Scatterbungle, by Edrei Cullen

Ella sat up with a start, catapulting the snoring pixie tucked under her chin across the bed. Her shoulders tingled and her hair flared in the dark, its honey colours shining strangely in the light of the moon. She grabbed the tips of her terribly pointy ears. They were burning up!
‘Gracious, blimey!’ yelled the pixie, as he landed upside down on the mattress, his striped stockings kicking up in the air. He slapped a tiny green hand across his mouth, suddenly mindful of all the other sleeping bodies in the quiet dormitory. Even though he was only the size of a pepper pot, he had a big voice!

Scatterbungle is the third adventure featuring Ella, the Clearheart. She’s at Hedgeberry, the magical school, but she knows there is something very wrong. For one thing, she keeps having dreadful nightmares that show her school in flames. And two of her giant friends have disappeared, and there’s been a prison breakout. Then there’s the Scatterbungle. It’s clearly going to be up to Ella to sort out what’s going on. But this is much bigger than just one person. Ella needs the help of friends if she is going to intervene in the battle between this world and the magical one. Her friends are willing, but in many cases don’t seem able to help. Ella must help them realise their abilities if together they are to have any chance of finally, once and for all, overcoming the dastardly Duke.

Scatterbungle, like early books in this series, is magical. Imagine going to school to learn how to catch dreams and extract memories. And taking a trip to somewhere on the other side of the world, by diving into the local stream. Some of Ella’s classmates can conjure fire, others can talk to animals, yet others care for and communicate with the trees. Most can fly. I want to go to this school! But as well as being a grand adventure, Scatterbungle reinforces the power of friendship. It also reminds that ability is one thing, but without confidence and self-belief, ability will never be enough. This is a classic good vs evil struggle and will be Ella’s most challenging adventure. There’s also themes around rites of passage, where Ella begins to challenge her father’s silence and to ask more questions about the death of her mother and brothers. Recommended for upper primary.

Scatterbungle (Flitterwig)

Scatterbungle, Edrei Cullen & Gregory Rogers
Scholastic Australia 2011

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.