Friday, 17 September 2010

9+: Magical Mischief - Anna Dale

Release Date: 07/06/10

Hardbattle Books is no ordinary bookshop. Magic has settled there in every corner and over the years has brought chaos to Mr Hardbattle's life and driven away most of his customers. His livelihood threatened, Mr Hardbattle is finally forced to take action. Together, Mr Hardbattle, the resourceful and down-to-earth Arthur and Miss Quint embark upon a quest to find a new home for the magic.


Books are a magical experience, so it is not a surprise to find a tale where magic and a bookshop go hand in hand for the young reader. An offering where magic, mayhem and fun should ensue.

That said, with this titles blurb, I really expected a Mr Benn type of adventure and was sadly disappointed as it would have been not only exciting to have had the principle characters chasing villains bent on ruining literature classics throughout their titles in the hope of stopping a greater catastrophe to the world of literature. Sadly, this was not the case and whilst the tale did fulfil the blurb and there were moments of pure indulgence, I felt a little cheated at the possibilities left unrealised.

Other than that, the dialogue had a realistic bent to it, the characters did stay true to their conception and there were touches of magic such as having characters grow to reach greater potential than they envisioned. All in, it did do what it set out to do, the characters were acceptable and to be honest I really fell for Trunk (who I think was a homage to Bagpuss), now all I need to do is find a shop where I can get my own magical toy elephant.

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