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Ember Spark and the Thunder of Dragons is a lot of fun. Abi Elphinstone is a fabulous children's writer who seems to sprinkle joy, wonder and adventure onto every page; a warm storyteller who welcomes mischief and magic with open arms. Alongside Kristina Kister's bold, enchanting illustrations, this is a book that charms and tickles and makes you long for windswept coastlines where anything can happen.

Rusty Fizzbang, vet to magical beasts, needs an apprentice. Ember Spark, looking for adventure, is his newest recruit - and together with an unlikely friend, Arno, she is sent to help a baby dragon whose parents have gone missing. But keeping magical beasts a secret isn’t an easy task, especially with arch-villain, Jasper Hornswoggle, hot on their heels and keen to derail them...

As with many Abi Elphinstone books, characters and places are blessed with wonderfully quirky names: Rusty Fizzbang, Forty Winks, Gutsy Wonder, the Swirling Soup. Of course, Ember Spark lives up to her name as a plucky and courageous heroine, intent on saving magical, hidden beasts. From the start, the story sparkles with charm. The town of Yawn on the east coast of Scotland is both cosy and strange, and full of imaginative possibility just below the surface. Having been born in Aberdeen and having lived by the coast (near Elgin), I really enjoyed the combination of rugged wildness, quaintness and the child-like playfulness of the story. My younger self would have wanted to have been friends with Ember! And oh, how much would I have loved to take off in a flying bathtub or meet the fabled Loch Ness Monster. But, spoilers...


Suffice to say, Ember Spark and the Thunder of Dragons is a gloriously fun new series, set to delight children, particularly in Lower Key Stage 2. It would make a perfect Storytime read too.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for my copy to review.

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