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Isadora Moon is the wonderful half-fairy, half vampire child with unruly hair and twinkling eyes as she is irrepressible and wonderfully herself. Perfect for the emerging reader market this early chapter book with conversational style prose is as if Isadora has invited you over to her house and is telling you about her adventure acting out with her toys before rushing downstairs for tea. This story concerns Isadora's family summer holiday camping at the seaside. Her ever-vain father has brought along a family heirloom comb along with suitcases of grooming goods and the beautiful comb just looks darling on Isadora's epic sandcastle so she sneaks it away from her sleeping father, of course she forgets and it is washed away in the tide which sets up for an adventure to rep over the previous comb involving Pink Rabbit, magic necklaces and mermaids. My 5 year old recieved this for her birthday and she loves this story, who wouldn't? it's mummys favourite so far too. I think she identifies strongly with Isadora Moon thanks to an alternative vibe in our home, mummy probably is a grown up Isadora too and she too has a baby sister, and she loves to walk the line between pink and black, Princess Aurora and Wednesday Addams in equal measure. She can also identify strongly with a dad who is particular about his hair and tends to fall asleep too! I like that Count Bartholomew chooses to put his family before his grooming and personal time and embraces the holiday spirit, kind of like that holiday advert a few years ago where the grumpy bear turns back into a dad on holiday.
From a parent and educator's perspective there's a beautiful innocence and complete lack of cynicism in Muncaster's writing, some fantasy books in this age group can try to be cool or slightly aloof by gently mocking or bringing in 'cool' popular trends to temper down a fantasy realm as if it's 'too much', Muncaster just goes with it in the style of magical realism, she sets us up from the opening paragraphs as if this world is just the way it is and completely normal and the reader goes along unquestionably. I love this, and so does my daughter it reminds me of the uncompromising acceptance by the reader of Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree series where magic just is. The Isadora Moon series tells children it's ok to be who they are as long as they endeavour to act with kindness and speaks to the very essence of many children (and usually their parents who felt the same) with the themes of fairies butched up with a little darkness (but safe darkness) from vampires but with ultimate focus on morality, kindness and friendship. These books are for the girls who want to wear black AND pink as if there's no one or other, it's the boys who want to enjoy stories of fairies and wizards too, its the child who wants to be a Darth Vader with wings and a tutu. It's perfect in other words.
These books are like magic. A friend of mines little girl has learning difficulties and they were told she would never learn to read. This was the first book she has ever read independently and willingly. I quickly bought them for my daughter who is dyslexic and finds reading a chore and she has raced through them. I have to take them away at night so she sleeps! I don’t know what it is about these books but if you have a reluctant reader they seem to do wonders. My friends daughter and mine have both gained a huge amount of reading confidence and enjoyment from this series.
Isadora Moon is on summer holidays and going camping with her dad who insists on bringing along a family heirloom. Well you know things are going to go wrong so of course they definitely do. A book filled with magic, mermaids (which don't exist wink), and Isadora learning that sharing can be fun but not to borrow things that aren't hers. Another great book in a series that is really growing on me as simple fun.