'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 4 March 2020

Review: Madame Badobedah

Mabel thinks of herself as an adventurer and a spy who sometimes goes to school. Luckily for Mabel, her parents own The Mermaid Hotel where she spends all her spare time exploring and making new friends.

That is until a new guest turns up . . . .

Madame Badobedah struts into the Mermaid Hotel with her gaudy clothes, funny accent and excessive luggage along with her menagerie of animals.

Mabel is immediately suspicious of Madame Badobedah with her 23 pieces of luggage, 13 boxes, two trunks, endless trinkets, two cats, two dogs and a tortoise called Boris who sleeps on a pillow.

All the adults think Madame is extremely rude and demanding, calling her Mrs Mutter Mutter behind her back. Mabel is convinced their new guest is a super villain! Mabel’s reasoning is that Madame Badobedah is sooo old, positively ancient, rude to everyone and expresses her opinions. It makes total sense to Mabel, goodness knows how many secrets are hiding in madame’s never-ending luggage, trunks and boxes.

Mabel is determined to discover the truth and any secrets Madame might be hiding.

Taking her role seriously, Mabel dresses in a cap and trench coat and lurks in the halls, watching the new guest’s every move.

After examining all the evidence, Mabel is convinced Madame Badobedah is definitely a spy. There are bags of gold coins under the bed, she hand feeds bananas to Boris the turtle and she wears two socks on each foot to hide her purple toes. Toes of a villain. One curious thing Mabel discovers is that Madame Badobedah never leaves her room. Never ever!

One morning just as Mabel thinks she know everything, Madame Badobedah surprises her by opening the door and inviting Mabel inside for a cup of tea. What happens next is the start of a beautiful friendship and glorious adventures involving pirates, treasures and the odd mermaid.

Author Sophie Dahl shows us what it means to be young at heart and that you are never too old to indulge in the playfulness and freedom of one’s imagination. The illustrations by Lauren O’Hara capture the essence of the story transporting the reader into fantastical adventures that await them.

Title: Madame Badobedah
Author: Sophie Dahl
Illustrator: Lauren O’Hara
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd, $26.99
Publication Date: 1 October 2019
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781406384406
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Books