he reached out bravely to stroke the waving mechanical hand. They had not, after all, been instructed not to touch. Immediately the clockwork toy’s hand snapped shut around her wrist. Milli tried to shake her hand free but Boi Toi’s grip was as strong as a vice. The class gasped as his shiny face bore down on her. Milli saw Boi Toi’s eyes flash at her, so lifelike now they sent shivers up her spine, and he bared his teeth.
Life in Drabville is returning to normal. Since Milli and Ernest rescued the rest of the children from the Conjuror’s realm, all they want is a quiet life, free of adventures. But when philanthropist and master toymaker, Gustav Von Gobstopper hears of their bravery, he wants to give the children of Drabville a special gift: a Toy Arcade. When the arcade opens Milli and Ernest quickly realise that something strange is going on. Is their old foe, Lord Aldor back?
Von Gobstopper’s Arcade is the third and final instalment in the delightful Strangest Adventures series from young writer Alexandra Adornetto. With the same charming use of language as the earlier instalments, this new offering takes readers –and the two heroes – on an adventure filled with unusual characters. Aided by talking, living toys, the children work to prevent Lord Aldor from ruining Christmas and wreaking revenge on Drabsville.
Another wonderfilled offering aimed at 9 to 12 year old readers.
Von Gobstopper’s Arcade, by Alexandra Adornetto
Angus & Robertson, 2009
This book can be purchased online at Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
With a judder and a jolt the tent was propelled high above the treetops. The tassels blistered their hands and the wind flung their small bodies from side to side like kites, but the children clung on like death, so determined were they not to be left behind. The tent burst through cloud, dampening them so that they shivered all over. They closed their eyes and tried to remain calm as they followed Federico Lampo and his Travelling Circus on their furthest journey yet…into the sky.
Milli and Ernest think they have seen the last of power-hungry Lord Aldor, and life in Drabville is wonderful. Until a circus comes to town. Everyone is raving about the wonderful circus acts, but Milli’s mother won’t let her go, and loyal Ernest decides not to go either. When they are finally allowed to attend, on the last day the circus is on town, they quickly discover there is something sinister about this circus. With the rest of the town’s children, they are soon whisked away to the Conjuror’s Realm.
In this new and frightening place Milli and Ernset soon discover that Lord Aldor is up to his old tricks. This time he wants to use the children to conquer the province of Mirth. Milli and Ernest set off to warn the Queen of Mirth, in an attempt to thwart Aldor’s plans and to get the children back to Drabville.
The Lampo Circus is the second in young author Alexandra Adornetto’s Strangest Adventures series. Like the first, this offering is told in an entertaining first person voice – with an intrusive narrator at times commenting on events rather than simply narrating them. This adds a humorous touch of familiarity which young readers will enjoy. The adventure itself is exciting, again with many humorous moments, with a touch of Lemony Snickett or Alice in Wonderland, as Milli and Ernest come up against seemingly ever-worsening odds and a series of bumbling, yet scary, adversaries.
This is a magical offering for 9 to 12 year old readers.
The Lampo Circus, by Alexandra Adornetto
Harper Collins, 2008
This book is available from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.