The Matchbox Mysteries (Wings and Co 4) by Sally Gardner and David Roberts
|The Matchbox Mysteries (Wings and Co 4) by Sally Gardner and David Roberts|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: A quirky detective story that is as funny as it is odd!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: October 2014|
|Publisher: Orion Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
This was my first introduction to the Wings & Co fairy detective agency. It's certainly the sort of book I really should have come across sooner since it's wonderfully odd! With Emily working alongside of Fidget, the talking cat, as well as a lot of keys and an overly talkative, egotistic magic lamp this isn't the sort of book you read as a bedtime story and drift off half way through! In this book there is trouble in Podgy Bottom. Someone is stealing cars, shrinking them down into a matchbox, and there is also a crazy purple bunny and a troublesome broomstick. Will the detective agency be able to figure out what on earth is going on?
Fidget is bonkers. He comes out with some very funny sayings and I confess I snorted several times whilst reading. I think it would be a great read-aloud bedtime story, with plenty of opportunity to throw caution to the wind and whip out all your best bonkers voices, especially for the magic lamp. The magic lamp is both completely terrible and wonderfully funny. I like the silliness of the story, and all the galumphing about by the large purple bunny (who is that bunny?) and the sly, conniving broomstick. It's a fun, romp of a story with a fast pace so you're tempted to just keep reading and reading.
The chapters are fairly short, so that helps the reading speed and also the accessibility for younger readers. The illustrations, too, add to the story a great deal. They too are silly and fun (the magic lamp with his sports bag and sweat band is brilliant!) Although I hadn't read the previous stories I found it wasn't impossible to just dive in with book number four. I expect it's even better if you already know all the characters as you just sink back into familiar ground, but you can easily pick it up from this point.
I enjoyed the plot of the story too, and I felt it all hung together very well. The ending is fun, and everything is pulled together most satisfactorily! My eight year old daughter has had her eye on this since it arrived in our house. I think it's just about perfect for her age, and those a little older too, but it would also work well as a read-aloud story either in a classroom with a group of kids or just as a fun bedtime read. Although it's a fairy detective agency, so quickly grabbed off the shelves by girls, I think you could win over boisterous boys too since it's packed full of magic and bizarre characters and the fairies aren't your typical pink and sparkly types! You'd just need to read a little bit out loud and they'd be hooked!
You might also enjoy Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell
You can read more book reviews or buy The Matchbox Mysteries (Wings and Co 4) by Sally Gardner and David Roberts at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Matchbox Mysteries (Wings and Co 4) by Sally Gardner and David Roberts at Amazon.com.
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