*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author and Faye Rogers at Authoright. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Miranda’s daughter, Mimi, is half-cat half-human. Mimi wants to become invisible and hopes that Nessie can teach her how to become invisible and hide from her classmates. The story takes Mimi, accompanied by her witch mother and sisters, to a magical trip across Scotland where the family ends up rediscovering themselves and finding Nessie’s husband.
Yet another beautifully illustrated Witchy tale from Sibel Beadle; which manages to encompass the educational and the entertaining, with a sprinkling of magic over the top.
This time the tale is about Mimi, half-girl and half-cat, who has started school and is struggling with being different to the other girls (and some heart-breaking bullying).
Beadle manages to capture the fear and misery of being a school outcast perfectly; resolve the issue with family love and an invisible frog; educate us on poison dart frogs and Bromeliads and throw in the usual spell and map of an actual UK location. All in one charming fairytale!
As a parent, my heart broke on the bullying scenes, especially a particularly shocking one where Mimi attempts to physically change herself to better fit in. With child and teen suicides and self-harming always in the news, these issues are really important and Beadle’s message of communication instead of isolation is spot on.
We read this story at bedtime over a few nights (as it is quite wordy!) to Minishine (5) and Babybows (2). Here are their thoughts:
Bookshine: So what was the story about?
Minishine: The cat [redacted due to spoilers] because she wanted to be like the other children because they were laughing at her. It was really, really sad.
Bookshine: And did you like the story?
Babybows: Yeah. It was good!
Minishine: My favourite was when they were happy at the end with the bubbles and the dreaming. But if you get laughed at at school you should definitely tell your grown up!
Babybows: Yeah! Cos that not very nice, is it?! I like the dinosaurs. And the great big frog.
Minishine: His moustache looked really funny. *Both giggling* If Mimi was at MY school then I would be her friend.
Babybows: I would cuggle her. Like my cats! [Sounds sweet, but picture an affectionate mauling. Our cats are getting quite fit with the exercise!]
So overall, a sweet, funny adventure story for children, with some serious messages about bullying and communication. My favourite bit personally was the ‘parallel lives’ explanation, because it is quite often how we spend OUR family time too!
I would recommend this for children 5+ and highly recommend reading it together, as it makes a great introduction to some very important conversations.
Luckily there was going to be a full moon that night and once it got dark, Miranda got her broom out and flew up to Mimi on top of the roof.
“I’ve missed talking to you,” Miranda said without hesitation, and sat next to her daughter. But Mimi didn’t respond, she just kept staring at the moon.
“Are you finding it difficult to get up early in the morning?” Miranda enquired. But Mimi didn’t respond, she kept staring at the moon.
Miranda sat silently next to Mimi for a while and thought about what to do. She wasn’t the kind of mother who would force Mimi to speak, but she also didn’t want to sit in silence. That’s why she did what she did best and started telling Mimi a story.
– Sibel Beadle, Nessie’s Husband
You can find more from Sibel Beadle at her website or follow her on Twitter and Goodreads.
All of the Witchy Travel Tales books are available to purchase in paperback from online retailers like Amazon right now!
Please check out my previous review to find out what Minishine and I thought of Books 1-3 in the series here, and don’t forget to visit all of the previous stops on the blog tour (poster below) for more fantastic reviews and content!