Wednesday 9 June 2021

The Travelling Bookshop: Mim and the Baffling Bully

The Travelling Bookshop: Mim and the Baffling Bully by Katrina Nannestead Illus. Cheryl Orsini (Harper Collins Australia) RRP $14.99 ISBN 9780733341656

 Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

Mim, her younger brother Nat and their dad travel around in their caravan, the Travelling Bookshop, pulled along by their horse Flossy. In this title, the first in the series, they arrive in a small village in the Netherlands with lovely canals, windmills, and beautiful tulips. Once opened the caravan becomes the travelling bookshop, a truly magical place where people come to browse. Dad always finds the “right book.” Mim meets the sad Willemina trying to retrieve her backpack after being bullied by Gerda. While dad is helping many other people in the village Mim struggles to help her new friend, eventually realising that it is Gerda who needs help. While in the village the family enjoys lots of fun boating, pirating, bike riding and eating delicious local food.

This is a wonderful magical book, the first in a new series from an Australian author who has created so many great books. The story captures the cruelty of bullying, and the sadness of bullied children. It also provides lots of magical moments including the power of books to change people’s lives. The bookshop setting, complete with curios creatures including a flying lamb, makes a delightful foil to the children’s sadness. I cannot wait for more of The Travelling Bookshop.  Highly recommend for children aged  7 -10 years .

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