Royal Mail Elastic bands harm hedgehogs. If my British followers could sign the below petition I'd be really grateful.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/413/275/845/discarded-elastic-bands-harm-hedgehogs/?z00m=21391524&redirectID=1441386407

Postards to hand to the postie and letterbox size stickers are also available by email from info@britishhedgehogs.org.uk
i.o


29 Oct 2010

THE BEASTS OF CLAWSTONE CASTLE.

As it is nearly Halloween I thought I'd bring you a week-end of ghoulish posts and thought this a perfect start.

THE BEASTS OF CLAWSTONE CASTLE by EVA IBBOTSON.

When Madlyn and Rollo are sent to ancient Clawstone Castle they fall in love with it - especially with the mysterious white creatures that roam the grounds. But the owners are practically penniless and the castle is crumbling away. A magnificent money-making plan is Clawstone's only hope.

Helped by a gang of hilarious ghosts - including a one-eyed skeleton, a sawn-in-half circus girl and a pair of dancing feet - the children turn Clawstone into a genuine haunted house! Soon the money is rolling in, but just as things start looking up a terrible fate befalls the beasts. Madlyn, Rollo and their phantom friends now face some very sinister enemies.
....... From the outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: There are children whose best friends have two legs, and there are children whose best friends have four - or a thousand, or none at all.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: Ranulf's rat was gagging badly: rodents are good on ships but motor transport doesn't agree with them.

Giving that it's nearly that time of year again - the time when things supposedly go bump in the night I thought that this would be a good book to read - scary enough to thrill junior readers but, fingers crossed, not scary enough to frighten a 42 year old with an overly active imagination.

After getting over my annoyance that the author mentioned feeding a hedgehog with milk (a big no-no) I really started to enjoy the book with all of it's twists and turns. Though to be honest I thought that some of the issues dealt with (the culling of animals after the supposed outbreak of an infectious disease to name but one) could perhaps prove a little too adult for young children.

However, I loved just about all the characters from Madlyn, a 'person who could always be cheered up by a serious bout of shopping' to the animal-mad Rollo and their three 'guardians' - one of whom was certainly not what he at first seemed but I'll say no more about that. My favourites though were the ghosts - all of whom had to apply for the job in Clawstone Castle - my favourite of all being 'the feet' with no body whose story was extremely sad.

A bit of a hit-and-miss story with some parts being very good and other parts, well, not so good and a bit lengthy. The Beasts Of Clawstone Castle, I'm sure will be liked by most junior readers for it's funny and pacy story.

Ex-library stock, this novel was purchased from our local library.

15 comments:

Nina said...

That cover is just fun. I really like the sound of it, the library probably won't have it, but still a great read for Halloween!

Christina Lee said...

Sounds like a fun read! I'm keeping a list of titles for when my little guy is of age!

Stranger said...

Hi..
The brief outline is quite interesting. Should try to get it next time I visit library..

Kelly said...

This sounds like a really fun book! (despite the hedgehog fauxpas)

Dorte H said...

Clawstone Castle - nice touch. And a one-eyed skeleton must feel rather privileged :D

Ashlie Swainston said...

i would have never thought to look at this one. I love how motor-transports makes the rat sick haha. Irony is one of my favorite things in a story. I also loved the misunderstood penguin thing up top haha!

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

I linked to you today!

Oddyoddyo13 said...

It sounded very quirky...one of those "acquired" taste type of books. Thanks for the review!

StarTraci said...

Yet another intriguing review! I always love to hear of a story through your perspective and I am truly interested in this one. My kiddos are still a little young but I have started a "list" for them of all the books that I want to read but saved to read with them.

Also, you never cease to amaze me with your knowledge -- I had no idea that a hedgehog should not be fed milk. I feel so much smarter now.

Have a wonderful weekend!
:-)
Traci

Arti said...

Looks good enough to be made into a movie...
Have a lovely weekend:)

Misha1989 said...

Thanks for the review! I used to be a fan of Eva Ibbotson when I was younger. I outgrew her books eventually.

dr.antony said...

Wow..Again ghosts and spirits!!
I never knew you were so fond of witches and ghosts there.

Marinela said...

This sounds fun book. Thank you for the review!

GMR said...

Uh oh...I think Madlyn and I have something in common with the shopping bit. O_O Sounds like an okay book for a quick read this Halloween season. Thanks for sharing!

naida said...

sounds like fun. I'm glad it wasnt too scary :)
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/