Review Blog

Nov 05 2009

The Land of Mirthful by Sally Morgan, Ambelin, Blaze and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

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Walker Books, 2009. ISBN 9781921150784. Stop Watch: Book 2,
(Ages 7-9) Each of the second markings on the stop watch Tom's grandfather has given him is the gateway to a different world. As the book begins, Tom and 'Bilby' are headed a mission, set by Grandpa, to 'a funny and sunny place' to find Finglethorn Underwood. Mirthful's rightful Queen, Jeromarni, and her family have disappeared and the self appointed Queen Mavis has taken over. Things are not as they should be and all appears to be doomed. The task of the heroes is to restore the Queen to her throne and save the kingdom of Mirthful.
An easy read novel, with traces of C.S. Lewis's Narnia and Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom, this series could provide a simple introduction to the fantasy genre. The double spacing makes it readily accessible to younger readers and there is enough action to make the story appealing. With sixty second markings on a stopwatch, this could prove to be a very long series! Given that Bilby, the Bridalon, was transported back via the first doorway and Tom allows him to take the bird back with him, the question arises as to whether or not there will be a stowaway from each of the lands. There will undoubtedly be many readers keen to continue on with the series, although possibly it may hold more appeal for the boys.
Jo Schenkel

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