It is an indisputable, but unknown fact that all the forests in the world are controlled and governed by a witch. In this story, the reader is introduced to the attractive Evergreen: our very own 'Witch of the Forest'. Evergreen is faced with a problem; her domain is threatened with annihilation because of the action of a dotty squire, who has hired workmen to cut down her forest home. By means of magic powder, Evergreen influences two children: Philip and Becky. They are the children of the local blacksmith, and recruit the animals who live in the forest into an army; the intention being to stop the destruction of their home. Can Philip and Becky, with the help of Rabbit, Barn Owl, Fox, Otter, Wild Boar and others, possibly manage this impossible task? 'Philip's Army' is an attempt to educate children of the impending disaster to the environment caused by the money-grabbing, ignorant and insane behaviour of man. Perhaps our young children may realise the danger and stop, before it's too late, the destruction of our green and beautiful planet.
4 out of 5 (very good)
This story is very hard to date - on the one hand, it talks about technology, jeeps and how man is affecting the environment. On the other hand, the father is a blacksmith, the children ride ponies to school, and the general style of writing reminds me of Enid Blyton's The Magic Faraway Tree series.
Philip's Army tells the story of a particular wood in a particular place, protected by the Witch of the Forest. The local Squire is chopping down trees and she cannot prevent it by herself. So with some magic raspberries, she tempts in Philip, and his younger sister, Becky, to help her.
Very well written, with an important message enclosed within its pages about how the loss of local woods doesn't just mean the loss of animals' homes, but has a more far-reaching effect. With no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the flow of reading, this is a thoroughly enjoyable children's tale with an adult message.
* Verified Purchase - November 2012 *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
I was born in 1931 in my granny's flat in Glasgow, Scotland. I have been a marine, a steward on an Australian-bound emigrant ship, a croupier and a lorry driver, to name only a few of my jobs. I am a pensioner who, over the years, has written poems, short stories and novels. Until recently I have not aspired to publication. Some of my short stories and poems can be read on my website: johnnysmartswritings.blogspot.co.uk. I am a family man. I have a son and three daughters on the Isle of Wight, and two sons and three grandsons in Switzerland. My story 'Philip's Army' is a warning to children of mans' constant destruction of our environment.