Review Blog

Nov 30 2011

The Anything Shop by Dawn Meredith

cover image

Ill. Lesley Vamos. Wombat Books 2011. ISBN 9781921633515.
(Ages: 6 to 9) Recommended. Dawn Meredith admits to having weird ideas in her head and this little story does have an odd starting point. However, the story is a satisfying one, initiating some interesting and thought-provoking ideas. Ten year-old Charlie is fascinated when he comes across a new shop which seems to have magically appeared, calling itself The Anything Shop, and inviting customers in to swap or buy anything they wish. Could a shop really give Charlie whatever he wanted? He has to find out. Charlie's inquiry seems to have been prearranged as Alfred and Meryl, the shop owners, know exactly why he is there. Charlie swaps those very embarrassing hugs he gets at home for an amazing cricket bat, which is the answer to all his dreams of becoming a champion player at school! It is not long before he realises that 'no hugs at home' cannot be replaced by cricket prowess; but he is locked into the swap for two years. How can he get back to what life was like and why do Alfred and Meryl what to take the joys of childhood away? As Charlie sets out to solve his dilemma, along with Sam his new friend caught up in the same swindle, he comes to an understanding of what is really important. There is plenty of action in this simple, but cleverly told story, and the interspersing of lively black and white drawings add to its accessibility.
Julie Wells

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