Lady Allium


Children - Picture Book
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 11/24/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Mike Hamel has always been a storyteller, in word and in print. He has written 19 books for young readers and a similar number for adults. His four children inspired the Matterhorn the Brave series (8 books) and his grandchildren are part of the TLC series (7 books). Lady Allium is the fourth of his illustrated books for readers of all ages.

Mike’s wife Cindy, aka Lady Allium, loves to garden. Together they enjoy hiking and biking in the great outdoors. They have been to Botanica many times, and other magical places where Mother Nature is free to be her lovely self.

Learn more about Mike on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Mike-Hamel/e/B001JSB7FE/ and Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Hamel.

You can contact Mike at emtcom@comcast.net.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite

If you ever get a chance to visit Botanica, do not hesitate. You will find a spectacular garden housing the most exotic flora and fauna. Lady Allium, the devoted gardener, can give you an unforgettable tour of the premises. Of course, you would not be able to see the secret folks who tend the garden with their magic, nor would you visit Ned, the gnome in charge of this exquisite garden. Only Lady Allium can see and communicate with them. However, global warming and severe droughts cause the place to lose much of its beauty. Can humans and the fair folk save their beloved Botanica? Find out in Lady Allium, a picture book written by Mike Hamel that also includes photographs by Mike Braun and illustrations by Mae Danner.

I thank the mastermind who designed and executed this book. Although a picture book by definition, Lady Allium surpasses other such books by incorporating a combination of art forms. The rhyming sentences enhance the charm of a story that stars fantastical beings such as fairies, naiads, pixies, and gnomes. Moreover, it contains a unique medley of juxtaposed original photographs and colorful illustrations. You will find an actual stream with an illustrated fairy sitting on a rock beside it. Yet another page might reveal a lush garden full of vibrant flower beds with a garden gnome tending to the flowers. These simple yet ingenious tweaks make the book aesthetically pleasing and accentuate the magical story. It is impossible to determine whether Hamel’s story, Braun’s photographs, or Danner’s illustrations deserve center stage. All three complement each other perfectly, turning Lady Allium into a beautiful book that readers of all ages will enjoy.

Jennie More

Lady Allium by Mike Hamel is a delightful and beautiful picture book of photos and illustrations of the grand Botanica run by the hard-working and caring Lady Allium. Hamel combines the images of nature with the wonders of the magical world and essential information about nature to help children appreciate and understand the environment. Lady Allium personifies hard work, and her love for nature is inspiring. Her ability to talk to magical creatures like naiads, nymphs, a gnome, a mage, a pixie, and a leprechaun makes it entertaining and delightful. Lady Allium is a fascinating character to children. The combination of brilliant graphics, wonder, and nature makes this a truly spectacular book for children.

Lady Allium by Mike Hamel is an adventurous, imaginative, and magical story highlighting important real-life environmental issues like global warming and its environmental effects. Hamel encourages an appreciation of the environment in young people by displaying the beauty of nature at the Botanica in this appealing and creative picture book. Coupled with the brilliant images is a story about Lady Allium and her love and appreciation for nature told in a poetic style which makes it a pleasure to read. I loved reading this book because of the vivid photos and illustrations, the story's clear message, and how this was brought to life creatively by adding characters from fairytales like naiads and nymphs. Lady Allium is a magical story that any child and even grown-ups will love to read.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

What better place to find magic than in a garden? And, what better kind of magic than what one finds in Botanica, the largest fairy garden in the world? Because you can’t have magic in a garden without fairies, fae folk, those elusive little folk, now can you? And there should be a legendary gnome as well, wouldn’t you agree? You will find this magical garden in the Rocky Mountains. “In the crystal summer sunshine/ is a garden blooming in the rough terrain? At a mile above sea level/ where the Rocky Mountains meet the open plains.” That in itself makes Botanica sound magical. But as well as the fae folk, there are also “Teams of water nymphs and naiads/ decorate the fountains, waterways, and pools/ with hibiscus, lilies, cannas, in a floating necklace strung with living jewels…” No one sees the magic; the thousands of visitors that wander the gardens every year never see the little folk. Only Lady Allium sees them; only she sees the real magic of the garden.

Mike Hamel’s picture book story, Lady Allium, is a charming, sweet story about a magical garden. Told in rhyming verse with spectacular illustrations, this story is one to be enjoyed by the young as well as the young at heart. The lyricism of the writing itself will have readers spellbound and enraptured by the magic of a place many can only imagine exists. This is more than a picture book; it is a fairy tale for all ages. Absolutely beautiful! A real treasure to enjoy over and over again.