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Walter Brown and the Magician's Hat Paperback – October 4, 2017
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"A superbly written, magical adventure. Highly recommended!" Wishing Shelf Book Review
"There are many aspects to this short children's novel which are excellent. Firstly, the style of writing is a perfect balance of 'pace' and 'character development'. In very few words, the author successfully helps the reader to understand Walter (and his cat) and, as a result, the reader starts to care for them and what will happen to them. The author also seems to work particularly well with speech and characters.
"With short chapters and a sprinkling of well-drawn illustrations, I would happily recommend this book to any 7 to 10 year-olds."
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In my view, it's another Karen Inglis classic, with all her usual hallmark features designed to engage reluctant readers without boring or patronising them. Far from it - this is a far-paced adventure story about an apparently ordinary (ie easy to relate to) boy who gains magic powers on his tenth birthday, including the ability to converse with his cat, a lively and assertive character who helps Walter get to grips with his new abilities without causing too much lasting chaos. There's also a likable older sister and some new friends involved, and some agreeable adults lurking in the background, though Walter and his cat are always the focus of the action.
At the centre of this adventure, which I suspect will be the first of many for Walter, is a trick that draws the characters from a video game to step outside of the television, with riotous consequences.
All the ingredients will be easy for children around Walter's age to relate to, with a certain amount of wish-fulfilment material t(who wouldn't want to receive magic powers for their 10th birthday?!) The book's short chapters, illustrated with occasional mono pictures to encourage reluctant readers, will keep children turning the pages to the end, where they'll find free samples of two of Inglis's other books for children of this age group, "Eeek! The Runaway Alien" about an alien who comes to Earth to pursue his love of football, and "The Secret Lake", my personal favourite, which is a time-slip adventure inspired by the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park.
Walter Brown is in for a surprise when he dons his 10th birthday present - a very special top hat. What follows is an adventure of a lifetime, with magic, monsters, friends, and enemies galore...
With beautifully written prose that bounces along the page, this is delightful, fun, and entertaining fiction. My children enjoyed the story immensely (as did I!) and there were many points for discussion too. Recommended!
*Thank you to the author for my free review copy.