Monday 30 August 2021

The Magic Ball of String

The Magic Ball of String by Chelsea Hardi, illustrated by Olya Badulina (Richmond Publishing in association with Christmas Press) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9781875613069

Reviewed by Kathleen Grace

Here is a picture book by a seven-year-old Australian girl, illustrated by a Finnish adult. The message of the book is that kindness is a gift that everyone can afford to give – to family, friends, and strangers. It’s told as a ‘once upon a time’ story about three beautiful princesses who set out with their father to explore the kingdom as they look for adventure. Before long, they become separated from their father, and lost in a dark forest where they cross paths with a bear, a hungry one, so they scatter and are lost from one another. Back at the palace, the king decrees that all young and able-bodied men must search for his daughters. Onto the scene comes George who, in his travels, finds a trapped hedgehog which, when he sets it free, gives him a ball of magic red wool which will ‘lead you to what you truly seek.’ Obviously, for a happy-ever after ending, George is successful in his quest and the story ends happy ever after.

This is an old-fashioned, charming, and wordy tale. The illustrations are colourful and old-fashioned, too. The book is likely to be enjoyed by children aged 4 years and older.

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