Nathan is always in trouble for being a dreamy boy, so when he wishes he could judge the annual Performance Day, his friends laugh. Soon, though, he is off on a magical adventure with the mysterious Count Marvy and an unreliable squirrel called Pogue, who take him on a journey through their world. Nathan meets all sorts of characters and sees sights he never believed possible – including a singing pig, a very small monster with very large teeth, and a tower where words are endlessly weighed In this mystical world Nathan discovers that maybe, in spite of his dreaminess – or even, perhaps, because of it – he can be a judge.
This is, as the blurb claims, a most unlikely story, full of marvelosities. In the tradition of Lewis Carroll, Nathan is transported to a world where characters change at will, disappearing and reappearing randomly. Doors which seem to do nothing stand in the middle of roads, and animal characters both familiar and unrecognisable abound.
Suitable for private reading for children aged about 9 and up, this would also suit as a read aloud for sharing between parent and child, or teacher and class. The hard cover format and whimsical illustrations are added bonuses.
The Book of Changing Things and Other Odibosities, by Odo Hirsch
Allen & Unwin, 2005
This review was first published in Reading Time, the Journal of the CBCA.