Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl & illustrated by Lauren O’Hara - Walker Books US [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

ISBN: 9781536210224
Hardcover $18.99
Ages 5 - 8
Walker Books US
A Division of Candlewick Press
My thoughts:  This is sheer delight to read. You must read it aloud to a child or group of children who will certainly listen with rapt attention. Mabel is a precocious child and is the daughter, only child, of the owners of the Mermaid Hotel.

The hotel is Mabel's home, her playground, her fascination. And Mabel is fascinated or consumed with being a quirky, vocal, spying imp that is everywhere finding things and doings that fascinate her and of which she forms far-flung opinions of who, what, when, where.

And Mabel spies on Madame Badobeday and determines that she is an ancient (hint - old lady) spy who is currently hiding from those whom she has spied upon. The conclusion is simply she awaits her next assignment.

The story is in three sections and would make great read aloud sessions to build the suspense. Or your older youngish reader will be enthralled to read it all by themselves. It is a lot of fun reading about just who Madame Badobedah is (or was) and discovering about all the fascinating, odd, and beautiful items she has. Meanwhile, quirky, inquisitive Mabel is a darling going about in her inquisitive manner ferreting out information.

The real charm of the book is the multi-generational friendship that forms between the two. How a child can grow to like (even love?) an older, non-family person who is at the sunset moment of their life and needs someone to care is a gold nugget to pass along to children.

This book is a winner.

About the book: There’s a strange new guest at the Mermaid Hotel — a very old lady with a growly voice, bags stuffed with jewelry and coins and curiosities, and a beady-eyed pet tortoise. Mabel, whose parents run the hotel, is suspicious. Who is this “Madame Badobedah” (it rhymes with "Oo la la") who has come to stay indefinitely and never has any visitors? To find out, Mabel puts on her spy costume and observes the new guest. Conclusion? She must be a secret supervillain hiding out from the law. The grown-ups think Madame Badobedah is a bit rude — and sad — but when she invites “dahlink” Mabel for a cup of forbidden tea and a game of pirates, the two begin a series of imaginary adventures together, and Mabel realizes that first impressions can sometimes be very wrong. Conjuring two quirky heroines that young readers will love, Sophie Dahl adds her talented voice to a grand tradition of books that celebrate the alliance of the old and young in the face of humdrum adults, while Lauren O’Hara’s illustrations are as packed with intriguing details as Madame Badobedah’s suitcases.
GIVEAWAY - 2 Winners
Begins May 19
Ends June 15 at 12:01 a.m EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
NO P.O.Boxes & Canadian winners must provide phone number.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize copy is provided and sent directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.

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