Nimmo, Jenny 1944-

views updated

NIMMO, Jenny 1944-

PERSONAL: Born January 15, 1944, in Windsor, Berkshire, England; daughter of Francis (a physicist) Nimmo and Phyllis Marguerite Johnson; married David Wynn Millward (an artist and illustrator), 1974; children: two daughters, one son. Education: Private boarding schools, 1950-60.

ADDRESSES: Home—Henllan Mill, Llangynyw, Welshpool, Powys SY21 9EN, Wales. Agent—David Highham Associates, 5-8 Lower John St., Golden Sq., London W1F 9HA, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Theatre Southeast, Sussex and Kent, England, actress and assistant stage manager, 1960-63; governess in Amalfi, Italy, 1963; British Broadcasting Corp. Television, London, England, photographic researcher, 1964-66, assistant floor manager, 1966-68, 1971-74, director and writer of children's programs for Jackanory, 1970; full-time writer, 1975—.

AWARDS, HONORS: Austrian Ministry of Culture Prize, 1975, for The Bronze Trumpeter; Smarties Award, Rowntree Mackintosh Co., 1986, and Tir na n-Og Award, Welsh Books Council, 1987, both for The Snow Spider; Smarties Gold Award, six-to-eightyears category, Booktrust, 1997, for The Owl Tree.



The Bronze Trumpeter, illustrated by Caroline Scrace, Angus & Robertson (London, England), 1975.

Tatty Apple, illustrated by Priscilla Lamont, Methuen (London, England), 1984.

The Snow Spider (first book in the "Snow Spider" trilogy; also see below), illustrated by Joanna Carey, Methuen (London, England), 1986, Dutton (New York, NY), 1987.

Emlyn's Moon (second book in the "Snow Spider" trilogy; also see below), illustrated by Joanna Carey, Methuen (London, England), 1987, published as Orchard of the Crescent Moon, Dutton (New York, NY), 1989.

The Red Secret, illustrated by Maureen Bradley, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1989.

The Chestnut Soldier (third book in the "Snow Spider" trilogy; also see below), Methuen (London, England), 1989, Dutton (New York, NY), 1991.

The Bears Will Get You!, Methuen (London, England), 1990.

Jupiter Boots, Heinemann (London, England), 1990.

Ultramarine, Methuen (London, England), 1990, Dutton (New York, NY), 1992.

Delilah and the Dogspell, Methuen (London, England), 1991.

Rainbow and Mr. Zed (sequel to Ultramarine), Methuen (London, England), 1992, Dutton (New York, NY), 1994.

(Reteller) The Witches and the Singing Mice, illustrated by Angela Barrett, Collins (London, England), Dial (New York, NY), 1993.

The Stone Mouse, illustrated by Helen Craig, Walker (London, England), 1993.

(Reteller) The Starlight Cloak, illustrated by Justin Todd, Collins (London, England), Dial (New York, NY), 1993.

The Breadwitch, illustrated by Ben Cort, Heinemann (London, England), 1993.

The Snow Spider Trilogy (contains The Snow Spider, Emlyn's Moon, and The Chestnut Soldier), Mammoth (London, England), 1993.

Delilah and the Dishwasher Dogs, Methuen (London, England), 1993.

Griffin's Castle, Methuen (London, England), 1994, Orchard (New York, NY), 1997.

Wilfred's Wolf, illustrated by husband, David Wynn Millward, Bodley Head (London, England), 1994.

Granny Grimm's Gruesome Glasses, illustrated by David Wynn Millward, A. & C. Black (London, England), 1995.

Ronnie and the Giant Millipede, illustrated by David Parkins, Walker (London, England), 1995.

Alien on the Ninety-ninth Floor, illustrated by Martin Chatterton, Heinemann (London, England), 1996.

The Witch's Tears, illustrated by Paul Howard, Collins (London, England), 1996.

Gwion and the Witch, illustrated by Jac Jones, Pont Books (Llandysul, Wales), 1996.

The Owl Tree, illustrated by Anthony Lewis, Walker (London, England), 1997.

Hot Dog, Cool Cat, illustrated by David Wynn Millward, Mammoth (London, England), 1997.

Seth and the Strangers, Mammoth (London, England), 1997.

The Dragon's Child, illustrated by Alan Marks, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1997.

Delilah Alone, illustrated by Georgien Overwater, Mammoth (London, England), 1997.

(Reteller) Thumbelina, illustrated by Phillida Gili, Macdonald Young (Hove, England), 1997.

Branwen, illustrated by Jac Jones, Pont Books (Llandysul, Wales), 1998.

The Rinaldi Ring, Mammoth (London, England), 1999.

Toby in the Dark, illustrated by Helen Craig, Walker (London, England), 1999.

The Box Boys and the Magic Shell, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

The Box Boys and the Fairground Ride, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

Esmeralda and the Children Next Door, illustrated by Paul Howard, Methuen (London, England), 1999, Houghton (Boston, MA), 2000.

Dog Star, Walker (London, England), 1999.

The Box Boys and the Bonfire Cat, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

The Box Boys and the Dog in the Mist, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

Ill Will, Well Nell, Mammoth (London, England), 2000.

The Strongest Girl in the World, illustrated by Paul Howard, Egmont (London, England), 2001.

Milo's Wolves, Mammoth (London, England), 2001.

Tom and the Pterosaur, Walker (London, England), 2001.

Something Wonderful, illustrated by Debbie Boon, Collins (London, England), Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2001.

The Bodigulpa ("Shock Shop" series), Macmillan (London, England), 2001.

Midnight for Charlie Bone, Egmont (London, England), Orchard (New York, NY), 2002.

Time Twister, Egmont (London, England), 2002, published as Charlie Bone and the Time Twister, Orchard (New York, NY), 2003.

Beak and Whisker, illustrated by Ailie Busby, Egmont (London, England), 2002.

Night of the Unicorn, Walker (London, England), 2003.

Pig on a Swing, Hodder (London, England), 2003.

Invisible Vinnie, Corgi (London, England), 2003.

ADAPTATIONS: The three books of the "Snow Spider" trilogy, The Snow Spider, Emlyn's Moon, and The Chestnut Soldier, have all been adapted as children's programs for British television. Several of Nimmo's works have been recorded.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A third book in the "Children of the Red King" series.

SIDELIGHTS: Author of over fifty books for young readers, including picture books, first readers, and longer novels, Jenny Nimmo began to receive much notice as a children's author in the 1980s. Her first book, The Bronze Trumpeter, was published in 1975, and led Times Literary Supplement contributor Ann Thwaite to call her "a new writer of considerable imagination and skill." That title, with its Sicilian setting and cascading images and plot that flows like a meandering river, set the tone for much of Nimmo's fantasy fiction to come. Readers are, by the end of the book, "left so dumbstruck that one almost expects to find the book erasing itself as the last page is finished," according to George Hunt, writing in Books for Keeps. The novel surely presaged the beginning of a fine writing career, yet the responsibility of raising her three children kept Nimmo from publishing another book until 1984.

Since then, the writer has more than made up for lost time, with her ambitious "Snow Spider" trilogy, and major fantasies such as Ultramarine, Rainbow and Mr.Zed, Griffin's Castle, Milo's Wolves, and the 2002 Midnight for Charlie Bone. Popular shorter books from Nimmo include a trio of tales about a magical cat that casts spells on dogs. These include Delilah and the Dogspell, Delilah and the Dishwasher Dogs, and Delilah Alone. Magic and fantasy also infuse Nimmo's other short novels for beginning readers, such as The Dragon's Child, Witch's Tears, and Toby in the Dark. Additionally, Nimmo has created diverting entertainment for younger readers with picture books such as Esmeralda and the Children Next Door and Something Wonderful.

Nimmo related in Twentieth-Century Children's Writers: "I live and work in a rural community in Wales where my three bilingual children grew up in an old but vigorous culture. Here place names hark back to legend and it seems to me that the past is still part of the rhythm of everyday life. My books are concerned with the very real problem of growing children, and most of them are set in a landscape which is undeniably magical; they are described as fantasies." School Librarian contributor Donna White affirmed that "Wales has a powerful hold on [the] imagination" of this "relative newcomer to children's fantasy."

Born in Windsor, Berkshire, England, in 1944, Nimmo was an only child, and with the death of her father when she was only five, her life became even more circumscribed. She partly grew up on her uncle's free-range chicken farm. At age nine, she changed schools, which she detested. At eleven she began attending a secondary school and earned encouragement to become an actress. She also developed an early and abiding interest in music. Books and writing were also early interests for Nimmo; she read her way through the junior school library and had to be given special permission to use the senior school library. She began to write her own stories—usually on the scary side and with at least one dead body—and entertained her friends with her spooky tales. Leaving school, she went on to work in theater for a time, and then for the BBC in various positions. She married the artist and illustrator David Wynn Millward in 1974, settled in Wales, and had three children. Millward has illustrated several of her titles.

Crediting part of her vivid imagination to the influence of the Welsh countryside, Nimmo has received accolades for her faithful renditions of this history-filled landscape. To win the Tir na n-Og Award, one must present a Welsh language book, or, for an English language book, depict an authentic Welsh setting while raising the standard of writing for children and young people. Nimmo's The Snow Spider earned this honor for doing just that. Ten-year-old Gwyn Griffiths, the protagonist of The Snow Spider, is having a tough time adjusting to his sister's death, his mother's inability to control her grieving, and his father's accusations that Gwyn is to blame for their loss. In an effort to help, Gwyn is given five strange birthday gifts from his mystic grandmother. He must use these oddities to look inside himself to find the magical powers that have long resided in his bloodline. Throughout the journey, Gwyn is taken aback when he sees his dead sister's ghostly image appear in a spider's sorcerous web. As any ten-year-old might, he disobeys his grandmother and reveals his secret while experimenting with powers greater than his ability to control. His newfound magic creates a dichotomy, for now he must choose either to join his sister in a different world or to go back home. According to Horn Book critic Mary M. Burns, "Gwyn is a very real ten-year-old . . . conscious that he is different from his classmates, touchingly anxious to belong and to be loved." Zena Sutherland, writing for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, found The Snow Spider a "cohesive and compelling" story that has "depth and nuance."

The mysterious alternate world of Gwyn's Welsh home returns in Orchard of the Crescent Moon (published in England as Emlyn's Moon); this time Gwyn's neighbor Nia is the person seeking a special talent, which she must then use to rescue her friend Emlyn. Like its predecessor, Emlyn's Moon demonstrates "the 'realness' of the child characters, despite their close access to ancient magical powers," David Bennett noted in Books for Keeps. A Publishers Weekly critic similarly observed, in a review of Orchard of the Crescent Moon, that while the story has fantasy elements, it is "rooted in the miseries of family misunderstandings and sorrows." "Emlyn's Moon confirms all our hopes" about Nimmo's "unusual talents," Marcus Crouch asserted in Junior Bookshelf. "This is a rich, moving and amusing story, one which demands and receives the reader's total capitulation."

The trilogy concludes with The Chestnut Soldier, in which Gwyn is approaching his fourteenth birthday and still exercising his magical powers. This time his irresponsibility causes him to lose control of one of the powers he received on his tenth birthday. His carelessness endangers a weak-spirited, wounded soldier resting at a home in the village. Since the power can thwart Gwyn, he must call on his grandmother and ancestor Gwydion to exorcise the evil force from the soldier's abducted spirit. The Chestnut Soldier contains many parallels to the ancient Welsh legends known as the Mabinogion, but was favored least by critic Beth E. Andersen. In Voice of Youth Advocates, the reviewer faulted the "relentlessly oppressive moodiness" of the characters and the "disappointingly anti-climactic finish." School Library Journal contributor Virginia Golodetz, however, applauded the book and stated that "Nimmo has skillfully woven the ancient story into the modern one, making it accessible to those who do not know the legend." Donna White also praised the concluding volume in School Librarian, calling it "Nimmo's best book to date."

"As her major work grows in scale and complexity, Nimmo has turned to the creation of small, simpler worlds," Crouch observed in Twentieth-Century Children's Writers. The Red Secret, for instance, is a simple tale of Tom, a city boy whose family moves to the country, and how he rescues a wounded fox cub and makes friends in the process. Growing Point's Margery Fisher praised the "concise, pictorial and energetic prose" of Nimmo's book, which she predicted would enliven the easy-to-read format for the reader. Similarly told with "quiet assurance and [Nimmo's] instinct for the right turn of phrase," according to Crouch in Junior Bookshelf, is Jupiter Boots, the story of young Timothy's encounter with a pair of fancy footwear. The Stone Mouse also demonstrates the author's "special kind of mastery in the little book," Crouch stated in another Junior Bookshelf review. The relationship between Ted, his sister Elly, and a talking stone mouse makes for "a strangely engaging read" in which "the reader is invited to consider many themes," Sue Smedley concluded in School Librarian.

Nimmo has also turned her talents to more comic effect, as in her stories about a cat with magical powers. Readers are first introduced to the gifted feline in Delilah and the Dogspell, when Delilah begins to shrink all the dogs who annoy her down to mouse size. After one of the miniaturized dogs befriends a lonely girl and Delilah goes too far by shrinking the Prime Minister's favorite pet, peace and order are finally restored. "The book is a romp, splendidly done," David Churchill wrote in School Librarian, recommending the story for both reading aloud or alone, while Fisher noted in Growing Point that this "racy bit of nonsense [is] based on a sturdy recognition of the relationship of dogs and cats." The trouble-making witch-cat returns in Delilah and the Dishwasher Dogs, in which Delilah is kidnapped by an evil fortune teller and must be rescued by the neighborhood cats. "The story is well delivered, with interesting and stretching vocabulary," stated Janet Sims in School Librarian, making for a book that is "exciting, funny, and extremely readable." Delilah is once again reprised in Delilah Alone. When her owners go on holiday, the feline is so miffed that she runs away; her only protection as she embarks on the many adventures waiting outside her front door is her ability to shrink other animals. Liz Baynton-Clarke, writing in School Librarian, found this "an engaging story with plenty of action throughout and lots of appeal for the seven-to-nine age group."

More humor and fantasy are blended in several other short novels from Nimmo. A feline and canine take center stage in Hot Dog, Cool Cat, in which the animals in question are best buddies, yet they belong to owners who do not really understand them. While the dog is large and full of energy, his older owners are quiet; the cat, on the other hand, is reclusive but lives in a family with an active youngster who always wants to play. Finally the two animals decide on a simple solution: they will trade places. School Librarian's Lynne Taylor found this "humorous story . . . just right for young children starting chapter reading." Young Fred helps an alien in a department store in Alien on the Ninety-ninth Floor, and in return shares the alien's powers to become invisible. Their subsequent adventures in the store's toy department is "a real hoot," according to A. R. Williams in the Junior Bookshelf. In Ronnie and the Giant Millipede, a seven year old gets a new pair of boots and cannot stop himself from stomping on everything he comes across. The family ultimately has to move out to the country, to a cottage far away from neighbors so that Ronnie's constant stomping does not bother anybody else. But there, he finally meets his match in a giant millipede who makes him change his ways. Linda Saunders, reviewing the book in School Librarian, called it an "enjoyable cautionary tale," and "very amusing. . . . An excellent first novel for eight year olds to read for themselves."

Nimmo also produces scary predicaments for young readers. Toby is a panda who comes to life in Toby inthe Dark in order to come to the aid of three siblings left in the care of the awful Mrs. Malevant. This lady, hired to watch the children, is so sour that she has taken all happiness from the house. Deepa Earnshaw praised this novel in School Librarian, noting that "Nimmo has created a mischievous, endearing character in Toby." Kit Spring, writing in the Observer, also found much to like in the book. "There's just enough nastiness in Mrs. Malevant to keep hearts pounding," Spring wrote. Nimmo blends science fiction and terror in Seth and the Strangers, in which a young boy learns to deal with his own past and the abuse from his stepfather. School Librarian contributor Julia Marriage felt this is "an excellent short novel." A benevolent witch is at the heart of The Witch's Tears, in which the mysterious Mrs. Scarum arrives at the home of the Blossom family one stormy night and weeps crystal tears, proving she is, indeed, a witch. The children of the family, Theo and Dodie—waiting for their father—are fearful, but in the end, she helps in the safe return of Mr. Blossom. The Dragon's Child features young Dando, a youthful dragon, who is befriended by an orphaned girl, Manon. Together they form a bond and attempt to stay out of the way of an amazing assortment of fantasy creatures, including the evil Doggins who love chasing dragons. Lord Drum, who captures Dando, ultimately learns from these two an important lesson about love and freedom. Roy Blatchford, writing in Books for Keeps, lauded Nimmo's ability "to craft fiction that has a genuine sense of wonder for the young reader." Cherrie Warwick, reviewing the novel in School Librarian, summarized the theme of the book: "The possession of magic is a responsibility—to recognise it and use it well. Ignorance of this makes us fearful and cruel."

Nimmo also uses playful picture books for her message-driven stories. Esmeralda and the Children Next Door features young Esmeralda, "a force to be reckoned with," according to Kate Kellaway in an Observer review. The girl, born to circus performers, is the strong woman of the circus, able to carry both parents on her shoulders. Seemingly born for this role, she is not really happy in it, though her parents are oblivious to this. Esmeralda feels out of place, shunned by other kids because of her size. All the while she yearns to be a tightrope walker instead of a weight lifter. But when she catches a falling limb, thus saving a sleeping baby, she begins to see some value in her strength. For a Horn Book reviewer, this story is "poignant and interestingly askew rather than humorous."

Lisa Dennis, writing in School Library Journal, found it a "curious picture book," yet Kellaway was more positive in her evaluation, calling it a "lovely, moving book."

Something Wonderful is a further picture book that looks at serious issues in a playful manner. Little Hen lacks self-esteem; she is indeed small and does not even have a nice name like the other chickens. But she finally discovers her real power when she saves the eggs that other hens have absent-mindedly abandoned. She takes care of them until they hatch with such diligence that she becomes the pride of the barnyard. "Youngsters," wrote Anne Parker in a School Library Journal review, "will enjoy and identify with this story about one small animal's special gift." Booklist's Shelle Rosenfeld similarly commended the "soothing and sound" message of Nimmo's picture book, that "determination and perseverance, not preconceptions, make the difference."

Nimmo returned to a supernatural setting for Ultramarine, in which she "again combines fantasy elements with the psychological growth of her protagonists to weave solid entertainment," according to a Publishers Weekly critic. Ned and Nell are uneasy when they are scheduled to spend a week alone with an aunt and grandmother they've never met; during their unsettling stay, they learn that their real mother actually drowned when they were young and that their father may have been a sea creature known as a kelpie. This discovery leads them to aid a mysterious stranger in rescuing sea creatures, creating a "tantalizing blend" of elements where the children's "realities are every bit as fascinating as their fantasies," as Jody McCoy remarked in Voice of Youth Advocates. "The dream-like, secretive quality of the narrative mesmerizes the reader until the children's mystery is fully revealed," Kathryn Jennings wrote in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books in recommending this "haunting story."

Rainbow and Mr. Zed continues the story of Nell, who is adjusting to life without Ned, who has joined their father at sea. Remaining with distant relatives, Nell—whose true name is Rainbow—has been sent to the estate of the mysterious Mr. Zed, who seems to know all about her secret heritage. Nell soon discovers that Mr. Zed is actually her late mother's evil brother, and he wants to use Nell to gain power and revenge against her father. "In a chilling and eerie story that weaves back and forth between fantasy and reality," as Booklist writer Kay Weisman described it, "Nell comes to terms with her uniqueness" and thwarts her uncle's sinister plans. Rainbow and Mr. Zed "is exciting, moving, and deeply committed to the preservation of the world," Crouch asserted in Junior Bookshelf, concluding: "Great stuff this, with much fun to match the terrors, an exciting adventure worked out in terms of vividly realised characters, all confirmation—if such were needed—that here is an important writer at the height of her powers."

Nimmo moves to an urban setting for Griffin's Castle, a tale of an eleven-year-old girl who finds magical help in the carved animals on the walls of Cardiff Castle in Wales. The girl, Dinah, needs such help to defeat the intentions of her mother's boyfriend, Gomer, who plans to sell off the old house they have moved into. Once Gomer is defeated, Dinah also discovers that her animal protectors have gone. A critic for Kirkus Reviews called this novel a "brooding fantasy," and "a well-told story with unusually strong characters." Elizabeth Bush, writing in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, felt that the book "stumbles" at certain plot points, but concluded that "readers charmed by an emotionally vulnerable heroine surrounded by moldy walls and foggy Cardiff streets will be pleased." Crouch, writing in Junior Bookshelf, thought Griffin's Castle was Nimmo's "most substantial offering since the 'Ultramarine' sequence." Crouch concluded, "Beautifully written, finely imagined to the last detail, this is a fantasy the more powerful because it obeys strict rules and reconciles the differences of magic and reality."

In The Rinaldi Ring, twelve-year-old Eliot, an American, is sent to live with English cousins when his mother dies. But once there, he falls captive to the ghost of a girl who once lived in his room. Helena Thompson, reviewing that title in the Times Educational Supplement, felt that Nimmo "pacifies the ghosts she raises with assured sensitivity." With Milo's Wolves, Nimmo creates a "Frankestein story for the twenty-first century," according to Nikki Gamble in Books for Keeps. Milo, father of the family and an actor with a knack for storytelling, tells his three children that they have a long-lost brother, Gwendal, who is coming to live with them. The boy, who has spent most of his life in a clinic, does not resemble either parent, and he seems to be pursued by mysterious figures in gray. Laura, his sister, is shocked and amazed by the arrival of this unknown sibling, and even more so when Gwendal leaves the family to seek protection in the Pyrenees. Gamble lauded Nimmo's ability to "vividly create . . . a haunting setting" for the novel.

In her 2002 novel, Midnight for Charlie Bone, Nimmo begins the first of a projected five-part "Children of the Red King" series, about a ten-year-old boy, Charlie, who discovers he has amazing powers and is sent to a special school to develop them. With obvious similarities to the popular "Harry Potter" books, Nimmo's novel features a boy with the power to look at photographs and actually hear the conversations and thoughts that were happening at the time the picture was taken. He is sent by his less than loving grandmother to Bloor's Academy, where gifted children such as Charlie improve their special skills. But once at the school, he falls on hard times, caught up in old intrigues and falling afoul of the evil headmaster. Also, after looking at one picture, he pursues the trail of a missing girl that might lead him to the mystery of his own father. A contributor for Publishers Weekly dubbed the work "ersatz Harry Potter," though Booklist's Sally Estes was more laudatory. She found the book an "exciting, fast-paced adventure tale." School Library Journal's Eva Mitnick also praised the novel, noting that "the writing is deft, most of the characters are intriguing, and Charlie Bone is an appealing boy."

In an assessment of the author's career in Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, Marcus Crouch further lauded Nimmo, stating that she "is a living example of the basic formula for success in an author: write what you know. She works in big ideas on a small canvas, which she fills with the figures of her own rural community. Magic or no magic, hers is a real world, viewed with a keen and understanding eye and with rich appreciation of its fun and its folly."



Children's Literature Review, Volume 44, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1997.

Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, edited by Bernice E. Cullinan and Diane G. Person, Continuum International (New York, NY), 2001.

Cooling, Wendy, Interview with Jenny Nimmo, Egmont (London, England), 2003.

Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1995, pp. 706-707.


Booklist, May 1, 1993, p. 1605; August, 1994, p. 2064; February 15, 1995, Kay Weisman, review of Rainbow and Mr. Zed; September 15, 2001, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of Something Wonderful, p. 233; January 1, 2002, Sally Estes, review of Midnight for Charlie Bone, p. 892.

Bookseller, January 18, 2002, review of Midnight for Charlie Bone, p. 48.

Books for Keeps, September, 1986, p. 25; March, 1989, David Bennett, review of The Snow Spider and Emlyn's Moon, p. 19; January, 1997, George Hunt, review of The Bronze Trumpeter, p. 25; November, 1997, Roy Blatchford, review of The Dragon's Child, p. 23; July, 2001, Nikki Gamble, review of Milo's Wolves, pp. 26-27.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July-August, 1987, Zena Sutherland, review of The Snow Spider, p. 216; July-August, 1992, Kathryn Jennings, review of Ultramarine, p. 301; April, 1997, Elizabeth Bush, review of Griffin's Castle, pp. 291-292.

Growing Point, May, 1989, Margery Fisher, review of The Red Secret, p. 5172; November, 1991, Margery Fisher, review of Delilah and the Dogspell, p. 5602.

Horn Book, September-October, 1987, Mary M. Burns, review of The Snow Spider, p. 613; September, 1993, p. 611; July-August, 2000, review of Esmeralda and the Children Next Door, p. 438.

Junior Bookshelf, February, 1985, p. 28; February, 1988, Marcus Crouch, review of Emlyn's Moon, p. 51; April, 1989, pp. 65-66; February, 1991, Marcus Crouch, review of Jupiter Boots, p. 26; August, 1992, Marcus Crouch, review of Rainbow and Mr. Zed, pp. 158-159; December, 1993, Marcus Crouch, review of The Stone Mouse, p. 235; December, 1994, Marcus Crouch, review of Griffin's Castle, pp. 229-230; December, 1995, pp. 214-215; August, 1996, A. R. Williams, review of Alien on the Ninety-ninth Floor, p. 150, and Delilah and the Dishwasher Dogs, pp. 150-151; October, 1996, review of The Witch's Tears, p. 194.

Kirkus Reviews, April, 1997, review of Griffin's Castle, p. 560; December 15, 2002, review of Midnight for Charlie Bone, p. 1854.

Magpies, March, 1996, review of Ronnie and the Giant Millipede, p. 22.

Observer (London, England), May 30, 1999, Kit Spring, review of Toby in the Dark, p. 13; October 24, 1999, Kate Kellaway, review of Esmeralda and the Children Next Door, p. 13.

Publishers Weekly, June 9, 1989, review of Orchard of the Crescent Moon, p. 68; March 9, 1992, review of Ultramarine, p. 58; August 2, 1993, p. 81; June 18, 2001, review of Something Wonderful, pp. 80-81; December 9, 2002, review of Midnight for Charlie Bone, p. 85.

School Librarian, February, 1988, p. 21; November, 1991, Donna White, "Welsh Legends through English Eyes: An American Viewpoint," pp. 130-131; February, 1992, David Churchill, review of Delilah and the Dogspell, p. 21; November, 1993, Sue Smedley, review of The Stone Mouse, p. 157; May, 1994, Janet Sims, review of Delilah and the Dishwater Dogs, p. 62; May, 1996, Linda Saunders, review of Ronnie and the Giant Millipede, p. 64; August, 1996, Gillian Cross, review of The Witch's Tears, p. 108; August, 1997, Liz Baynton-Clarke, review of Delilah Alone, p. 147, Linda Saunders, review of The Owl Tree, p. 147; November, 1997, Cherrie Warwick, review of The Dragon's Child, p. 192, Lynne Taylor, review of Hot Dog, Cool Cat, pp. 192-193, Julia Marriage, review of Seth and the Strangers, p. 201; summer, 1998, Janet Sims, review of Branwen, p. 89; autumn, 1999, Deepa Earnshaw, review of Toby in the Dark, p. 132; autumn, 2001, Alison A. Smith, review of Milo's Wolves, p. 159; spring, 2002, Vida Conway, review of Something Wonderful, p. 20.

School Library Journal, July, 1991, Virginia Golodetz, review of The Chestnut Soldier, p. 74; November, 1992, p. 74; February, 1995; June, 1997, Virginia Golodetz, review of Griffin's Castle, p. 124; April, 2000, Lisa Dennis, review of Esmeralda and the Children Next Door, p. 111; September, 2001, Anne Parker, review of Something Wonderful, p. 202; February, 2003, Eva Mitnick, review of Midnight for Charlie Bone, p. 146.

Times Educational Supplement, April 9, 1999, Helena Thompson, review of The Rinaldi Ring, p. 23.

Times Literary Supplement, April 4, 1975, Ann Thwaite, "Time and Again," review of The Bronze Trumpeter, p. 362.

Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 1991, Beth E. Andersen, review of The Chestnut Soldier, p. 248; June, 1992, Jody McCoy, review of Ultramarine, p. 113.

ONLINE, (February 14, 2003), "Jenny Nimmo."