The midnight owl sounds scary.

Lily is frightened when the midnight owl hoots during the night. But Granny isn’t afraid. She thinks the midnight owl sounds friendly. Will Lily always be afraid of him?


Anna Branford was born in the Isle of Man and spent her early childhood in Sudan and Papua New Guinea before moving to Australia. Creative writing was her favourite subject at school and she wrote stories in all these different countries. Anna is a doll maker and a sociology lecturer at Victoria University. Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot was her first published work for Walker Books Australia and was Honour Book in the 2011 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards, Younger Readers category. In 2013, Violet Mackerel’s Personal Space won the Young Readers/Picture Book Award category of the Australian Family Therapists’ Award and was short-listed for the 2013 Children’s Peace Literature Awards. Violet Mackerel’s Possible Friend was short-listed for the 2014 CBCA Book of the Year Awards, Younger Readers category.

Lisa Coutts is an illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. She has studied graphic design and her illustrations have graced books, greeting cards, magazines, festivals, posters, packages and even tea cups. Lisa exhibits her work at various galleries and serves on the committee of Illustrators Australia. The Lily the Elf series (written by Anna Branford) are her first illustrated novels with Walker Books Australia.


Stand aside princesses and ballet dancers, elves could be the next big thing if the ‘Lily the Elf’ series is anything to go by.


Delightfully delicate like the tiny elf, this story promises readers, mainly girls of the 5+ age, a new and interesting character that becomes involved in challenging adventures with a positive outcome.

Buzz Words

These are delightful stories dealing with overcoming problems, fears and working things out.


Emergent readers looking for a new character to love should try Lily the Elf.

Otago Daily Times

This is a lovely story for your younger girls about courage, bravery, relationships and about how, in their own special way, grandparents share and encourage us.


Both stories use simple, but interesting text, with lots of illustrative support, perfect for young readers transitioning from first readers to the chapter book format. Lily is a loveable, honest and quirky character, and the relationship between her and Granny, with Dad playing a supporting role, is lovely.

Aussie Reviews

These stories are ideal to be shared with for 4-6 year olds, but importantly they are also very suitable for beginning readers to read for themselves. Not only is the print large and easy to read, the vocabulary is also easily accessible with black and white illustrations that are supportive of the text.

Reading Time

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