Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Diamond Book Distributors via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Eleven-year-old Maddy Kettle enjoyed a happy childhood living in a book shop with her parents and her floating toad, Ralph. Then one night the Thimblewitch came and transformed her parents into kangaroo rats. Maddy, her ratty parents and Ralph have been on the run from the witch's spider goblins ever since, but Maddy wants to find and face the Thimblewitch and make her put things right again.
This whimsical graphic novel for children, by Spectrum Award winning author and illustrator Eric Orchard will delight readers both young and old. The places Maddy visits are full of strange creatures like spider goblins, cloud whales and sleepy scarecrow warriors. It has a surreal, dreamlike quality, reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's Coraline only without the sense of menace. My five year old liked young Maddie, who displays determination and courage in the face of danger and rescues her parents. The story is sweet and fairly simple, driven more by the illustrations than the text. The illustrations are what really make the book stand out. They are beautiful and at times almost painfully cute.
I hope to see more Maddy Kettle adventures in the future.