As soon as he saw the front cover of the new picture book that had arrived for us to review -Wendy Clark's Magical Mabel's Adventure in The Tower of London - Pierre excitedly recognised the iconic monument from our trip to London last year.
We went along to see the spectacular Poppies at the Tower so he recognised the Tower itself, Tower Bridge and the beefeaters. We didn't go inside though so he was very excited to learn about the crown jewels and the ravens inside the walls.
The book follows the adventures of a little dog called Mabel who is given a magical collar by a little angel sitting on the moon, which allows her to turn invisible when she sneezes. Sounds useful - but probably not a good idea for me when my hayfever kicks in !
Along with her canine pal Alfie and their owner Ron, Mabel heads off to London and they decide to visit the Tower of London. I love the way the book introduces real cultural and historical references, such as the beefeaters and the Traitors' Gate. The illustrations, by Emma-Jo Newton, are brilliant and really give you a feel for the place.
The cheeky doggies innocently decide to try on the crown, having made themselves invisible, but when the alarm sounds and they make their escape, Mabel sneezes and they end up being chased by beefeaters.
It's all a bit madcap and silly but Pierre loved it and was in fits of giggles. There is a slightly serious message at the end, reinforcing some of the book's life lessons for young readers (checking first before borrowing something that doesn't belong to you and always staying with a grown up so you don't get lost). The teacher in me couldn't help but balk at some of the repeatedly dodgy grammar - I was itching to get my red pen out ! - but this didn't detract from our enjoyment of the story.
This is the first Mabel and Alfie adventure but there will be more apparently so I look forward to seeing what they get up to next.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £6.99
Disclosure : We received the book for free in order to write an honest review.