Magrit by Lee Battersby

cover image

Ill. by Amy Daoud. Walker Books Australia, 2016. ISBN 9781925081343
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Magrit lives in an old cemetery with her friend and mentor Master Puppet whom she constructed from old bones. When a stork passes through one night, it drops an unusual bundle in to the abandoned cemetery. Magrit is very curious however Master Puppet warns her that it is ugly and will only result in bad news. Despite the warnings she discovers a baby which she decides to keep for herself. She names him Bugrat and loves him like a brother, but why is Master Puppet being so weird and who does that strange voice belong to?
I found this short book quite easy to follow along. I did find some of the story lines predictable but there were still a few surprises in store especially for a younger reader. It is written superbly taking it from a simple children's story into something more descriptive. The story is slightly dark and beautifully packaged. The characters have been given personalities who are mysterious and intriguing that you will want to know more. Magrit has plenty of soul, sadness, despair, and hope. It's a delightfully dark fairy tale, full of Battersby's whimsy and charm. Because of the very slightly scary theme I would recommend it for 10 year olds and above and anyone who loved Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.
Jody Holmes