Welcome To The Enchanted Forest

Book One

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
188 Pages
Reviewed on 05/03/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite

Living in a too-small trailer with three older sisters was tough for young Rose. Since their mother’s waitressing job kept her busy all day, the sisters had to maintain the household themselves, which led to inevitable skirmishes. Drew, on the other hand, had a different problem. His parents were far too engrossed in their jobs, making him the loneliest boy. However, everything changes when Rose follows Suzi, an energetic and playful dog, into the nearby forest. The same day, Drew’s beloved stuffed dog, Charlie, comes to life and urges him to go to the forest. The rumors surrounding the mysterious forest are enough to scare Rose’s sisters. Will they dare to venture into the shadowy depths to rescue their sister? What awaits Rose and Drew once they enter the forest? Find out in Welcome to the Enchanted Forest: Book One, a novel by Rebecca Himmel Glassman.

Rebecca Himmel Glassman offers readers the adventure of a lifetime in this magical book. The vivid details of the forest, including the rainbow fishes, the twittering birds, and the lush greenery, transport readers to a faraway land. Like the children in the story, we also started believing in the extraordinary. Magic furniture providing generous hugs, enchanted mirrors reflecting personal experiences, and thoughtful kitchens offering sumptuous meals will enthrall a young audience. Glassman, however, utilizes these mind-blowing adventures as gateways to several poignant themes. I loved how the forest and its inhabitants soothed troubled children and empowered them to surmount obstacles. The unique rules of the house taught them patience and kindness while nudging their imaginative powers. The timeless connections the house forged among the young wanderers made each child overcome their perceived loneliness. All in all, Welcome to the Enchanted Forest is a delightful read that will enrich young readers.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Sarah and her three sisters are alone most of the time. They live in a trailer park with their mother who works long hours as a waitress. In Rebecca Himmel Glassman’s Welcome to the Enchanted Forest, Sarah, the oldest at twelve, is left in charge, but everyone is tired and very sad. Then along comes a magical dog that leads them on an adventure in an enchanted forest. Drew is also alone and sad. His parents are too busy and he has no friends. His stuffed dog suddenly comes to life and leads him into the enchanted forest. The children are frustrated, but there’s hope to be found with the talking animals who soothe their sadness and help them revitalize their passion for living.

Rebecca Himmel Glassman’s young people’s story, Welcome to the Enchanted Forest, is the first book in a new series. It’s full of mystery and magic and packed with adventure. The story reads like C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series and Gene Stratton-Potter’s A Girl of the Limberlost. The narrative lures the young reader into the story as each character reveals their own adventure and what they learned in the enchanted forest. The characters are well developed and the plot pushes forward with ease. And yet there’s another story that unravels at the end – perhaps this is leading the reader to yet another enchanted forest adventure in the second book of the series. Young readers will certainly enjoy all the mystery, magic, and fantastical aspects of a story packed with colorful characters and animals that talk.

Liz Konkel

Welcome to the Enchanted Forest by Rebecca Himmel Glassman is the first book in an exciting new series. Rose and her sisters have grown up with a single mother who is always working, leaving eldest Sarah in charge. Sadly, the two sisters do not see eye-to-eye and Rose often acts out which places the other two sisters in the middle. Everything changes when a mysterious dog appears and shakes up their lives when Rose follows it into the Enchanted Forest. Meanwhile, Drew is facing similar issues as he finds his parents don’t have time for him and he is often left alone with just his toy dog Charlie for company. When Charlie comes to life one day, he’s drawn into a magical adventure. These events are no coincidence as the children must work together to fulfill the quest set out for them by an assortment of talking animals.

The story shifts perspectives, allowing readers to explore different characters more fully, particularly Rose, Sarah, and Drew. Rebecca Himmel Glassman crafts realistic characters that are well-rounded and easily distinguished from each other. These different qualities help readers to understand their motivations and feelings, with each struggling in similar ways. The adventure revolves around the magical setting and is filled with a variety of animal characters that give the story an otherworldly tone and charm. The Enchanted Forest gives each of the children a purpose through a literal call to adventure. The sisters’ perspective is balanced by Drew who is similar in feeling alone and with parents that are too busy. Through him, the story has a childlike imagination that brings to life the magic such as Charlie going from a toy to being real. These elements feel as if they were derived from the mind of a child which is what makes the story work as well as it does. These magical elements will capture children’s attention fairly easily. This fun magical adventure is also great for older readers and will appeal to their imagination and curiosity. A charming story, Welcome to the Enchanted Forest is an ideal read with great character development, cute talking animals, and an enchanting setting.

Priya Mathew

Welcome to the Enchanted Forest by Rebecca Himmel Glassman is the first book in the Enchanted Forest Series. The story introduces us to Rose and her sisters, Sarah, Mandy, and Nikki, who live in a trailer park. With an absent father and a busy mum, the sisters are forced to take care of themselves. Rose, being the youngest, finds that she does not enjoy being mothered by her older sister. When a mysterious dog leads them into the forest, they become separated and find themselves among magical talking animals and an enchanted house filled with magic. On parallel lines, the plot also introduces us to Drew, a lonely boy with no friends and busy parents. He is compelled to join his stuffed childhood toy, a dog, who comes magically to life, on an adventure in the enchanted forest. Will they find what they are looking for? Will the enchanted forest be able to help them?

With toys that come to life and a forest that has talking animals, Welcome to the Enchanted Forest by Rebecca Himmel Glassman reminded me of the Hundred Acre Wood created by A.A. Milne in Winnie the Pooh. This book gives us a glimpse into the Enchanted Forest and the magical creatures that reside in it. Their task is to help children facing difficulties in life, guiding them toward a new outlook for a more fruitful life. Written in a way that is easy for young minds to follow, this would be an ideal read for children in the age range of 9 to 14 years. Using detailed and vivid imagery, Rebecca was able to transport me into the narrative. Even as the characters complete their adventure, they leave us with thoughts on how we need to appreciate the family and friendships we have fostered over the years. It also reminded me to take the time to explore each moment in life and to keep looking for the magic we might overlook in our everyday lives.

Pikasho Deka

Welcome To The Enchanted Forest is a children's fantasy adventure tale by Rebecca Himmel Glassman. Sarah, Mandy, Rose, and Nikki are four sisters living in a trailer park, left to fend for themselves because their single mother is too busy working overtime. Twelve-year-old Sarah feels responsible for her sisters, but her younger sister, Rose, doesn't understand why they can't have fun. One day, a cute little puppy named Suzi leads Rose to the nearby Enchanted Forest, leaving her sisters with no choice but to follow her. Eleven-year-old Drew is also heading toward the forest in search of the Enchanted House. Meanwhile, Rose meets magical creatures and other kids who tell her their stories. Rose sees how much her sisters care for her and learns the importance of a loving family.

Rebecca Himmel Glassman takes readers on a captivating odyssey in a magical forest featuring a host of talking animals you can't get enough of. Imaginative and wondrous, Welcome To The Enchanted Forest is a heartwarming story with some valuable life lessons for young readers. Glassman's human characters feel like people with real struggles who navigate adversity as best as they can. Rose and her sisters have a very compelling dynamic, especially the relationship between Sarah and Rose. While Rose acts her age, Sarah, being the oldest, has no choice but to shoulder responsibility for her sisters, and I couldn't help sympathizing with her plight. Glassman's worldbuilding is immersive, and the author fascinates readers with vivid imagery through her descriptions. This book is a treat for fantasy lovers. I recommend it to children and young adults alike.