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'The Magician Next Door' by Rachel Chivers Khoo is a charming little capsule of wonder and magic. A story about the love of a home and finding belonging in unexpected places. Brilliantly illustrated by Alice McKinley, this is a perfect book for children in lower key stage two, who are not quite ready for larger fantasies, but will enjoy this self-contained, pacy and heartwarming adventure of magic. I really enjoyed this - a comforting read indeed!

Where will the magic take you? Late one night a flying house crash-lands in ten-year-old Callie's garden. It is the home of magician Winnifred and all of her magical artefacts. Winnifred asks for Callie's help finding her lost Wanderdust – until she realizes it is Callie's sadness that is causing her malfunctioning magic. With Winnifred's most precious magical possessions at risk from malicious fairies and dangerous giants, can Callie and her friend Sam find the Wanderdust in time to save the magician?

What I especially enjoyed about 'The Magician Next Door' was the careful balance between Callie's sensitivities and sadness about moving house to Northern Island from London and the wild, unexpected magic she finds there. Like the cover art, there is a balance between ordinary worries and magical peril - the very real house and the flying, out of control one. There is such tenderness between Callie and her new friend Sam, and a lovely message about what home really means to us all. Some parts were geniunely funny as well and fans of Amy Sparkes' 'The House at the Edge of Magic' will find lots similar to enjoy here too. 

Some books are bigger than their parts. This is a book bursting with charm, love, friendship and magic. 

Thank you to Walker Books for sending me a signed copy.

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