Published by Red Fox in March 2013
Have you ever noticed you're noticing? Sometimes I notice that I notice so much that I get trapped in noticing my noticing.
Ten-year-old Darcy is one of life's noticers. Curious, smart-as-a-whip, funny and fiercely loyal, she sees the extraordinary in the everyday and the wonder in the world around her.
I wouldn't normally write a review four months in advance, so this is a rarity for me, but I feel I want to lay out a red carpet and hire an orchestra to announce the arrival of this book. I may spontaneously combust if I don't talk about it now and get it out of my system.
I heard about this book back in June at the Random House Children's Books blogger party where I was lucky enough to meet the author, Laura Dockrill and hear her reading the first few pages from the book. (If you ever get the opportunity to hear Laura read, then I strongly suggest you take it - as she is a very talented performer.) So I have waited really really patiently until I could stand it no more and I had to read the book.
This is Darcy Burdock's story, she is a quirky, hilarious, mischievous, kind and cool all at the same time. She is a really strong character, which many children will easily identify with.
The book is told in first person and is interspersed with hand written stories by Darcy as well as really cool illustrations by Laura herself. Darcy is the lovable child we all see hidden in ourselves - the one that is still trying to make sense of the world and deal with life. She isn't perfect and she doesn't try to be, she just learns to overcome her issues by trying to occasionally do the right thing.
This book is both heartwarming and funny at the same time, as you follow Darcy's episodic events while writing everything down in her journal. She reminded me a little of Harriet the Spy but without the nosy, snooping tendencies.
The writing in this book oozes personality and is extremely refreshing to read. Darcy's voice is unique and original keeping you entertained all the way through the book. I really hope that Darcy will be returning to centre stage relatively soon after her debut. Knowing how much she loves attention, I believe she will be appearing a string of books over the next few years.
This is Laura Dockrill's first children's book, but she is already fast becoming a household name. Laura not only writes fiction, but she also performs and write poetry too. She was recently voted one of the top ten literary talents by the Times and a hot new face by Elle magazine.
When this book is published, I would definitely recommend buying it as it is one of the best children's books I have read in a while.