A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour

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A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Mary Esther Judy
Reviewed by Mary Esther Judy
Summary: Dad is homesick and he’s sleep-walking again… chasing frogs in the pantry and looking for a hen in Ramzi’s wardrobe. What will he do next? Take the family on a hilarious adventure from Cinnamon Grove to the deserts of North Africa, of course! Funny, exciting and wonderfully touching, an absolutely marvellous read!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: February 2012
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781847802255

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It was a quiet night in Cinnamon Grove, with all its residents settled in for a peaceful night's sleep. But all is not well with everyone. At number 32, there is a sudden crash and Ramzis’ dad is on the move… looking for a hen in the wardrobe! But that isn’t all. So far, Dad has been chasing frogs across the pantry floor, searching for a leopard in the back garden and sailing to the moon in the bathtub. Dad is sleep-walking again, because he is homesick. The only solution is for the family to take off for an extended visit to his home, a Berber village in the mountains of Algeria. While there, Ramzi encounters Boulelli (a giant spider in the forest), the Wise Man of the mountains and the native Tuareq in the desert in an effort to solve Dad’s problem for good. But will any of it work? Or will it be up to Ramzi and his secret plan to save the day?

This funny, exciting adventure takes the reader on a cross-cultural roller-coaster ride that joyfully examines what it means to be ‘at home’. With Dad’s nocturnal wanderings creating havoc in the Ramadan family life, it quickly becomes clear that something must be done for everyone’s sake. The attention is turned to the wider collection of relatives in an easy, accessible way that adds broader definition to ideas of family and community. While the story is grounded in a background of Islamic culture, terminology is explained in a brief dictionary (written by Ramzi) at the end to alleviate confusion. Meddour's enthusiasm and joy towards her subject matter and in the telling of the tale are evident throughout as she leads the reader on a journey that she clearly knows well herself. The characters are pure delight, and the dynamics of their interaction in the story are both hilarious and deeply meaningful.

This is a story of a young boy and his family taking off on an adventure and trying to solve a problem in a way that is beneficial to everyone. The descriptions of both action and setting are vivid. Told with heart, warmth and a great deal of fun, A Hen in the Wardrobe is marvellous to read. A great laugh with exceptional characterisation and a touching resolution, I recommend it to any and all.

For other warm-hearted, captivating and magically funny tales such as this one, I thoroughly recommend The Butterfly Heart by Paula Leyden, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren and The Eddie Dickens Trilogy by Philip Ardagh.

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Buy A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour at Amazon.com.


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