her twin daughters with each new story shared. Each story was attached to a day in the week, beginning with Monday and ending on Sunday. It was while telling Sunday’s story about the secret garden and the pixies that the twin’s mother started to realize that Sophie had her gift of magic. Sophie was like her mother, only her gift was stronger.
Jill Vance has written a wonderful fairy tale in A Diary of Bedtime Stories that will capture the hearts of young and old alike. It’s the type of story that stays with you for a long time, a story that demands to be read over and over again. As the reader progresses through the daily entries of magical experiences, there is a sense of wonderment shared. The reader begins to believe that the author, the narrator, is really a magical person herself. After all, she has so many magical stories from her own childhood to share. But, then again, childhood is something of a magical time and the gift of being a good writer, a superb storyteller, is also a gift of magic. To conclude her vision of magic and fantasy, the author provides the reader with a poem for each of the days, beginning with: “Monday’s dreams are a special place....”